Serving Nonprofits. Strengthening West Virginia.

What Nonprofits Can Do (Timeline/Messaging)

CENSUS BUREAU’S OUTREACH TIMELINE

End of 2019: Strategic Education Phase (education efforts targeted to hard-to-count populations)
Jan-Feb 2020: General Awareness Phase
March-April 2020: Mobilization Phase
May- July 2020: Reminder Phase

 

BEST PRACTICES FOR TALKING ABOUT THE CENSUS

  • References to fair representation, fair allocation of funding to communities, resources, and equality/equity are most persuasive.
  • Highlight the importance to populations who are most at risk of being undercounted or who have lowest intent to respond: kids, immigrants, people experiencing homelessness, those with low internet proficiency, those with low English proficiency, college students, renters.

Survey respondents listed as most compelling reasons to respond to Census:

  • Helps determine funding for public services in my community (30%)
  • It’s my civic duty (25%)
  • Contributes to a better future for my community (17%)
  • Provides information for my local government to plan for changes (15%)
  • Determines my state’s number of elected representatives (9%)

 

3 GOALS/TIERS OF MESSAGING AROUND THE CENSUS

EDUCATION – West Virginians must understand what the Census is and the importance of being counted.

  • The Census is safe, easy, and important.
  • It takes, on average, less than ten minutes to complete.
  • Everyone should be counted.
  • The Census impacts each and every one of us, so ensuring a robust and accurate count must be a priority for everyone.
  • An accurate Census count is critical for our communities.
  • Participating in the Census helps make sure we get our fair share of funding for health care, transportation, schools, housing, and more.
  • Over $675 billion each year is distributed to states and communities based on the Census count. In West Virginia, the Census guides over $6 billion of federal investment into our state each year.
  • The Census is mandated by the Constitution and has been completed every ten years since 1790!
  • The Census is about fair representation. The count is used to determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives and guides state redistricting processes.
  • Businesses use Census data to decide where to build offices and stores, and local government use Census data to plan where to locate new schools and hospitals.

Sample Education Tweets

  • Our communities rely on an accurate #2020Census count for funding to support roads, schools, health care, and much more.
  • The #2020Census impacts all of us. Each year, over $6 billion in federal funding is directed to West Virginia’s communities based on the census count. That’s why it’s so important to count everyone.
  • Pledge to be counted in the #2020Census so that West Virginia will receive its fair share of resources and political representation.
  • Did you know? You can fill out the #2020Census online, by mail, or by phone and it takes ten minutes or less to complete!
  • Did you know? About 5% of kids under five weren’t counted in the 2010 Census- but they should be! Kids, even newborns, should be counted in the household where they live most of the time OR where they are on April 1
  • Did you know? For the #2020Census, college students are counted where they spend most of their time AND where they live on April 1, 2020, which means most students should be counted in their college community. Pledge to be counted before you leave for summer break!

PERSUASION – Making the case to communities who are distrustful of the government or who do not see the Census as a priority.

  • The Census takes, on average, ten minutes or less to complete, and households have the options of submitting their responses online, by mail, or by phone.
  • Census data is confidential and secure. By federal law, the Census Bureau cannot share your information with immigration agencies, law enforcement agencies, or allow it to be used to determine your eligibility for government programs.
  • Your Census response is important to funding public services in your community. After the 2010 Census, West Virginia lost out on at least $1,017 in a single year for every person not counted. The stakes will be just as high in the 2020 Census, and we have to live with the results for 10 years.

Sample Persuasion Tweets

  • Participation in the #2020Census is quick, easy, and safe. It also means a lot for our communities- over $6 billion each year in West Virginia alone. Your personal data is protected by federal law.
  • On average, the Census takes only ten minutes to complete, but our communities have to live with the results of the count for ten years. Make sure your household is counted.
  • If hour household isn’t counted, you won’t be represented in a count that determines where roads, hospitals, and schools are built for a decade.

MOBILIZATION– Empowering our most-engaged constituents or allies to become Census messengers and push back against misinformation

  • One in four West Virginia residents live in a hard-to-count Census tract. Without greater participation in the 2020 Census, these communities will be in danger of missing out on federal funding for community resources and political representation.
  • Census champions (or some other term) and trusted community leaders are critical partners in communicating that the Census is safe, easy, and important.
  • Census champions model the importance of the Census and push back against misinformation.
  • An accurate Census count makes sure that our voices are given political representation.

Sample Mobilization Tweets

  • Pledge to be counted in the 2020 Census to help ensure a brighter future for West Virginia.
  • Make sure your friends and family understand the importance of being counted to endure a brighter future for West Virginia.
  • Volunteer to be a census champion at your school, community, job and neighborhood.
  • We only get one chance every ten years to get the count right. Pledge to be counted in the #2020Census and do your part to bring needed investment to your community.

 

 

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