Census Funder Collaborative

Congratulations, New Mexico: We had the most accurate 2020 Census count in the nation!

Even a one percent undercount in New Mexico would have meant a loss of over $780 million dollars in federal grants over the next 10 years. That would mean cuts to health insurance, education, head start and child-care support, roads, housing and much more. “Bringing public, private and non-profit resources together to support hard-to-count communities efforts to count themselves was critical to preventing an undercount, and serves as an example of what can be done on other statewide issues.” Allan Oliver, Co-Chair of the Census Funder Collaborative and Groundworks New Mexico's Treasurer as quoted in the Los Alamos Reporter.

Census Funder Collaborative

The Census Funders Collaborative was centered around ensuring that all New Mexicans were counted in the 2020 Census.  The collaborative was committed to ensuring all “hard to count communities” in New Mexico were counted.  Groundworks New Mexico provided the backbone support for the 2020 Census Funder Collaborative and is already working with national and regional partners and stakeholders to prepare for the 2030 Census.


  • Most accurate count in the nation
  • Raised $1,223,700 and granted $881,500 in funds to support for New Mexico nonprofit and Tribal partners. These groups are focused on turning out the count for Tribal, families with young children, Hispanic, African American, Asian-American, immigrant, refugee, LGBTQIA, rural communities and other undercounted populations.
  • Helped advocate for a $11.5 million dollar state investment in Census 2020 outreach through NM State appropriations in FY 2019 and 2020 for new outreach funding for counties, tribes and paid media.   
  • Funded Latino Decisions to conduct the first ever statewide polling research of the most effective messages for encouraging participation of the hardest to count communities in New Mexico.  The research also demonstrated of trusted messengers and the best means of reaching hard to count communities.  That polling research now informs the strategy of every census effort across New Mexico. 
  • Participated in the development of an Executive Order establishing an official Statewide Complete Count Commission, Two Census Funder members serve on the Statewide Complete Count Commission, and others on various county and city complete count committees. 
  • Helped build a network of strategic organizational alliances among funders and other stakeholder groups throughout the state to help ensure a fair and accurate New Mexico 2020.
  • Funded the development of a coordinated, statewide outreach, communications and media strategy to effectively encourage participation of historically undercounted New Mexico communities, developed a Get-out-the-Count (GOTC) campaign in targeted geographies across the state to educate HTC communities about the Census.  
  • Census funder members participated in an amicus brief opposing the addition of the Citizenship Question to the US Census, which was included in the case that prevented the question from being added to the 2020 Census. 
  • Convened two statewide census gathering in August 2019 and February 2020 of over 400 multi-sector partners engaged in Census 2020 outreach.  Congresswoman Deb Haaland gave a keynote address at the first.  Message and outreach trainings were offered to participants, and the gathering enabled strong connections and coordination among key stakeholders. 
  • Funded the development of the NM COUNTS 2020 website, which provides mapping tools to allow interested parties to identify hardest to count communities in New Mexico based on demographics, poverty, and broadband access.  The website also provides national and local resources on census messaging.
  • Supporting ongoing earned and paid media support for our grantees conducting outreach to our hardest to count communities.  It is critical that trusted messengers are conveying the importance of participating in the census on the airwaves, on social media and in paid media.
  • Adapted our outreach strategies in response to Covid-19 that includes digital outreach, phone banking, broadband access and other efforts to protect outreach workers.
  • Joined 535 funders nationally in releasing a letter to the Commerce Secretary and the Census Bureau Director advocating that the census should not be cut short. 
  • Allocated $157,427 for Census Rapid Response Grants to address unexpected policy and operational challenges that could affect participation in the census especially in hard-to-count communities affected by Covid-19, including the self-response and nonresponse follow-up phases.
  • Distributed 7,000 "Get Counted" Census PPE Face Masks for Adult/Child in English and Spanish to distribute to trusted messengers in hard to count communities through our Tribal and nonprofit partners.  
  • Co-host and supported a “Census Day of Action” on Monday, September 14, 2020 with radio, broadcast, and distribution of Census Day of Action Toolkits with MediaDesk and other partners. 


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