Greater Cleveland coalition announces $47,000 in funding in final round of 2020 census outreach microgrants

A total of $250,000 awarded to reach hard-to-count populations over four rounds

Release Date: 9.2.2020

CLEVELAND – The Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, The George Gund Foundation, Saint Luke’s Foundation and two members of the Ohio Census Advocacy Coalition (OCAC) – Cleveland VOTES and the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio – have awarded $47,000 to 16 organizations in the fourth and final round of census microgrants aimed at increasing participation in the 2020 census among hard-to-count (HTC) populations. Nearly 70 Northeast Ohio organizations shared $250,000 in grantmaking across all four rounds.

Accredited 501(c)3 organizations that are working to get an accurate census count in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties were eligible to apply for the microgrants, which ranged from $1,000 to $5,000. The complete list of the 16 awardees follows at the end of the release.

“While we wish there was more time allotted to community outreach, now that the new finish line is at the end of this month, a big final push is critical for the Greater Cleveland community,” said Marcia Egbert, The George Gund Foundation program director for thriving families and social justice. “If our residents aren’t counted by September 30, it will have negative impacts on Medicaid, Medicare, health care, Head Start and so many other vital public service programs across the region for the next decade and beyond.”

Examples of the fourth round of outreach efforts include:

  • Greater Collinwood Development Corporation will include census materials throughout its food distribution program at the Five Pointe Community Center. It serves daily prepared meals for youth and seniors for pick-up as well as monthly produce and food bag distribution. Through the organization’s Collinwood Counts – Local Business Pledge, eight local businesses agreed to assist with promoting the 2020 census, which includes putting materials in grocery bags, with take-out, delivery and at pop-up distribution events in their stores. They will also strategically place yard signs and promote on social media.
  • MidTown Cleveland, Inc. will work with MidTown businesses to encourage their employees to complete the census and offer incentives for them to do so. It will do direct tabling outreach in high-traffic areas like grocery stores to help passersby complete the census. The organization will also spread the word by purchasing ads on neighborhood kiosks and with Radio One.
  • Downtown Cleveland Residents Association will work with the management of two large apartment buildings in downtown Cleveland and ambassadors living there to promote the census through pop-up events that respect physical distancing while encouraging fellow neighbors to complete their census. To encourage participation, it will partner with local businesses to provide boxed meals and will hold a raffle for people who submit their completed census code to coordinators. The organization will also participate in a National Voting Day event at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and encourage people to fill out the census at that event.
  • Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization will hire three residents to provide in-person assistance to help others complete the census with tablets. This will be done in strategic locations, including local stores, restaurants and community events over the next month. The outreach will take place in collaboration with LAND studio.

The microgrants were part of a $300,000 grant from the New Venture Fund (at the recommendation of a national census funder collaborative) to support grassroots efforts to get an accurate and complete count in Ohio for the 2020 census, with a particular focus on HTC populations and communities. HTC populations include five primary groups: 1) immigrants/newcomers; 2) African Americans; 3) Latinx; 4) children under five and their families; and 5) students, renters and people who are transient. Ohio is one of 24 states to receive no state-level funding for efforts around the 2020 census.

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Census Microgrant Recipients

Organization                                                                                                                   Grant

Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.                                                                           $2,500

Cleveland Clergy Alliance                                                                                              $4,000

Cleveland International Hall of Fame for Cleveland People                                      $1,500

Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization                                        $2,500

Downtown Cleveland Alliance for Downtown Cleveland Residents Association     $2,000

Esperanza, Inc.                                                                                                                $4,000

Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation                                                           $5,000

Greater Collinwood Development Corporation                                                            $5,000

ideastream                                                                                                                       $1,500

Ingenuity Cleveland                                                                                                        $2,500

MidTown Cleveland, Inc.                                                                                                $3,000

Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope: NOAH                                                                      $5,000

Old Brooklyn Community Development Corporation                                                   $2,500

Policy Matters Ohio                                                                                                          $2,500

PRE4CLE                                                                                                                            $1,500

Young Leaders Program                                                                                                   $2,000

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