Southeast Michigan Counts


Frequently Asked Questions

We will update this page with new questions as we receive them.

To submit a question that you do not see, please email labma@cfsem.org

Questions about Southeast Michigan Counts Grants

 

  • How long is the grant period?

The actual Census count will begin in March 2020 and conclude at the end of July 2020. To allow for projects to launch and for important early awareness and education campaigns, Southeast Michigan Counts grants will last from approximately July 2019 until July 2020. Call the Community Foundation with any questions at 313.961.6675.

 

  • Can grant funds be used to purchase tablets or other technology?

Organizations can request funds to purchase technology to increase census participation for undercounted populations. Make it clear in your proposal narrative how that technology ties into your overall project goal of increasing census participation of undercounted populations.

 

  • What kind of reporting is required for granted programs?

Grantees will be part of a statewide effort of nonprofits working toward a fair and accurate Census. Grantees will be required to report periodically on actions specific to their projects for statewide tracking.

 

  • My organization isn’t a nonprofit. Can we still apply?

The grant program is primarily for nonprofits, but some other organizations (including governmental entities) will be considered. You may need to partner with a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor is a non-profit organization offering its legal and tax-exempt status to projects engaged in activities related to the sponsoring organization’s mission. It typically involves a fee-based contractual arrangement. Call the Community Foundation with any questions at 313.961.6675.

 

  • My nonprofit organization does not have a financial audit, financial review or IRS Form 990. Are we eligible for the grant program?

If your organization is successful at serving populations at risk of being undercounted, you may seek to get an audit or review, or you may consider partnering with a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor is a non-profit organization offering its legal and tax-exempt status to projects engaged in activities related to the sponsoring organization’s mission. It typically involves a fee-based contractual arrangement. Call the Community Foundation with any questions at 313.961.6675

 

  • What do you mean by “undercounted populations?”

Undercounted populations are groups of people who haven’t been accurately counted in the past. Undercounts happen for many reasons. People may not understand the census, may not trust the government, or may not want to share their information. For the purposes of the Southeast Michigan Counts grant program, undercounted populations include communities such as people of color, documented and undocumented immigrants, young children and people experiencing homelessness. Because the 2020 Census will be primarily conducted online, seniors and communities with limited internet access are also at risk of being undercounted.

 

  • My organization supports historically undercounted populations in multiple areas. Can we apply for a multi-site project?

Yes. If you are working in multiple areas, we encourage you to connect with any other local census projects that cover those geographies. You can find a growing list of those organizations here.

 

  • Are there any resources that have best-practices for encouraging census participation?

There have been many national studies about messaging, trusted messengers and census strategies to build understanding of and participation for the 2020 census. You can find some by visiting the Be Counted MI 2020 Campaign or Nonprofits Count Resources.

 

  • How much help can my organization provide to people when they fill out the census?

Organizations can assist people in understanding what the census is and what it is used for, accessing the online form, navigating the census website, understanding what to expect on the form. Your organization may devise other strategies to promote census participation in undercounted populations. The U.S. Census Bureau highly discourages individuals from filling out another household’s census form. If the members of a household have challenges completing the form online or on paper, they will be able to fill out the census over the phone. When that phone number is made available, we will update this page to include it.

 

  • Are there resources for organizations outside of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties?

The Southeast Michigan Counts grant program is only available for organizations serving undercounted populations in the tri-county area. Anyone can access information, webinars and other resources related to the 2020 census by visiting the Census 2020 Michigan Nonprofits Count Campaign or the U.S. Census Bureau.

Questions about Census 2020

 

  • What will happen during the 2020 Census?

Most households will receive a mailing in February or March 2020 with instructions for online self-response. The mailing will also let you know the different options for completing the census such as filling out the form online, calling the Census Bureau to complete the form via phone or requesting a paper form in the mail. If you do not respond through any of those channels, the U.S. Census Bureau will send several reminder mailings. The census count will end in July 2020.

 

  • Is the 2020 census only available online?

No. Paper copies of the census form will be available. The census can also be completed by phone. However, to save cost and improve accuracy, the U.S. Census Bureau will strongly encourage households to fill the census out online.

 

  • How will people receive the 2020 census?

Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail or by phone. Nearly every household will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census in the mail, starting in March 2020. Follow up communication from the Census bureau will eventually include a paper survey.

 

  • Does everyone in my family need to fill out the Census?

The Census is a household survey, based on address. One person should fill out the Census on behalf of everyone who lives at that address on April 1, 2020, including all adults and all children, even if they are only temporarily staying there. Children under 5 are the largest undercounted population, so including them is critical for an accurate count.

 

  • If you skip questions, will your census still count?

The Census Bureau encourages everyone to fill out the entire Census.

 

  • Is the Census Bureau hiring? How can I apply?

The federal government hires many people to help with the Census. Applications are taken online at https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.

 

  • How will people in shelters or group homes be counted?

There are special efforts underway by the Census Bureau to count the homeless and people living in group quarters such as nursing homes, student dormitories, and prisons. You can learn more about where different populations should be counted here.

 

  • Once the census count begins in the spring of 2020, will there be a way to find out who has not yet completed their census form so that we can target our efforts?

The U.S. Census Bureau may provide updates of response rates by census tracts, but there is no way to know which households have submitted a response

 

  • Are there any resources that have best-practices for encouraging census participation?

There have been many national studies about messaging, trusted messengers and census strategies to build understanding of and participation for the 2020 census. You can find some by visiting the Be Counted MI 2020 Campaign or Nonprofits Count Resources.