New York Community Trust
Program: Special Initiatives
Area of Work: Civic
Grant Purpose: New York State Census Equity Fund
The New York State Census Equity Fund (NYSCEF) is a multi-funder collaborative established in The New York Community Trust in collaboration with upstate partners to ensure coverage of the State’s hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census. Historically, some populations — including communities of color, low-income households, immigrants, rural households, and families with young children — have been undercounted in the census.
The New York State Census Equity Fund makes grants to community organizations to reach underrepresented populations.
Purpose: To support the New York State Census Equity Fund.
Every ten years, the federal government conducts a nationwide census that federal and state governments use to allocate money to hospitals, school districts, affordable housing, social services and many other vital programs. Data from the census is also used to determine electoral districts and the number of Congressional seats; states that are undercounted lose their voice in national policy. New York State had one of the lowest response rates in the country during the 2010 Census. The State’s residents already suffer from the impact of undercounts. The Rockefeller Institute of Government found that New York residents pay $35.6 billion more to the federal government than they receive back in federal funding—a negative balance of payment greater than that of any state. With an undercount in 2020, that balance will likely grow even larger, having a potentially devastating impact on communities throughout the State.
The New York State Census Equity Fund has supported more than 60 organizations across the state to reach hard-to-count communities in the 2020 Census. Grantees in New York City have included the Asian American Federation, The Center for Community and Ethnic Media at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, the New York Immigration Coalition, the Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services, the Center for Independence of the Disabled, the Yemeni American Merchants Association, United Community Centers, and Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. Grantees in other parts of the State have included Western New York’s Rural Outreach Center and Refugees Helping Refugees, the Central Region’s Elder Life and Catholic Charities Tomkins/Tioga, the Hudson Valley’s Mid-Hudson and Westchester library systems, and Long Island’s Child Care Council of Suffolk, the LGBT Network, Haitian American Family, Inc., Stony Brook University’s School of Social Welfare. In addition, the Census Equity Fund has supported cross-regional organizations including the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the Rural & Migrant Ministry.