Census 2020: What Worked, What Didn’t, and Looking Ahead

More than 100 representatives from the public, private, nonprofit, and philanthropic sectors convened early this year to reflect, share, and report on the Greater Washington region’s efforts to get a fair and accurate count for the 2020 Census. Following a presentation from the Census Bureau, participants shared their experiences working on outreach and advocacy – successes, challenges, lessons learned, and ideas for how to strengthen civic engagement and advance equity moving forward. Program Officer Caitlin Furey Mayo, who led the Foundation’s Bridges for Census work in 2020, shared the findings of our program and served as a breakout group reporter. The group noted that successful outreach strategies included leveraging social media, relying on trusted sources, expanding multilingual resources, and engaging youth ambassadors. These takeaways aligned with what the Foundation learned from its five Bridges for Census partners – all locally-based, locally-serving nonprofit organizations that played a crucial role in reaching historically undercounted communities in the region.