Apply Now for Micro-Grant Supporting Census Advocacy & Outreach!

A man speaks to a woman at her front door

Census 2020 kicks off April 1, and it’s vital that our community gets a fair and complete census count. Census data informs the amount of federal funding our community receives, and it influences and informs decision making across a variety of sectors and industries. (Learn more about why the census is important, and test your census readiness here.) Nonprofit and community partners that serve and interact with local residents play a crucial role in encouraging a complete census count. The Cleveland Foundation is pleased to invite community partners to submit a proposal for grant support for census advocacy and outreach efforts in Cuyahoga, Lake, and Geauga Counties. Read on to learn how to apply for a grant, or download the RFP here


The Cleveland Foundation is partnering with The George Gund Foundation, Children’s Defense Fund – Ohio, Cleveland VOTES, The Cleveland Complete Count Committee, The Cuyahoga County Complete Count Committee, and The Ohio Census Advocacy Coalition to offer micro-grant funding to support local, community-based organizations that advance the work of the 2020 census with populations identified to be at risk of an undercount in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties.

Grant Opportunity

The Cleveland Foundation is distributing grant funding to support local, community-based organizations in getting out the census count in Northeast Ohio. The objective is to ensure a fair and complete count of all Ohioans, especially among individuals in Northeast Ohio from traditionally hard-to-count (HTC) communities. The HTC communities that the collaboration is focusing on are:

  • Families with children under five
  • Immigrants and refugees
  • Latinx
  • College students
  • Transient populations such as renters and currently homeless individuals and families

The consortium of partners is also looking to support projects in neighborhoods, census tracts, and communities with very low completion rates.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible applicants must:

  1. Operate in the City of Cleveland and/or Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga County
  2. Agree to let the Cleveland Foundation and The George Gund Foundation share their application with other local foundations for the purposes of fundraising for census efforts
  3. Fall into one of the below categories:
      • An incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization
      • An individual artist, arts or cultural organization
      • A faith-based institution
      • A school or educational institution
      • A municipality in Cuyahoga, Lake or Geauga County

Grantee Selection Criteria

Organizations should propose a scope of work that aims to achieve the objectives outlined above around a fair and complete census count. Applications that identify a HTC population and have creative and practical solutions, and apply the below guidelines will have the best chances of being funded. Funds are limited and awards will be spread out among organizations that serve varying HTC populations.

  1. Community Engagement
      • Identify and engage a base of HTC individuals on census advocacy.
      • Create personalized messaging for HTC population – A personalized message means addressing the specific concerns and misinformation around the census and helping people understand how the census affects their lived experience/daily life.
      • Include trusted voices in your strategy – trusted voices are the people in a place that have relationships and influence. If the trusted voice asks someone to do something, they’ll consider doing it due the person’s or organization’s credibility.
      • Provide or utilize trusted spaces – trusted spaces are places where people feel welcomed, safe and comfortable making them more receptive to new information.
  1. Implementation
      • Participate in local meetings led by regional co-leads.
      • Report on progress to local and regional partners, including writing a brief report at the end of grant period about your activities and impact.

Application Process

  • The proposal should be completed through a Google Form, which can be found in the link below, by Monday, February, 17 2020 at 5:00 p.m. EST:


Haga clic aquí para llenar el formulario en español

  • Proposals will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Cleveland Foundation staff, George Gund Foundation staff, and Cleveland VOTES staff.
  • Award letters will be emailed between 2/24/2020- 2/29/2020
  • Grant awards will be mailed between 3/2/2020- 3/7/2020

1 Comment

  1. Dr. Rhonda Turpin

    This will take a lot of collaboration and is a very important initiative. Thank you Mr. Beckford and Mr. Galeano for taking the time to meet with our community on the 30th of January and answering all questions. Cleveland Foundation is always at the forefront of the nation’s issues.

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