How the Census Impacts Local Nonprofits Like Wellspring


By Wellspring Staff

2020 is a Census year, and if you haven't already completed the U.S. Census, you should consider doing so. It's not just for federal records — the Census has a very real and tangible impact on state, county, and local programs, including nonprofits, that could benefit you and your family. Learn how completing the Census can positively impact your community and how you can get involved.

Why does the Census matter?  

America's Founding Fathers decided political power should be distributed based on population rather than land or wealth. As such, the Census is used to account for the entire country's population and where each person lives.

The $675 billion in federal funds and grants used annually to support state, county, and local communities are divided up based on population totals as well as additional factors, such as age, race, and sex. Responding to the Census helps to ensure your community gets an appropriate portion of the funds to spend on schools, roads, public works, hospitals, and other necessary programs, including public safety and emergency preparedness.

The Census impact on local nonprofit organizations  

In addition to being important for ensuring your community receives its fair share of the annual funds, completing the Census is also important for local nonprofits — everyone counted in your community has an impact on the next 10 years of allocation of public services and infrastructure, including, according to Nonprofit Vote:

  • Political representation. The Census is used to draw congressional and state legislative districts and determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Public services and infrastructure. Both businesses and the government use the Census results to locate retail, transit, and school outlets.
  • Federal funding. As mentioned before, the results tabulated from the Census determines the distribution of federal funding that supports local education, healthcare, and social services, including nonprofit organizations.

How can you get involved?  

Nonprofit organizations can contact their local municipal offices to ask how to help ensure the most accurate Census count in their community. Here are three opportunities to get involved with the 2020 Census.

1. Complete the Census by October 31st, if you haven't already.

The easiest way to make a difference with the 2020 Census is to complete and submit your response. This year, it's easier than ever to do. For the first time, people can respond to the Census by mail, by phone, or online.

2. Talk to family and friends about completing the Census.

Because the Census only comes around once every 10 years, people are often wary about responding to it. Completing the Census is safe, confidential, easy, and most of all, important.

3. Share content from NJ Census 2020 on social media to spread the word even further.

New Jersey is currently ranked 20th in the nation for Census response rates, and Middlesex County is ranked eighth out of our state's 21 counties. This is good, but we know we can do better. Help spread the word about responding to the Census by sharing content from NJ Census 2020 on social media and encourage others to do the same. You can also visit the NJ Census Outreach website to find out more about how you can help ensure every New Jerseyan's voice is heard.

Answering a few simple questions ensures that you and everyone in your household are accounted for when our government leaders are making plans for the years ahead, and could have a direct impact on how New Jersey's $45 billion in federal funding is used, such as allocating funds to programs like Wellspring's that benefit the local community. Complete the Census today!

Image credit: raheemsphoto / Unsplash

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