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2020 Census: UWGPSNJ announces $1 million challenge to boost regional Census outreach efforts

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey announces $1 million challenge to boost regional Census Outreach Efforts

United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey joins Mayor Kenney’s Philly Counts 2020 effort to ensure a complete and accurate census count in 2020, announcing a match for every new donation up to $500,000, raising $1 million in new funding to target greater engagement of historically under counted groups in the city and region.

PHILADELPHIA – Understanding the real cost of an under count in the Philadelphia region, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey (UWGPSNJ) announced today it is issuing a challenge to the region’s civic and business community by matching every donation raised for the region’s grass root census efforts, up to $500,000. The plan, announced at a meeting of Philly Counts 2020’s Corporate and Philanthropy Subcommittee, intends to generate the funding necessary to support community-based organizations doing census outreach work in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware counties.

“United Way believes in a community where every person in every zip code has access to opportunities and resources to unlock their potential and build more prosperous lives. Making sure we get everyone counted in next year’s census is key to making that a reality,” said Bill Golderer, President and CEO of UWGPSNJ. “This challenge invites our region’s community of civic and business leaders to join alongside us in this effort while doubling every new dollar that comes in to meet this need. Only by coming together can we ensure our most vulnerable neighbors are counted and feel the full impact of the federal resources our region needs.”

“The 2020 Census comes with new challenges, and one of the biggest issues we face is the decreased federal funding to support engagement efforts by community-based organizations,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund was created to respond to this need and to improve and elevate the work that these organizations are currently doing. United Way’s challenge will enable the region’s leaders focused on the census to draw in the new resources they need to support full-scale outreach efforts in their target communities.”

“Since the launch of the Philly Counts 2020 Action Fund 12 weeks ago, 24 trusted organizations have been awarded a total of $238,080. United Way’s commitment to reducing poverty in the city creates a natural opportunity to partner on work related to the 2020 Census. We are thrilled to have United Way on the Corporate and Philanthropy Subcommittee where they will be an important voice in our planning,” said Stephanie Reid, Executive Director of Philly Counts 2020. “The commitment of $500,000 in match funding for census efforts will provide essential support to organizations that are working to ensure their constituents understand why the census is important and that it is safe to participate. This generous contribution by United Way will support a complete and accurate count that will be felt throughout the city and region for the next 10 years.”

As a result of this United Way challenge and in consultation with Philly Counts 2020 and Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia, which serves as the fiscal agent and coordinator for Philadelphia’s Action Fund, leaders in Montgomery and Delaware counties have established similar vehicles to support local census engagement in their counties. These three Action Funds will provide grants to nonprofit community-based organizations that agree to advance the work of the 2020 Census in neighborhoods identified to be at risk of being under counted.

“Montgomery County residents and all Pennsylvanians will benefit from this funding to nonprofit community-based organizations. In the 2010 census, Pennsylvania had the second-highest rate of forfeited funds per person due to undercounted individuals. The MontcoPA Counts 2020 Action Fund will help ensure that Montgomery County does our part to count every person,” said Commissioner Val Arkoosh, MD, Honorary Chair, MontcoPA Counts.

Michael Ranck, Chair of the Delaware County Complete Count Committee, shared that “we are thrilled to receive this funding for our census efforts in Delaware County. These funds will enable our county to provide support and assistance to communities and organizations that are working with us to ensure that everyone participates and is counted in our County”

To be eligible for a grant from the Philly Counts, Montco Counts, and Delco Counts 2020 Action Funds, applying organizations must primarily serve Philadelphia County, Montgomery County, or Delaware County residents, respectively, and have a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Only project-specific support is available through this fund. To apply, please visit the Philanthropy Network Greater Philadelphia website.

To learn more about United Way’s Census challenge and other ways to get involved in United Way’s census efforts, email Jordan Schwartz at .

More information on local efforts to support the next United States census, including volunteer and job opportunities, can be found on the Philly Counts website.


Abby Douglas - United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey | , 856-583-1855
Irene Contreras - City of Philadelphia | , 215-6860495

About Philly Counts
Philly Counts 2020 is the City’s effort to support the next United States census. By working closely with community members and partners, this program aims to: increase understanding about the importance of the census, educate the public on how to participate, ensure responses from the public for a fair and accurate count, and support filling census jobs. More information is available at


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