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Be Counted NW: Census 2020





There is strength in numbers. The more people counted means more power and money for Michigan residents. Michigan stands to lose an estimated $1,800 per person per year in federal support for programs that use census data.

Networks Northwest, in partnership with the Michigan NonProfit Association, is supporting local efforts for a complete and accurate count and to promote census and civic participation throughout our 10 County Region. 

APRIL 2020: That's when our next Census will occur. The United States Constitution requires that the residential population of the country be counted every 10 years. A complete and accurate count is vital for communities. Census data is used to distribute funding for road repairs, school improvements, and social programs. The number and distribution of elected officials are also based on Census data. Nonprofit organizations, businesses, and governments use Census data to identify community needs and evaluate solutions to difficult problems. 

Historically, some populations – including low-income households, seasonal residents, communities of color, immigrants, and young children – have been undercounted in the Census. Undercounts happen for many reasons. People may not understand why it is important, may not trust the government, or may not want to share their information. Based on a recent study from The George Washington University, Michigan receives over $14.5 billion dollars (about $1,467 per person) from the 16 largest federal programs that disburse funds based on Census figures. Without an accurate Census count of our entire community, the potential for leaving much needed resources on the table for our 10 County Region is at risk.

THE PROGRAM: Networks Northwest is serving as the regional Census Hub Administrator for the Be Counted NW Campaign. A Regional Census Hub Advisory Committee has been formed to provide guidance to Networks Northwest on their census 2020 efforts including, but not limited to, grantmaking, advocacy, media and community outreach. This will be a collaborative process with existing nonprofit organizations that currently work and serve our identified populations at risk of being undercounted. The campaign will mobilize nonprofits to encourage participation in the 2020 census, provide trainings and tools for nonprofits on effective outreach tactics, assist nonprofits in identifying hard- to- count communities, award mini-grants to local nonprofits, coordinate a statewide communications plan and work with government officials to avoid duplication of efforts and enhance governments’ communication and outreach efforts to ensure a complete count.

Be Counted NW: Census 2020 Grants

Networks Northwest is providing funding and technical assistance for Census 2020 outreach activities to organizations that serve historically undercounted communities in the following 10 Counties: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford Counties. Grants support projects that will:

  • Engage and educate undercounted communities about the importance of the 2020 Census
  • Familiarize communities with the census process and changes to the 2020 Census
  • Develop and implement effective strategies to boost census participation and support communities beyond the life of the project

Within these priorities, grant applicants designed projects that best serve their community. Projects could include knocking on doors and visiting community events, partnering with local businesses to connect with employees and customers, providing opportunities to access online census forms, sharing stories through local media and online networks, and other innovative and effective ways of connecting with people on this issue.

Thank you to everyone who applied. Grant decisions have been made and we would like to congratulate the recipients of the Be Counted NW: Census 2020 Grant! Everyone Counts!

Those representing the Northwest Michigan Region in Census 2020 efforts are:

Area Agency on Aging of Northwest Michigan

Disability Network Northern Michigan

District Health Department #10

Grand Traverse Community Collaborative

Kalkaska County Commission on Aging

Manistee County Council on Aging

Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency

Traverse Area District Library

Traverse Health Clinic 

Wexford County Council on Aging

Everyone Wins! And We're Counting on You! 

For immediate questions, please contact Autumn Reyhl, at or 231.929.5082.

More information about Be Counted Michigan 2020 is available at

Thank You to Our Partners





Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.

Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission