Examples of Funder Action to Count All Kids

Tailored Tools for Funders

Census 2020 Menu of Options for Funders – Funders Census Initiative and the United Philanthropy Forum.

2020 Census: Each Decade, We Have a Chance to Get it Right and #CountAllKids, Annie E. Casey Foundation 

Factsheet: Will Your Kids Count? Young children and their families in the 2020 Census, The Leadership Conference Education Fund

Rodell Foundation of Delaware, 5 Reasons You Should Care About the 2020 Census

New Mexico Funders Preparing for the 2020 Census, infographic on importance of Census 2020 developed by eleven funder partners include the Thornburg Family Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

New Mexico Census Childhood Toolkit, from New Mexico Counts 2020, a collaborative effort with the the New Mexico Census Funder Collaborative.  The toolkit includes resources for teachers and parents including PSA and coaching videos for early childhood and K-5.

Leveraging existing platforms to focus on the Census

Annie E. Casey’s 2018 Kids Count data book included a Census focus to elevate young the child undercount at all levels of government and across the country.  Following that media campaign, the foundation supported development of a short video [Count All Kids] to educate the public on the young child undercount, and for use by other advocates to elevate this issue. 

Support Statewide Efforts To Ensure Complete Counts

The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF), in partnership with MACS2020Common Cause MinnesotaMinnesota Council on NonprofitsVoices for Racial Justices and the Asian American Organizing Project, convenes the Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership.  The Partnership is a cross-sector collaboration of organizations and individuals working together to advocate for policies and resources and engage Minnesotans to achieve the goal of fully inclusive, honest and accurate 2020 Census in Minnesota.  In November, 2019, the Partnership launched a video series made possible by funding secured the Partnership and MCF, including: Census 101: Get Your Civics On! and Census 201: Confidentiality in Our Bones.  The video clips are social media friendly but will also be broadcast on public television statewide.  The MCMP’s Minnesota 2020 Census Communication and Mobilization Plan was also a guide for shaping the messages.

New Mexico Counts 2020 is an outreach campaign supported by a collaborative of funders to help ensure that all New Mexicans are counted in the 2020 Census, especially in the most hard-to-count and reach communities. The committee is comprised of the New Mexico Census Funder Collaborative, The New Mexico Civic Engagement Table, and a Tribal Coalition.   

The Washington Census Equity Fund, managed by Philanthropy Northwest, is a statewide pooled fund of philanthropy partners to support 2020 Census outreach, education and resources to ensure a robust and accurate count.  The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation seeded the fund with its initial investment to Philanthropy Northwest.  The Equity Fund partnership currently comprises 25 partners and has $1.8 million in philanthropic investment.

Encouraging the formation of Complete Count Committees (CCC’s)

The Fund for New Jersey raised its voice and nonprofit partners reached out to legislators and the Governor to encourage the formation of the first ever state New Jersey Complete Count Commission, which will include a focus on hard-to-count populations, including children under age 5, African Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, Asian Americans, non-native English speakers, the homeless and indigent, and immigrants and their families.

Be Counted Michigan 2020, Michigan’s complete count campaign, was launched with seed funding from the K.Kellogg Foundation, and support from the Michigan Council of Foundations, and later was allocated $500,000 in funding from the Michigan legislature.

Developing Maps of Hard-To-Count Areas in Your State

Advocates for Children of New Jersey, a partner of The Fund for New Jersey, developed a map and data report about the state’s “Children Under 5 at Greatest Risk for Undercount.” 

Convening grantees, funders and partners

Oregon Community Foundation is a founding member of the Census Equity Funders Committee of Oregon (CEFCO), recognizing that fair and accurate census count is fundamental to their work and to Oregon.  Oregon foundations, in partnership with local governments and the State of Oregon, are collaborating in support of a plan to reach people in Oregon who are “hard-to-count”.  The Oregon legislature recently approved $7.5 million in grants to the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, on behalf of CEFCO, for Hard-to-Count community outreach. Visit CEFCO for more information on this effort. 

Rose Community Foundation and the Colorado Association of Funders co-hosted a convening [Will You Count? Why the 2020 Census Matters] to provide a space where community members and partners could come together to be informed by subject matter experts and engage in constructive dialogue around 2020 Census challenges and historic trends in hard to reach communities. 

The Council of New Jersey Grantmakers focused its 2019 Annual Conference for the Social Sector exclusively on the 2020 Census and how it will define the next 10 years. 

Many state grantmaking organizations are providing dedicated forums on their websites to house Census resources and tools and to direct their funders to other tools and initiatives, such as these Census resource pages: Philanthropy OhioPhilanthropy New York,  Philanthropy CA, and the Florida Philanthropic Network.


Engage Trustees

Founded by the owner of UPS, the Annie E. Casey Foundation leveraged their connection with UPS to support a roundtable in Atlanta to engage business leaders on the importance of this issue.  They also engaged one of their board members to make Census a priority among the pediatric community. See the FCI 2020 Census Funders Toolkit for sample language on how to make an internal case for census involvement.

Tools for Parents & Advocates

 NALEO Educational Fund has developed a Back to School Resource Guide for partners and Census advocates which provides an overview of census facts about children, including specific facts about the undercount of Latino children in the 2010 Census, and free downloadable tools and fact sheets for parents, educators and advocates.  The resource is part of ¡Hágase Contar!  – NALEO’s Census 2020 Campaign with a specific focus on ensuring the full count of all Latino children.

The Henry and Marilyn Taub Foundation, a northern New Jersey  based literacy funder, is working with Simply Put, a nonprofit, mission 

based publisher to launch the We Count! Campaign, an initiative focused on encouraging parents to count children and to encourage them to read aloud to children to improve early language and math skills.  Taub made the first and largest grant to launch We Count! (and has since been joined by other funders in the county) to pilot the program in Passaic County, New Jersey with plans to expand implementation around the state in the Fall.  The Campaign includes:

  1.  Counting book for children, with each page’s illustrations representing a hard-to-count family’s cultural heritage and how they would be counted in the Census, including tips for parents on ways to read aloud to and talk about the book to children (currently available in 20 languages).
  2. Online training, toolkit and marketing support for helping trusted community practitioners (e.g. home visitors, child care providers, pediatricians, food pantry employees) distribute the book to families, and understand how to open the book and start a conversation with families about the Census and why being counted is so important.
  3. A replicable Census Family Fun Event-in-a-Box kit, for creating community based events in April 2020 for parents and children where everyone can fill out the Census together.

To learn more about the Campaign, counting book, and opportunities for bringing the Campaign to your community, go to www.wecountkids.org or contact Simply Put Media.


Does your foundation have a strategy or tool to elevate the importance of the young child undercount?  Connect with ECFC to share your ideas and tools, and to learn more about how we can help early childhood funders connect with each other and with key national resources and tools on the 2020 Census.

Related Resources:

ECFC Census 2020 & The Young Child Undercount Resources

5 Things EC Funders Can Do  



Updated 12/6/19