As 2020 begins, the fast-approaching decennial 2020 United States Census looms large. To increase awareness and understanding of the importance of the census to Connecticut, to explain precisely how it will work, and to seek the assistance of organizations in communities statewide, the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy and Connecticut Data Collaborative will be co-sponsoring a series of workshops for nonprofit organizations throughout January.
Officials point out that Connecticut receives $10.7 billion in federal funding for everything from roads, schools, public works, and vital assistance programs. For every person in Connecticut not counted, we lose an estimated $2,900 to other states. Congressional representation and critical data used for decision-making, such as where nonprofit programs and services should be located, are among reasons getting the census count right is critical to Connecticut’s future. The 2020 Census begins in March.
To ensure an accurate count, representatives of nonprofit organizations throughout Connecticut are being urged to attend the Count Me in 2020 Workshop Series to learn how organizations and individuals can “help every person you serve or work with be counted within your current programs, services and operations.” Workshops will be held in Middletown, Norwalk, Waterbury, New Haven and Hartford.
The workshops are free, led by U.S. Census Bureau staff, and open to all nonprofits. The Connecticut Data Collaborative (CTData) is a statewide public-private partnership that advocates for the public availability of open and accessible data, serving nonprofits, advocates, policymakers, community groups, and funders. The Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance is the statewide association for community nonprofits representing hundreds of nonprofit organizations across all categories, from health and human service programs to arts and culture groups, foundations and others. The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy is a statewide association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good. Connecticut’s nonprofits and philanthropic organizations have a special role to play in the 2020 Census. Because many community members trust their local nonprofit staff more than they trust government officials who come to their doors, nonprofits are critical to encouraging participation in the census.
Workshop Series Schedule (click the links below to register):
- Friday, January 10 – Middletown, 2:30-3:30 pm, MARC Community Resources, 124 Washington Street.
- Tuesday, January 14 – Norwalk, 2:00-3:00 pm, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, 40 Richards Avenue.
- Thursday, January 16 – Waterbury, 9:30-10:30 am, CT Counseling Centers, 50 Brookside Road (presented by the CT Community Foundation).
- Wednesday, January 22 – New Haven, 2:00-3:00 pm, 70 Audubon Street.
- Wednesday, January 29 – Hartford, 1:00-2:00 pm, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, 10 Columbus Avenue.
Workshop partners include the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Connecticut Community Foundation, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, MARC Community Resources Ltd., Connecticut Counseling Centers, Inc., and Connecticut Association for Community Action.
“Ensuring all communities are prepared and have the information to reach all residents is critical. In addition to the Census Bureau, we are a resource for residents to understand and get up-to-date information about Census 2020,” said Michelle Riordan-Nold, Executive Director, CTData.
The Connecticut Data Collaborative has been designated as the lead organization for the State of Connecticut in the U.S. Census Bureau’s State Data Center Program and as Connecticut’s official source for census data related to the 2020 Census.
“Connecticut’s nonprofits have a special role to play in Census 2020. Community nonprofits are trusted voices in the communities they serve and have the relationships needed to reach people in every neighborhood and region of our state,” said Gian-Carl Casa, President and CEO of The Alliance.
“The philanthropic community of Connecticut understands how important an accurate Census 2020 count is to the state. I’m delighted that grantmakers, especially the state’s community foundations, are stepping in to provide leadership, training, and financial support to ensure that every person in Connecticut is counted,” said Karla Fortunato, President, Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.
Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a population count of everyone in the United States. Data from the census provide the basis for distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to communities across the country to support vital programs – impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy. The data is also used to redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts and accurately determine the number of congressional seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In March 2020, every address in Connecticut and throughout the nation will receive an invitation to complete a simple questionnaire. There are three ways to respond: online, by phone, or by mail. For those who don’t respond, a census taker from the local community will follow up and offer to provide assistance. Every effort will be made to have every individual respond to the census.
Connecticut has formed a statewide Complete Count Committee to coordinate state efforts for the 2020 Census, and more than 100 municipalities have formed local committees.
Strict federal law protects census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private. No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use personal information at any time. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes.