Civic Leadership

Grants available for Census 2020 outreach

Thanks to the generosity of local donors, our Rhode Island Census 2020 Fund will award grants of up to $25,000 to local organizations to conduct outreach and education that will encourage participation in the 2020 Census.

Census, make Portuguese Count

Rhode Island cannot afford an undercount in the 2020 Census. This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to learn more about the communities we serve, ensure fair representation and much-needed federal funding allocations to our state, and to encourage civic participation.

The Rhode Island Census 2020 Fund supports awareness-building, outreach, and engagement activities so that every Rhode Islander will be aware of the Census, will understand the importance of being counted, and will feel safe, invested, and easily able to participate in the 2020 count. Applicant organizations should plan to focus specific attention on increasing Census response rates in communities that have been historically undercounted and are vulnerable to an undercount in 2020.

“These Census outreach grants are a way to build a grassroots effort to help us achieve our goal of getting every Rhode Islander counted. A major focus will be to reach those that are considered 'hard to count' – non-fluent-English speakers, homeless individuals, young adults and many others."

- Nicole Alexander-Scott, co-chair of the Complete Count Committee and Director of Health

Rhode Island-based nonprofit organizations, municipal governments, public agencies like libraries or schools, houses of worship and community-based groups are eligible to apply for Census 2020 Outreach Grants of between $1,000 and $25,000. The grants are intended to support one-time or periodic activities to raise awareness about the Census. Grants must focus on a specific demographic community or geographic area in Rhode Island at risk of undercounting.

“One of the most important tasks of the Complete Count Committee is to develop an outreach program and motivate community members to respond,"

- James Diossa, co-chair of the Complete Count Committee and mayor of Central Falls
RI census logo

We’re grateful to the funding partners who have stepped up to assist with this effort and to the many local groups who will do the on-the-ground organizing around Census 2020. Donors to the fund include local philanthropist Bhikhaji Maneckji, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, the Nellie Mae Foundation, the Service Employees International Union 1199 New England, the Rhode Island Foundation, and United Way of Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Foundation administers the initiative working in partnership with the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee, created in late 2018 by executive order of Gov. Gina Raimondo.

An information session for interested applicants is scheduled for Thursday., November 7, 5:30-7 p.m. at the Nonviolence Institute, 265 Oxford St., Providence. Application deadlines are Monday, November 25, 2019, and Friday, January 31, 2020.