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State and local funding for Census outreach starting to roll out

The Census starts one year from this month! And as you know, nonprofits will be crucial in making sure that all Californians are counted in next year’s Census — to ensure our fair share of federal funding and of members of the House of Representatives. Many California foundations have already started funding nonprofits, and now government funding is becoming available.

While funding levels remain uncertain at the federal level, California has stepped up to ensure adequate funding for a full count. Thanks to nonprofit advocacy led by Census Policy Advocacy Network (of which CalNonprofits is a member), California has allocated $90 million to ensure that all Californians are counted in the upcoming Census, of which about $30 million is going to nonprofit outreach. 

Here’s a summary of ways to connect in your community:

Contact the designated ACBO in your region

The State grouped California’s 58 counties into 10 regions and has designated a funding amount for each region based on their hard-to-count populations.  In a competitive process, the state selected one nonprofit in each region, called ACBOs (administrative community-based organizations). ACBOs will give out grants to local nonprofits to carry out Census outreach and coordinate efforts as well. This link shows the ten regions, the ACBO in each one, and how to contact them.

In addition to the regional structure, the state also chose 13 community-based organizations to focus their statewide outreach and grantmaking on specific demographic groups that are considered particularly hard to count. 

Local government connections

Many local governments, such as cities and counties, will receive outreach funds from the state, and it is up to each jurisdiction to decide how to use those funds. In addition, many counties and cities are allocating their own funds for Census outreach. They know that the wellbeing of their communities depends on a full count, and increasingly they know that nonprofits are well-positioned to reach hard-to-count people.

If you already work with your County Office of Education, the state is also partnering with 30 of the 58 county offices to reach Title I schools and Title III students and their parents, and grants to nonprofits may be available there as well. 

Some local governments have formed Complete Count Committees. Check with your ACBO or a local elected official to get connected to yours and to be sure that nonprofits are involved. If your community doesn’t yet have a Complete Count Committee, help get one started. If you’re wondering what a Complete Committee looks like and how it can involve nonprofits, here’s one example in Los Angeles: Los Angeles Regional Census Table

For more information…

The California Census Office has a great deal of info, including funding opportunities, maps, and timelines.

To keep up to date on California nonprofit Census efforts and to be among the first to get the California Nonprofit Census Toolkit, be sure you are signed up to our email list.

P.S. Don’t forget: every person counted in the Census — whether a U.S. citizen or not and with or without a permanent address — brings more than $2,500 in federal money into their community, much of it to nonprofits to serve local needs.



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Contact info: Christina Dragonetti (


870 Market Street Suite 985

San Francisco, CA 94102

California Association of Nonprofits 870 Market Street, Suite 985, San Francisco, California 94102, United States

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