Getting an accurate count in the 2020 Census is so important to us at St. David’s Foundation. We recently published the story, Why the Census Counts, highlighting our commitment to investing in grassroots Get Out the Count efforts in “hard-to-count” communities across Central Texas, in partnership with United Way for Greater Austin, Episcopal Health Foundation, and Austin Community Foundation.
On December 12th, we held an event with our partners and awarded grants totaling $395,000 to 17 community-based organizations committed to this work. Pooled funds from all partner organizations will target hard-to-count communities in five Central Texas counties (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson).
The goal of these grants is to ensure that every person in Central Texas is counted in the 2020 Census. Texas has one of the largest risks of an undercount, due to a large number of hard-to-count populations, such as young children, immigrants, rural residents, and people experiencing homelessness. In Central Texas, a one percent undercount will result in a $25 million loss in federal funding per year over the next 10 years, based on 2010 Census estimates.
The risk of an undercount is a major concern for nonprofits and foundations. The majority of charitable funding decisions are made based on data collected in the decennial census count. Inaccurate data could deprive population groups and communities of vital public and private resources that support health care, housing, education, transportation, and much more.
To minimize the undercount, United Way is funding grants in two categories:
Organizations with existing ties to hard-to-count communities in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and/or Williamson counties conducting boots-on-the-ground get-out-the-count activities.
Complete Count Committees in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, or Williamson counties conducting or coordinating get-out-the-count activities, with a specific focus on targeting hard-to-count populations.
These grants are funded by a collaborative of local foundations. The funders that contributed include:
St. David’s Foundation, Episcopal Health Foundation, Austin Community Foundation, Applied Materials Foundation, Bill Wood Foundation, Aragona Family Foundation, Georgetown Health Foundation, Carl C. Anderson Sr. & Marie Jo Anderson Charitable Foundation, and the Genevieve and Ward Orsinger Foundation
|Organization||Counties||Amount Awarded||Project Description|
|Housing Authority of the City of Austin||Travis||$45,000||Trained, compensated resident teams will conduct door-to-door and in-person outreach and canvassing, host on-property get out the count events, and provide individuals and families digital access to the census via portable tablets and wi-fi hot spots.|
|Austin Ed Fund||Travis||$45,000||Train staff and stakeholders to support Census completion. Work with campus verticals to develop activities tailored to their communities including activities to reach families off campus. Integrate Census completion into all events.|
|Bastrop County Cares/Bastrop CCC||Bastrop||$20,000||Development and distribution of outreach materials. Hosting micro-community Census Parties.|
|Austin Community College District||Bastrop Caldwell Hays Travis Williamson||$13,000||Inform student populations about Census through messaging and tabling.|
|AVANCE-Austin, Inc.||Travis||$10,000||Build Census information and participation directly into all AVANCE programming with a majority Latinx, low-income population. Directly support all program participants to complete the Census.|
|People’s Community Clinic||Travis||$20,000||This grant will fund a part-time support position to provide information and assist with completing the Census onsite at clinics and is part of a larger effort that will include Census completion kioks.|
|Foundation Communities||Travis Williamson||$45,000||Train staff and volunteers to share Census information with residents and clients. Support completion of Census at food pantry locations and at resident events (include April 1 resident dinners). Onsite Census volunteers at VITA sites to assist with Census completion.|
|Austin-Travis / Williamson / San Marcos CCCs||Bastrop Caldwell Hays Travis Williamson||$59,000||Develop and deploy messaging campaigns for hart-to-count populations in all five counties
|El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission||Hays Travis||$20,000||Comprehensive plan to reach clients on-site with Census survey completion and through special events. Will makes use of El Buen’s signficant reach and capacity to communicate with clients.|
|Williamson County and Cities Health District||Williamson||$30,000||Hire coordinator, train staff, develop and deploy messaging, educate community partners.|
|Asian Pacific Islander American Political Affairs||Bastrop Caldwell Hays Travis Williamson||$20,000||Outreach campaign targeting Asian populations in Travis and Williamson County that includes translating messaging and distributing through various media as well as in-person meetings/presentations to relevant community groups. Budget allocation for volunteers to go door-to-door.|
|Mano Amiga||Hays||$10,000||Field organizing (campus tabling, community events, peer-to-peer outreach and digital organizing using social media platforms and SMS) focused on college campuses.|
|Todos Juntos Learning Center||Travis||$5,000||Support to current and former clients to complete Census with two community events and students trained to do canvasing|
|Bastrop County Food Pantry||Bastrop||$5,000||Development and distribution of outreach materials. Hosting micro-community Census Parties.|
|Hays County CCC||Hays||$8,000||Create educational materials and outreach through events and tabling|
|Caldwell County CCC||Caldwell||$20,000||Will conduct a variety of outreach activities including utility bill messaging, printing of bilingual messaging for distribution, purchase of ipads for canvassing.|
|Austin Area Urban League||Travis||$20,000||Focused on the African American community. Will conduct community outreach and engagement, public relations strategy, door-to-door canvassing, language access and high traffic community events.|