LANSING, Mich. — A lot is at stake in Michigan in the upcoming 2020 Census, which makes ensuring a complete count of all Michigan residents an imperative. Historically, the Census has missed disproportionate numbers of racial minorities, immigrants, young children and those living in poverty (hard-to-count populations) leading to inequality in political power and government funding. To help ensure a complete count in the 2020 Census, the Michigan Nonprofit Association (MNA) is leading the 2020 Nonprofits Count Campaign to encourage members of traditionally hard-to-count populations to participate in the upcoming 2020 Census. The campaign was launched with seed funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and support from the Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF).
“The Nonprofits Counts Campaign is an ambitious collaborative and coordinated statewide effort to involve hundreds of nonprofits who, as trusted members of the communities they serve, are uniquely qualified to reach out to these at-risk populations,” said Donna Murray-Brown, President and CEO of the Michigan Nonprofit Association and Co-Chair of the 2020 Nonprofits Count Campaign Committee. “The goal is for these nonprofits to provide education on what’s at stake for the hard-to-count populations if Michigan does not get an accurate Census count. A lot is at stake for Michigan in the upcoming Census, which is why getting a complete count of all Michigan residents is essential.”
For every uncounted resident, Michigan stands to lose $1,800 per person per year of federal funding. While that may not sound like a lot, extrapolated over a 10-year period, it becomes $18,000. Multiply that by the estimated thousands of people who are at risk of being missed in the survey count, or members of hard-to-count populations that are at severe risk of an undercount, and the amount of federal funding Michigan stands to lose soars into the millions.
“Nonprofits are uniquely qualified to mobilize members of hard-to-count populations,” said Hassan Jaber, Executive Director and CEO of ACCESS, Co-Chair of the 2020 Nonprofits Count Campaign Committee, and member of the National Advisory Council for the United States Census. “They are typically located in urban and rural communities that are most at-risk of being undercounted. They develop trusting relationships with the communities they serve because they maintain everyday contact with these communities and are adept at managing cultural sensitivities and language needs within their communities.”
Statewide programs supported by federal funding that use Census data include Medicare/Medicaid; SNAP/WIC/School Lunch; Education (Title I, IDEA, Head Start); infrastructure, housing (Section 8) and critical programs for children (Child Care; S-Chip; Foster Care). In addition, Michigan stands to lose another Congressional seat and experience a reduction in the number of electoral college votes, which amounts to reduced representation at the federal level. Finally, an inaccurate Census count means the hard-to-count populations will rely more heavily on nonprofit organizations for services they typically received through federally-funded programs.
Nonprofits are keenly aware of the negative impact an undercount for the 2020 Census will have on their communities, which is why MNA and the Nonprofits Count Committee are building a statewide coalition to ensure a complete count for Census 2020, including the hard-to-count populations. For more information and to get involved, visit: www.becountedmi2020.com.
About Michigan Nonprofit Association
Incorporated in 1990, MNA is a statewide membership organization dedicated to serving the diverse nonprofit sector through advocacy, training, and resources. MNA manages multiple programs and affiliates and is a sponsoring organization for AmeriCorps VISTA. Visit us at mnaonline.org.
Joan Gustafson | Michigan Nonprofit Association
Patricia Radice | MCCI