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2020 Census

The Census is one of the cornerstones of our American democracy. Mandated by the United States Constitution, it is conducted every 10 years and is the largest peacetime effort of the federal government. Census data is used for a variety of purposes from allocation of billions of dollars of federal funding to political representation apportionment to enforcement of civil rights laws. When census information is not accurate, it threatens to muffle the voices of undercounted groups and regions, and undermine the basic political equality that is central to our democracy. Institutions across the country - including local and state governments, businesses, nonprofits and foundations - routinely rely on data from the census to allocate funding, define where services are delivered and promote economic development.

The Census Bureau is facing a daunting set of challenges as it prepares for the 2020 census. Since the bureau is facing budget constraints like never before, it is planning to collect the majority of Census information online, scale back door-to-door outreach, and roll back canvassing. These changes increase the potential of undercounting young children, minorities, low-income individuals and other marginalized individuals. Given the current climate, regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) and their members are needed to advocate and educate elected officials and community leaders on the importance and impact of the 2020 Census on their communities. Even without the changes being proposed for the 2020 Census, we know there were gross undercounts of vulnerable populations in California in the 2010 Census. There is much work ahead for philanthropy in ensuring a fair and accurate count. 

Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative

Request for Proposals
The Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative is excited to announce our RFP (Request for Proposals) for Census 2020 education and outreach efforts! We are hosting several information sessions throughout the region to review the RFP, eligibility, application process, selection criteria, and grant timeline. Please see the Events section below for more details and to register for an information session. 
Applications are to be submitted through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's Apply SVCF online application portal. The RFP is open through 11:59pm PDT on Friday, May 31, 2019. For any questions, please contact Cecilia Chen, Public Policy Director, at and Daniel Lau, Manager of Programs and Events, at

Northern California Grantmakers, in partnership with the East Bay Community Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and other foundations who are committed to ensuring a fair and complete count, have come together in the Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative to announce a grant program to support Census 2020 education and outreach efforts and minimize the undercount in our region. The Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative will award grants to nonprofit organizations working to engage and promote the participation of hard-to-count communities in the nine-county Bay Area (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma).

Fund Contributors

We are grateful to many individual donors who have made donations towards census outreach to ensure that there is a fair, accurate count.

East Bay Community Foundation, The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation, The Grove Foundation, Heising-Simons Foundation, Hellman Foundation, Lesher Foundation, The Libra Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers, The San Francisco Foundation, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, The Sobrato Family Foundation, Y&H Soda Foundation, Sunlight Giving, Zellerbach Family Foundation.


Tuesday, May 28, 2019 - 2:00pm

As California continues to prepare for the 2020 Census, it is easy to forget that redistricting comes immediately after. Similar to the census, redistricting will have high-stakes impact on public sector leadership, political power, and financial resources for the decade that follows.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Bay Area Census Funders Collaborative – a partnership of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the East Bay Community Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers, and numerous other funders – has been created to help ensure a fair and complete 2020 census count.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

On August 13, the Senate and Assembly Select Committee on the 2020 Census, along with the Assembly Select Committee on the Non-Profit Sector, convened for a joint informational hearing on the 2020 Census.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

I’ve recently started a yoga practice. (OK maybe it’s a bit premature to call it a “practice,” but I have been to four classes so far, and I plan to keep going.)


The United States Census is conducted every 10 years in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. It is the most expansive peacetime exercise of the federal government as it aims to count every single resident living in the entire country.

The changing demographics and political attitudes of the Central Valley - a traditionally conservative region of California - demand new strategies for community and civic engagement.

It has been a long road as California prepares for the 2020 Census—from budget delays at the federal level and persistent advocacy for adequate state funding, to the pending inclusion of an untested citizenship question.