PRESS RELEASE: Unprecedented Philanthropic Partnership Invests in 2020 Census Outreach Efforts in Washington State

PRESS RELEASE: Unprecedented Philanthropic Partnership Invests in 2020 Census Outreach Efforts in Washington State



Media Contact: Karen Westing, Marketing & Communications Director, 

With only a few months until Census Day, philanthropic partners in the Washington Census Equity Fund, managed by Philanthropy Northwest, announced $700,000 in grants to 55 community-based organizations throughout Washington state serving historically undercounted communities. This is the fund’s second, and final, round of grantmaking.   

Census data directly affects how federal funding is allocated to communities for schools, jobs, roads and hospitals. Washington received a total of $16.7 billion from 55 federal spending programs in 2016. Each person counted leads to significant resources to support critical programs and services.  

“We are hopeful about Washington’s readiness but we know that we must continue to engage, partner and build trusting relationships with our communities,” said Kiran Ahuja, Philanthropy Northwest CEO. “Partnering in the Washington Census Equity Fund has been an incredible learning journey. Organizations are thinking holistically and building in feedback loops so that they are responsive to community needs and capacity in real time.” 

Throughout Washington, community-based organizations are organizing and coordinating outreach efforts to ensure hard-to-count communities are included in the 2020 Census. Philanthropic partners are pooling resources in support of census outreach and education, including $1.5 million through the Washington Census Equity Fund, and advocating for local counties and municipalities to commit funding and resources.  

“Washington’s philanthropic community has been a vital partner in state efforts around the census,” said Marc Baldwin, the director of census efforts for the state Office of Financial Management. “Today’s announcement is another huge step forward in our joint efforts to support a full and accurate census count in 2020. Collaborative efforts among the state, philanthropic and non-profit sectors actually started years ago, and we have managed to gather and disburse impressive resources to communities across the state. We are confident that all our efforts have positioned Washington well to ensure a complete count in 2020.”  

Challenges to a robust and accurate 2020 Census count include limited federal funding for outreach, a new online format and lack of internet access. Partners in the Census Equity Fund have prioritized funding to community-based organizations serving historically undercounted communities, and who have existing relationships and trust to dispel fear and reach people about the importance of participating in the census. Outreach and education efforts by community-based organizations in 36 of 39 Washington counties have received support through the Equity Fund, not including the statewide organizations that serve the entire state.  

Learn more about the Washington Census Equity Fund’s first round grantees.  

Washington Census Equity Fund’s second round grantees include: APACEvotes (Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment); Asia Pacific Cultural Center; Bellingham Public Schools Foundation; Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula; Centro Cultural Mexicano; Child Care Aware of Washington; Chinook Indian Nation (Confederated Lower Chinook Tribes and Bands); City of Renton; Clark County Latino Youth Leadership; Community Action of Skagit County; Community Health Worker Coalition for Migrants and Refugees; Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation; Council on American-Islamic Relations–Washington; Cowlitz Indian Tribe; Edmonds Community College/Latino Educational Training Institute; El Centro de la Raza; Entre Hermanos; Fair Work Center; Faith Action Network; Falis Community Service; Filipino Chamber of Commerce of the Pacific Northwest in collaboration with the Association of Filipino Engineers of Washington; First Five Years & Beyond; Hearing, Speech & Deaf Center; Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber; Horn of Africa Services; Iraqi Community Center of Washington; Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe; Kalispel Indian Community of the Kalispel Indian Reservation; Kitsap County 2020 Census Complete Count; La Casa Hogar; Lake City Collective; Lower Columbia Community Action Council Dba Lower Columbia Community Action Program; Lummi Indian Business Council; Muslim Community and Neighborhood Association; Northwest Communities Education Center; Northwest Kenyan Community Association; Para Los Niños; Peninsula Behavioral Health; Puyallup Watershed Initiative; Quinault Indian Nation; Rainbow Center; Share; Somali Bantu Community Service of Washington; Somali Family Safety Task Force; Southeast Washington Economic Development Association; Swinomish Indian Tribal Community; Tacoma Housing Development Group; Tacoma Refugee Choir; Tacoma Urban League; Taiwanese American Professionals–Seattle; Tri-Cities Censo Coalition; Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle; Villa Comunitaria; Volunteer Food & Resource Center; and Wakulima USA. 

Washington Census Equity Fund Partners include: Arcora Foundation, Ballmer Group, Bernier McCaw Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Cedarmere Foundation, Community Foundation for Southwest Washington, Empire Health Foundation, Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Innovia Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Latino Community Fund of Washington, Microsoft Philanthropies, Na'ah Illahee Fund, Northwest Area Foundation, Progress Alliance of Washington,  Renton Regional Community Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Statewide Capacity Collaborative, United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, Washington Women's Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation, Yakima Valley Community Foundation and more.  



About Philanthropy Northwest

Founded in 1976, Philanthropy Northwest is the region’s largest convener of funders and grant makers in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Philanthropy Northwest promotes, facilitates, and drives collaborative action by community investors to build resilient, equitable and inclusive communities.