Census Efforts in Illinois and Other States

There has been a huge increase in the investments states are making into getting an accurate census count. States are worried that not enough funds were invested in the Census Bureau during the planning stages. Additionally, changes such as the census being online and the potential citizenship question have raised concerns. California has invested in census outreach the earliest and with the most funds.

Projected State Investments in the Census

In addition to the $100.3M already approved, California is proposing to spend another $54M on its census outreach. While some states have set aside funds for census outreach, most are in the planning phase and have yet to publicize their strategies. For example, New York State will devote $20 Million towards its efforts, but as of June 21, 2019 has not developed a issued a request for proposal.

The chart below is from a Roll Call article posted on May 9, 2019. (Illinois' total is a combination of the two pending bills at the time of publishing that were reconciled into a final amount. Other state totals may reflect a similar circumstance, and could be overprojected.)

States to spend big on census prep

Anticipating a drop in federal funding, states have proposed and enacted millions of dollars to prepare for the 2020 census.




New York



New Jersey





New Mexico

North Carolina

North Dakota








$100.3 M




















This is excerpted from California's Regional Administrative Community-Based Organization Outreach Request for Proposal, which was issued on December 14, 2018. California has now invested over $100M, and has another $54M in the Governor Newsom's proposed budget.

In support of a complete count, the California Legislature has appropriated $90.3 million to fund activities related to the 2020 Census. The California Complete Count-Census 2020 (CCC) Office, which is spearheading California's census outreach strategy, is making $30 million available to participating ACBOs, which are large community-based organizations (CBOs) with the administrative capacity and experience to conduct robust outreach throughout an entire region. California's communication and outreach strategy for the 2020 Census will focus on both geographic areas and demographic populations who are "least likely to respond". These areas and populations are commonly referred to as "hard-to-count (HTC)" areas.

The CCC Office will be funding two separate RFPs, for an estimated combined total of $27 million to be invested in community-based outreach efforts.

  • $22,950,000 available for award across 10 distinct geographic regions. Each of the 10 regions has been allocated a specific dollar investment based on data/location of HTC populations.
  • $4,050,000 for outreach to be conducted on a statewide level to multiple qualifying ACBOs that will focus outreach efforts on populations that the State has identified as HTC/least likely to respond.
  • Depending on shifts in the State's goals or objectives, funding available in the resulting contract may increase each year.

Funded Census Efforts in Illinois

Approximately $3.1M of public and private funds has been granted to nonprofit organization to conduct census outreach activities to increase the self-response rates in Illinois. This has been done through two main efforts by the Illinois Secretary of State, and Forefront's IL Count Me In 2020 Funders' Collaborative. This chart does not reflect private foundation funding that may have been granted directly to these or other nonprofit organizations in Illinois.

Forefront was interested in funding collaborative efforts focused on increasing the self-response rates of hard to count communities throughout the state. Funded organizations were ones who had experience in community outreach and mobilization, deep relationships in their communities, an overall vision of connecting census work to creating a stronger democracy, and a strong organizational capacity. AS a part of its awarding process, Forefront also wanted to ensure that the funds were distributed equitably across geographic regions, as well as across the various hard to count populations. It used IDHS's 5 regions, adding a sixth region by separating Chicago from the rest of Cook County.

Organizations Forefront SOS
Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago 40,000
Arab American Family Services Yes  109,227
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago Yes
Brighton Park Neighborhood Council Yes
CHANGE Illinois Yes
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Yes
Chicago Urban League Yes 189,743
City of Aurora 87,575
City of North Chicago 71,410
City of Quincy 74,000
Claretian Associates Yes
Common Cause Education Fund Yes
Communities United Yes
Enlace Chicago Yes
Erie Neighborhood House 100,000
Faith Coalition for the Common Good, Inc Yes
First Ladies Health Alliance NFP Yes
Gail Borden Public Library Foundation Yes 148,490
Greater Chicago Food Depository 55,376
Howard Brown Health Yes
Illinois Action for Children Yes
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Yes
Illinois Migrant Council Yes
Illinois Partners for Human Service Yes
Latino Policy Forum Yes
Latinos Progresando 30,000
Literacy Works 15,000
Logan Square Neighborhood Association Yes
Mano a Mano Family Resource Center Yes
Metropolitan Mayors Caucus 71,497
Mujeres Latinas en Accion 34,204
Muslim Civic Coalition Yes 92,362
NAACP--Carbondale Branch 139,760
ONE Northside Yes
PASO West Suburban Action Project Yes
Sinai Health System Yes
Southern Illinois Community Foundation Yes
Southwest Organizing Project Yes
Spanish Community Center Yes 98,995
St. Agatha Catholic Parish Yes
The Resurrection Project Yes 44,880
United Congregations of Metro-East Yes
United Way of the Fox Valley Yes
Waukegan Public Library Foundation Yes
Westside Health Authority Yes
Workers Center for Racial Justice Nfp Yes
World Relief Yes
Xilin Association 93,420
YBLC Inc. Yes
Young Men's Christian Association of the University of Illinois Yes
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Yes
Grand Total $ 1,600,000 $ 1,495,939

*Does not reflect private foundation funding that may have been granted directly to these or other nonprofit organizations in Illinois.