A severe undercount in the 2020 Census would dramatically reduce the amount of federal funding New York receives for a range of critical programs delivered by nonprofits, jeopardizing the very existence of these organizations, causing them to cut staff, end programs, and cripple their ability to connect with underserved communities.
In New York City alone, $20 billion a year is on the line.
A Community Resource Exchange survey found that nonprofits fear they’ll be forced to reassess how to effectively meet needs if they have to scale back, particularly because they already operate on budgets stretched thin due to years of government underfunding.
We’re at serious risk of a 2020 undercount due to the late start in funding outreach efforts, proposed citizenship question, and apprehension around online submissions.
This would build on the decade of under-investment we saw because of the last Census undercount.
Nonprofits are dedicated to the city’s most critical issues, like homelessness, hunger, health, and criminal justice reform.
Further, their long-term presence in many neighborhoods serves as a valuable, trusted conduit to achieving an accurate count, as illustrated by a Quinnipiac poll noting that New Yorkers would be more likely to participate when contacted by a local nonprofit.
While the $20 million recently allocated in the state budget for Census outreach and education is a start, it is insufficient to cover the cost required to do appropriate outreach. Many groups will need more support to ensure outreach is successful over the next year.
By investing more fully in the nonprofit sector, New Yorkers everywhere will be better off and our city — and state — will be a stronger place in which to work, live, and thrive.
President & CEO
Community Resource Exchange