MIAMI, Fla. — Florida Counts Census 2020, a statewide initiative established by eight 501(c)(3)nonprofit nonpartisan organizations to improve the census count in Florida, has surpassed the 2010 census count by almost one percentage point or an estimated 200,000 people.
This was achieved during a pandemic, an active hurricane season in the Gulf, and confusion about the Administrations’ actions to move up the final Census self-response deadline by a month, and associated litigation.
In addition, the group saw a significant increase in numerous counties throughout the state. Forty of Florida’s 67 counties posted equal or better self-response rates and stand out results were achieved in 23 counties where self-response rates were 2-6.9% better than in 2010.
Florida Counts Census 2020 granted more than $1.6 million to 67 trusted community-based organizations that helped support a complete and accurate census count.
In addition to the grants, they created a yearlong media relations and digital campaign to create greater awareness among the hard to count communities; reached an estimated 2 million individuals through a robust text messaging campaign in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole; published a biweekly newsletter and maintained a website with census messaging, tools and information.
“We asked donors, businesses and individuals to contribute to our regranting pool so key community nonprofits could be trained and have the resources to conduct vital outreach for the census,” said Susan Racher, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, one of the eight nonprofits spearheading this initiative.
By stepping up with their philanthropic support, Florida donors saw a 140% match of their grant funds by national and out-of-state foundations.
"The success of Florida Counts Census 2020 is a testament to the coalition of the 67 community-based organizations with which we worked and our important funders who made this possible. Success happens when we work together and we hope that the solid partnerships we developed for the 2020 Census will continue, to strengthen and leverage the collaborations between Florida’s philanthropic funders and our grassroots community-based organizations,” said Racher.
The community-based organizations that were trained by Florida Counts and that received the funds conducted outreach in approximately 40 counties in Florida.
It was estimated that following the 2010 Census Florida had the 3rd largest number of omissions and as a result, the state relinquished approximately $20 Billion in funding in the 10 years between 2010 and 2020 by not counting all of its residents.
As the third-largest and fourth fastest-growing state in the country, an accurate count is essential for Florida to receive its fair share of federal funding, which accounts for 1/3 of Florida’s total revenue.