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Grants Support Census Outreach for Hard-to-Count Communities

The John T. Gorman Foundation joined several other organizations in establishing the Maine Census Outreach Fund 2020, which today made 14 grants to nonprofit to help boost participation in hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census. A press release is below as well as the list of recipients.
Augusta, ME (December 18, 2019) – The Maine Census Outreach Fund 2020 (MCOF 2020) has awarded 14 nonprofits with grants to support the participation of hard-to-count communities in the upcoming 2020 Census. Grants for statewide and community-based efforts were awarded through an open request for proposal process for statewide and community-based efforts and ranged from $5000 to $15,000. Grant-funded activities will include outreach through community events, adult education programs, phone banks, and some organizations will offer on-site computer labs for completing Census forms.

Historically, a number of communities have been undercounted in Maine, including tribal nations, children under age 5, people in rural communities, people of color, and people experiencing homelessness, among others. The 2020 Census will also be the first time that a digital option is the first option for response, adding new challenges for counting those who lack digital literacy and internet access.

Every 10 years, the US Constitution requires that all residents, including non-citizens and undocumented immigrants, be counted through a nationwide census. “Collecting accurate census data is an essential part in determining a fair allocation of federal funds and political representation at the federal, state, and local levels,” said Morgan Hynd, Director of The Bingham Program which has facilitated the MCOF 2020 effort. “It is critical that we have a complete count in Maine to ensure accurate demographic data about our state and to ensure that our tax dollars are returned to the state to fund important programs that impact all of us. For every child that is not counted, Maine could potentially lose $16,400 in federal funding over a ten year period.”

The MCOF 2020 is a collaborative funding effort supported by the Maine Philanthropy Center that pooled $170,000 from nine different philanthropies that make grants in Maine. This is the first time that Maine philanthropies have worked together to support Census work, which will help to inform future Census outreach efforts in 2030 and beyond.

The Maine Census Outreach Fund 2020 (MCOF 2020) funding partners include: The Betterment Fund, The Bingham Program, Broad Reach Fund, The Doree Taylor Foundation, Bank of America N.A., Trustee, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, John T. Gorman Foundation, Maine Community Foundation, Maine Health Access Foundation, and Sam L. Cohen Foundation. Non-funding partners include: Maine Philanthropy Center, Maine Women’s Fund, and United Way of Greater Portland.

Funded Organizations
Gateway Community Services Maine
Hand in Hand Mano en Mano
League of Women Voters of Maine – Education Fund
Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta
Maine Access Immigrant Network (MAIN)
Maine Adult Education Association
Maine Children’s Alliance
Maine Equal Justice
Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition
Preble Street
Rural Community Action Ministry
Sunrise County Economic Council
Tri-County Mental Health Services
YWCA Central Maine

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