St. Louis Community Foundation Holds 2020 Census Pooled Fund Opportunity for Grantmakers

The St. Louis Community Foundation, a member of the St. Louis 2020 Census Funders Working Group, has established a pooled fund to support coordinated efforts to obtain a complete and accurate count in the 2020 Census. A competitive request for proposals (RFP) will be issued in September 2019, and award grants are expected to be made to nonprofits working with hard-to-count populations in November 2019.

The St. Louis Census Funders Working Group led by Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) includes: Clark-Fox Family Foundation, Deaconess Foundation, Gateway Center for Giving, Incarnate Word Foundation, Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, Marillac Mission Fund (formerly Daughters of Charity Foundation of St. Louis), St. Louis Community Foundation, St. Louis Senior Fund, and United Way of Greater St. Louis.

This will be the first time the Census Bureau will use the internet as a primary response method. This transition may create barriers for already hard-to-count populations, including both rural and low-income communities that do not have access to broadband or internet services. Moreover, federal funding for Census Bureau activities is lower than in the past with fewer census workers planned to help “Get Out the Count.”  With these constraints, it is even more critical to support local efforts to ensure all residents are counted.

“Achieving a complete and accurate count is of critical importance to our region and a priority of the St. Louis Community Foundation,” said Elizabeth George, Director of Community Investment, at the St. Louis Community Foundation. “The pooled fund is designed to increase participation in all eight Missouri counties in the St. Louis region, both rural and urban.  We encourage all interested parties to learn more about the Census and consider how you can help “Get Out the Count.”


The census provides an official count of the United States’ population and information about important demographic changes over a 10-year period. This data is used to ensure states are being fairly represented, both in the allotment of federal dollars and the number of congressional districts. The federal funds driven by the census go toward numerous programs, including many aimed at helping underserved communities.

These federal funds make up large portions of state budgets, with the majority of the dollars going toward programs such as Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Highway Planning and Construction Program. The census is also used to guide decision making by federal, state, and local governments, philanthropy, and businesses in determining where resources should be directed and how efforts should be evaluated.

Individual donors and funding organizations interested in contributing to the pooled fund and participating in the grantee selection process, please contact Elizabeth George at the St. Louis Community Foundation or  Alexandra Rankin at Missouri Foundation for Health.

For more information about the 2020 Census and its impact on the region, click here.