Metro KC Census Equity Fund awards outreach grants totaling $229,000

Fund continues to accept applications focused on hard-to-count groups.

Kansas City, MO — The Metro Kansas City Census Equity Fund, an initiative organized by a coalition of private and public foundations to increase participation in the 2020 Census, has awarded grants totaling nearly $229,000 to 23 nonprofit organizations to mobilize hard to count and other vulnerable populations in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The funded projects include census education and outreach to senior adults, parents of preschool age and K-12 children, youth and adults that are homeless, non-English language speakers, refugees, and other population groups. The Census Equity Fund proposals included faith-based organizations, public libraries, housing groups, an early childhood education coalition, and other nonprofit groups that have a connection to populations that are at risk of being undercounted.

“It has been exciting to see philanthropy come together to support plans for a complete count in our region,” said Denise St. Omer, Vice President of Grantmaking and Inclusion Initiatives at the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, which is managing the fund. “The concept for the Census Equity Fund emerged out of a desire to see all segments of our region fully represented in the allocation of public resources and future government decision-making.”

The fund was launched in August 2019 to engage trusted leaders and organizations working with historically undercounted populations and/or neighborhoods. Organizations selected for funding include:

  • Bethel Neighborhood Center – Wyandotte County
  • Budget and Financial Management Assistance – Jackson County
  • Community Services League – Jackson County
  • Connecting for Good – Jackson County
  • East Central KS Economic Development Corporation – Johnson County
  • El Centro – Wyandotte County
  • Guadalupe Centers – Jackson County
  • Jewish Vocational Service – Jackson County
  • Kansas City Indian Center – Jackson County
  • Kansas City Public Library District – Jackson County
  • Kansas City Kansas Public Schools – Wyandotte County
  • Kansas City Public Television – Metro-wide focus
  • KKFI 90.1 FM Community Radio – Metro-wide focus
  • Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries – Jackson County
  • Missouri Jobs with Justice – Jackson County
  • MORE2/Wyandotte County Count Me In Coalition – Wyandotte County
  • NourishKC – Jackson County
  • Safehome – Jackson County
  • Shepherd’s Center of Kansas City Central – Jackson County
  • Shepherd’s Center of Kansas City, Kansas – Wyandotte County
  • United Community Services – Johnson County
  • Westside Housing Organization – Jackson County
  • YMCA New American Welcoming Center – Clay County

“An accurate census is fundamental to an equitable allocation of resources. The 2020 Census will determine how communities are represented in Congress and statehouses, and how funds for vital programs are distributed,” said Qiana Thomason, Health Forward Foundation president/CEO. “To ensure everyone is counted, we need to make it safe and simple to participate.”

Fund applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed through May 2020 based on availability of funds. Grants range between $5,000 – $10,000; larger proposals will be considered from multi-organization collaborations.

Information on the online application process and funding criteria can be found here.