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LANL Foundation Funds $10,000 to NM Counts 2020 to Aid in the 2020 Census

We are thrilled to support the work of NM Counts 2020 with a $10,000 grant to help ensure that the 2020 Census accurately counts people across our state, especially in Northern New Mexico. The decennial count informs congressional representation, allocation of hundreds of billions in federal funding, and provides important data that will impact our communities for the next ten years. Capturing an accurate snapshot of our state’s population is critical in securing federal education dollars, funding for Head Start and school lunch programs, and more. Our grant to NM Counts 2020 has supported providing Census Rapid Response Grants (CRRG) to Tribes and non-profit organizations focused on our hardest-to-count communities.  These grants have supported statewide initiatives such as phone banking and outreach campaigns, targeted activities in Native communities, and enabled trusted partners like Taos Pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh, Northern New Mexico College, the NM Acequia Association, NM Voices for Children and United Way of Northern New Mexico to deepen these efforts locally.

To further this initiative, LANL Foundation’s Vice President for Career Pathways and Advocacy Alvin Warren has served as a member of the NM Counts 2020 Census Funder Group’s executive committee. 

“Especially in these challenging times, we need to be sure that New Mexicans continue to receive our fair share of federal resources,” said Warren. “We are grateful to all of the funders who have contributed to the efforts of NM Counts 2020 and thank all of our community partners for their tireless work to ensure a complete count.” 

Make a Difference!

At this point, we only have until the end of September to get a complete count of all New Mexicans. Help us ensure All New Mexicans are Counted by:

  • Calling & texting your family and friends to make sure they’ve been counted

  • Adding this popup to your website.

  • Posting this series of social posts to your Facebook or Instagram.

New Mexico’s unique demographics and geography make it the most difficult state to count in the nation. The NM Counts 2020 Funders, representing 23 foundations, began its work in 2018 and launched a two-year statewide outreach plan, with a goal to ensure all New Mexicans are counted in the 2020 Census.

NM Counts 2020 Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Thornburg Foundation, Allan Oliver, said the LANL Foundation’s support helps ensure a fair and accurate census.

“Alongside 23 other national and local funders, we have been able to put together $1.2m toward census outreach—from strategic polling and media efforts, to direct outreach to the hardest to count communities across our state.  We have been deeply honored to partner with nonprofits and sovereign nations, who are working very hard to make sure their communities’ voices are heard in the 2020 Census,” Oliver said.

NM Counts 2020 Funders Groups Accomplishments

  • Advocated for an 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Convened two statewide census gatherings in August 2019 and February 2020 of over 400 multi-sector partners engaged in Census 2020 outreach. 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. 

  • Adapted outreach strategies in response to Covid-19 including digital outreach, phone banking, broadband access, and other efforts to protect outreach workers.

  • 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.

  • Co-hosted 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.

  • Continued support of outreach efforts now through September 30, 2020, when the US Census Bureau officially ends the count.

  • Raised $1,223,700 and granted $881,500 in funds to support New Mexico nonprofit and Tribal partners. These groups are focused on turning out the count for Tribal populations, families with young children, Hispanic, African American, Asian-American, immigrant, refugee, LGBTQIA, rural communities, and other undercounted populations.

Although the Funders Group explains it has seen a tangible impact from our efforts, we continue to work tirelessly to ensure our entire state is counted. The group’s latest round of Census Rapid Response Grants supported this effort relying on the continued pivotal role of nonprofits to inspire participation in the Census by New Mexico’s hard-to-count areas and populations during this critical time, NM Counts Program Officer Nelsy Dominguez explained.

“CRRG resources are all the more critical given the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic which upended well-planned Census outreach events and activities and brought to the fore the urgency of the moment, our fragile broadband connectivity, the need for Personal Protective Equipment, food, and other essentials. CRRG funds sought to address unforeseen costs, support safety, and maintain momentum among and across multiple stakeholders through grant support and accessibility to Census-specific resources and expertise,” Dominguez said. “Census outreach efforts throughout New Mexico reflect the collaboration of funders, community-based nonprofits, state and local Complete Count Committees, icountnm.gov, Tribal, and other partners, because everyone Counts.”

Just a one percent undercount in New Mexico could mean 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. Join the NM Funders group for this effort that is so vital in ensuring the success of the 2020 Census throughout our state!


About NM Counts 2020


NM Counts 2020 Census Funders Group Executive Committee

Allan Oliver, Executive Director, Thornburg Foundation, Co-Chair NM Counts 2020

Randy Royster, President & CEO, Albuquerque Community Foundation, Co-Chair NM Counts 2020

Nelsy Dominguez, Program Director, Con Alma Health Foundation

Alvin Warren, Vice President of Career Pathways & Advocacy, LANL Foundation

Terra V. Winter, Executive Director, Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico


NM Counts 2020 Funders:

National Funders:

J.P. Morgan Charitable Giving Fund

Raikes Foundation

Democracy Funder Collaborative - Census Equity Fund

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants & Refugees

Grove Foundation

NM Foundations

Albuquerque Community Foundation

Anderson Foundation

Brindle Foundation

Community Foundation of Southern NM

Con Alma Health Foundation

Grant County Community Foundation

JF Maddox Foundation

Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation

Los Alamos Community Foundation

McCune Charitable Foundation

NM Community Foundation

Robert T. Keeler Foundation

Santa Fe Community Foundation

Santa Fe Community Foundation Envision Fund

Santa Fe Community College Foundation

Taos Community Foundation

Thornburg Foundation

United Way of Central NM

W.K. Kellogg Foundation