Census 2020 Outreach in LA County

  • Overview

    The California Community Foundation (CCF) seeks to support community-based education, outreach and assistance efforts for hard-to-count (HTC) communities across Los Angeles County in Census 2020. The collective efforts of dozens of community-based grantee organizations and other key partners comprise the campaign, We Count Los Angeles.

    Motivating the millions of HTC residents in the LA region to participate in the 2020 Census will require robust and coordinated outreach by community-based organizations (CBOs) that have deep relationships with and knowledge of HTC populations. As trusted messengers, CBOs will be critical to success in ensuring all of Los Angeles is counted.

    Census 2020 will be a landmark effort. We are seeking to transform the challenges into opportunities. First, this is an opportunity to mobilize all corners of our community – from organizations at the grassroots level to our local government to philanthropy. Collaboration makes us stronger and is a hallmark of how we accomplish positive change in Los Angeles. Additionally, there is an opportunity to leverage Census 2020 as an act of mass civic engagement that is perhaps even more consequential to our most vulnerable residents than voting given the Census’ impact at the local level.

    A strong infrastructure has already been built to support Census 2020 efforts in Los Angeles County. Various groups of organizations and key community leaders have come together to collaborate and support census-related education and outreach across the county through the Los Angeles Regional Census Table. CCF has also initiated a partnership with Fenton Communications to help coordinate, support and amplify CBO efforts through key messaging and materials development, digital engagement, communications capacity building and media outreach. An evaluation team consisting of USC PERE and R&D Engage, has also been brought onboard to help gauge the effectiveness of both communications and community-based outreach efforts of the larger campaign.

    In August 2019, CCF awarded grants to 50 CBOs to begin educating and mobilizing HTC communities across the county on the census.

    UPDATE: The application for the second round of funding has been closed. Organizations will be notified of acceptance or declination at the end of November. There are no additional grant opportunities available at this time.

    View our most recent Census RFP here.

    If you have any questions regarding this RFP, email census2020@calfund.org. Please no direct calls or emails to staff.

  • Background

    The census is the portrait of the nation, making an accurate count is essential to ensuring that picture is as vibrant as our communities.

    With its geographic expanse and rich diversity, Los Angeles County is ranked as the hardest-to-reach region in the nation. The most vulnerable in our community, such as children and immigrant populations, are not only most impacted by the consequences of an incomplete count, they are historically the most undercounted audiences in the census.

    Participation in the census is our right. And, it is our responsibility to work together to ensure that every Los Angeles County resident is counted and represented.

    Yet an accurate count for Census 2020 is rife with challenges. For the first time, the census will be administered mainly online. While a citizenship question will not be included, the controversy and contention around it has contributed to fear about census participation. Research has indicated that the current political climate could have an impact on concerns among immigrants – regardless of documentation – about census participation. Research also indicates most audiences do not understand the impact or influence of accurate census data in their communities.

    Census data influences how more than $700 billion in federal government resources are distributed to states and localities. The decision to build schools, hospitals, child care centers, senior facilities and other services – cornerstones of our community – are heavily shaped by census data. Vital programs such as Medicaid, Head Start, public assistance, and school lunch programs rely on census data for financial allocations and planning at the local level. The census also helps define our voice and representation in Congress as data is used for apportionment of Congressional seats and redistricting at all levels of government.

  • Outreach Strategies

    Census outreach by CBOs includes but is not limited to the following services and activities:

    • Direct Outreach
      • Door-to-Door Canvassing
      • Phone Banking
      • Coalition Building
    • Training
    • Assistance Centers
    • Community Education
  • FAQ

    What is the anticipated size and timeline for grants?
    Grants may range in size but should not exceed $300,000, with anticipated grant periods of 10 months or less.

    What are some examples of programmatic activities?
    Program activities must be one of the following:

    • Direct Outreach
      • Door-to-Door Canvassing
      • Phone Banking
      • Coalition Building
    • Training
    • Assistance Centers
    • Community Education

    If funded, how may the grant funds be used?
    Proposals must support direct service projects and therefore, funds should support programmatic costs.

    Can an organization be fiscally sponsored by another entity?

    Must our organization be based in Los Angeles County to be eligible?
    While organizations do not have to be headquartered in Los Angeles County, they must perform and demonstrate extensive outreach services and experience in Los Angeles County.

    If this is our organization’s first time applying for a grant through CCF, where can I learn how to access and navigate the Nonprofit Connect (NPC) application portal? 
    If this is your first time applying through the CCF application portal, you must register on Non-Profit Connect (NPC) at least 72 hours in advance before the deadline of October 4. Applications can only be submitted online via the portal, please do not email your application. Please click here for a guide on how to register.

    Will future funding opportunities be made available in the future?
    Yes. We plan on releasing a third round of funding starting from March 2020 to July 2020. These rapid response grants will support Non-Response Follow-Up (NRFU) period. Grants will be made on a rolling basis during the NRFU period. Details will be announced on our website March 2020.

    Where can I find more information on the Round I grant recipients?
    Please click here for more information about Round 1 grant recipients.

    May I apply for Round II funding if I received Round I funding?
    No. At this time we would like to give priority to new grant recipients.

    I submitted an application for Round I funding but was not selected as a Round I grant recipient. May I re-submit the same application to be considered for Round II funding? 
    No. Please submit a new application to be considered for Round II funding.

    When will decisions be made about Round II grantmaking?
    Round II grant recipients will be notified no later than November 30, 2019.

    Whom do I contact if I have questions about this application?
    If you have any questions, email census2020@calfund.org. Please no direct calls or emails to staff.

  • Eligibility

    This Request for Proposals (RFP) is open to all community-based organizations that meet the following eligibility requirements:

    • Has not received funding as part of Cohort I for the census outreach.
    • Has 501(c)(3) status (i.e. IRS confirmation letter or fiscal sponsorship letter).
    • Has the ability to complete key activities within a 10-month timeline.
    • Has the organizational capacity to implement and report on the outcomes of project.
    • Applicants must include a detailed budget along with a brief budget narrative that makes clear the breakdown of line items. Please note that the grant will be issued in two payment installments.
    • Applicants must provide a copy of the organization’s most recent Form 990.
  • Criteria

    Grant proposals will be evaluated using the following criteria:

    • Outreach work is conducted in and/or across Los Angeles County with a target focus on hard-to-count (HTC) communities and geographies. You will have to identify the HTC census tracts you will be serving later in this application.
    • Focus on conducting direct, on the ground outreach to HTC communities in identified census tracts.
    • Experience working with HTC audiences and issues that impact these communities.
    • Experience in community engagement, social impact campaigns, and/or robust and coordinated activities.
    • Track record in community organizing, movement building and/or working as part of a coalition.
    • Clarity of project plan description and assessment of outreach activities.
    • Completed forms and clarity of responses to application questions.
    • Strong motivation to get a large number of people to fill out the Census 2020 form.
  • Budget
    • Proposal budgets should be for up to a 10-month grant and should not exceed a $300,000 request
    • Please note that during the review and active period, organizations may be contacted to provide or discuss additional information. Final grant amounts and scope of project may differ from the amount requested.
  • Timeline
    Funding RoundApplication OpensProposal & Budget DeadlineProposals ReviewedOrganizations Notified
    1April 16May 6 @ 1:00 pmMay 7 – June 17End of July
    2September 9October 4 @ 12:00 pmOctober 5 – November 15End of November

    Please check back in the future for information on further rounds of funding.

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