AUGUSTA — The Maine Census Outreach Fund 2020 (MCOF 2020) has awarded grants to 14 nonprofits with grants to support the participation of hard-to-count communities in the upcoming 2020 Census. Grants for statewide and community-based efforts were awarded through an open request for proposal process for statewide and community-based efforts and ranged from $5000 to $15,000. Grant-funded activities will include outreach through community events, adult education programs, phone banks, and some organizations will offer on-site computer labs for completing Census forms.

Historically, a number of communities have been undercounted in Maine, including tribal nations, children under age 5, people in rural communities, people of color, and people experiencing homelessness, among others. The 2020 Census will also be the first time that a digital option is the first option for response, adding new challenges for counting those who lack digital literacy and internet access.

Every 10 years, the US Constitution requires that all residents, including non-citizens and undocumented immigrants, be counted through a nationwide census.

“Collecting accurate census data is an essential part in determining a fair allocation of federal funds and political representation at the federal, state, and local levels,” said Morgan Hynd, Director of The Bingham Program which has facilitated the MCOF 2020 effort. “It is critical that we have an accurate count in Maine to ensure accurate demographic data about our state and to ensure that our tax dollars are returned to the state to fund important programs that impact all of us. For every child that is not counted, Maine could potentially lose $16,400 in federal funding over a ten year period.”

The MCOF 2020 is a collaborative funding effort supported by the Maine Philanthropy Center that pooled $170,000 from nine different philanthropies that make grants in Maine. This is the first time that Maine philanthropies have worked together to support Census work, which help to inform future Census outreach efforts in 2030 and beyond.

Funded Organizations are: Gateway Community Services Maine, Kate Fahey, [email protected], (207) 457-5714 x1008; Hand in Hand Mano en Mano, Ian Yaffe, [email protected], (207) 200-2523; League of Women Voters of Maine – Education Fund, Anna Kellar, [email protected], (207) 252-9248; Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta, Virginia Marriner, [email protected], (207) 626-3440; Maine Access Immigrant Network (MAIN), Mohamud Barre, [email protected], 207-552-1800; Maine Adult Education Association, Shirley Wright, [email protected], (207) 564-3630; Maine Children’s Alliance, Stephanie Eglinton, [email protected], (207) 623-1868 x206; Maine Equal Justice, Kate Brennan, [email protected], 207-626-7058 x204; Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, Mufalo Chitam, [email protected], (207) 517-3404; Preble Street, Dan D’Ippolito , [email protected] , (207) 775-0026 x1131; Rural Community Action Ministry, Janice Daku, [email protected], (207) 524-1041; Sunrise County Economic Council, Jennifer Peters, [email protected], (207) 255-0983; Tri-County Mental Health Services, Jamie Owens, [email protected], (207) 344-1858; YWCA Central Maine, Amanda Hatch, [email protected], (207) 795-4050 x23.


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