The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering a one-time 2020 Census Grant Program to support the accurate count of the Alabama Counts! 2020 Census campaign. The grant program was created through a $1 million appropriation as a part of the 2019-2020 Education Trust Fund.

The application period is now closed. Commitment of matching funds documentation due by Friday, November 8.

 

Reminder: Documentation of commitment for matching funds must be provided no later than November 8, 2019. Please submit the documentation to icount@census.alabama.gov.

Proposed match documentation may consist of one or more of the following:

  • Approved budget from a non-State governmental agency documenting funds are budgeted for the program.
  • For a nonprofit entity, a financial or bank statement from applicant with letter committing those funds.
  • Commitment from 3rd-party donor of money, in-kind services or staff time; the letter needs to show clearly that the intended donation may be used toward the grant program. For volunteered time or donated services, a signed statement from the donor stating the number of hours expected to be donated, the hourly rate, and the total amount of the donation, as well as a description of the services to be provided. For donated materials, a signed statement or receipt / invoice from the donor attesting to the value of the materials.
  • Award letter or grant agreement for a non-State grant that will be used as match; documentation must be included to demonstrate that the grant may be used toward the census grant Program.

ADECA will award grants to eligible applicants to conduct census outreach activities throughout Alabama to accomplish the following goals:

  • Ensure a fair, accurate and inclusive census count for Alabama.
  • Increase the self-response rates of hard-to-count communities and populations in Alabama.

The following types of organizations are eligible to apply:

  • Organization with tax exempt 501(c)(3) status, and/or tribes
  • Community group fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization
  • Organization or coalition working in the identified hard-to-count communities
  • Local governmental entity or public agency working regionally or working with organizations and coalitions in the identified hard-to-count communities and geographies

The application period opened on Sept. 4, 2019 and closed on Oct. 11, 2019. The applications will be processed and rated in October and early November and grant awards will be announced in late 2019. Projects funded by the program may commence January 1, 2020 and run through June 2020.

The criteria that will be followed during the rating process are available on page 4 of the Grant Program Overview and Guide. Final awards may also take the following into consideration: geographic distribution and reaching hard-to-count communities and populations in Alabama.

Complete details about the grant program are available in the Grant Program Overview and Guide:

Grant Program Overview and Guide (PDF)

Application form (fillable PDF)

Supporting materials for application

Alabama Counts 2020 Census Action Plan (PDF)

Alabama Census Low-Response by Census Tract map – (Click for PDF) (Click for Interactive Map)

Workshop

Census Grant Workshop Presentation (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions
(Updated: Oct. 9, 2019)

Can I mail or hand deliver my application and supporting documents?

Only applications and supporting documents sent electronically to icount@census.alabama.gov by 5 p.m. central on Friday, October 11 will be accepted. You may send the files in separate email messages if needed. You will receive a response from ADECA confirming receipt of materials.

What types of activities are you looking for in the application?

This application guide covers the specifics. In general, we are looking for creative ideas to increase participation in the 2020 Census particularly collaborative efforts that reach hard-to-count areas or populations.

How do I find partners to collaborate with in my grant application?

We leave that up to the grant applicants to develop and present their partnerships as part of the grant application. There are numerous local, regional and state organizations that could be potential partners.

With that said, the Alabama Public Library Service has stated that they are willing to serve as a partner. For more information, visit the organization’s website at https://aplsws1.apls.state.al.us/aplsnew/ or contact Nancy Pack at npack@apls.state.al.us. Another possible resource that was mentioned in our grant application workshop is YMCAs.

How do I locate and list census tracts in my application?

Please include a list of census tract areas that your proposed project will cover as part of the supporting documents. A community may encompass more than one tract and a regional area will certainly cover multiple tracts. The best resource to use to get tract numbers is our interactive map of census tracts, available at http://adecagis.alabama.gov/lrs_app/. On this map you are able to zoom in to street details. You may also type in a place or address in the bar on the top right to zoom to a specific location. Once you find the area, click on the map to open details about the census tract. The tract number will be the first item listed.

How do I determine the hourly rate for volunteers that I plan to claim as part of the match requirement?

For your application, you may use the Estimated National Value of Each Volunteer Hour which is currently listed at $25.43 per hour. More information here: https://independentsector.org/value-of-volunteer-time-2018/

Can costs for food related to a census event be covered by the grant?

Possibly, but it depends on how the food fits into your overall plan as presented in your project narrative and budget. The main goal of anything associated with your application should be to get Alabamians to participate in the census, including completing a census form at any event you plan to host.

Do you have preferred format for a budget?

Something itemized, clear and easy to understand is key. We need to understand what will be covered by the matching funds or in-kind services and what you are requesting be covered by the grant.

If I am a regional or statewide agency, do I need to list local contacts for the census tracts that include on my application?

You should include as part of your application a clear connection with the local areas that are included in your tract list. A list of local contacts and letters of support from local leaders are great ways to demonstrate local support for your proposed project.

Can expenditures or in-kind services provided prior to September 1, 2019 count toward the matching requirement?

Expenditures or in-kind services provided for census awareness and outreach activities before September 1, 2019 are ineligible to count toward the matching requirement.

May we apply for funds purchase equipment like iPads and laptops?

As with food, it depends on how the equipment fits into your overall plan as presented in your project narrative and in your budget. Equipment should not be the main focus of your proposal, it should supplement ideas, events and activities to get Alabamians to participate in the census.

What are the final reporting requirements?

You will be required to submit a final report detailing your expenditures, activities and accomplishments by August 1, 2020. While the reporting requirements will be specified in the Grant Agreement, in general this report will need to demonstrate responsible use of grant funds as well as the measurable impact of your program in increasing census participation among your targeted groups and areas.

Has the grant application deadline been extended?

No, the deadline remains 5 p.m. central time on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Applications and supporting materials must be emailed to icount@census.alabama.gov by the deadline in order to be considered for funding. Incomplete applications or applications with missing supporting documents will not be considered for funding. The only exception is the documentation of commitment for matching funds which must be provided no later than Nov. 8, 2019.

If I am applying from a governmental agency or public school or university, am I required to submit all of the supporting documentation listed on the application?

Everything listed on the application form is required for governmental agencies or public educational institutions except Form 990, which is an IRS form filed by tax-exempt nonprofit agencies. This document is required for nonprofit groups applying for a grant. Please be certain to submit all supporting documents and your application by 5 p.m. central time on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. The only exception to the Oct. 11 deadline is documentation of commitment for matching funds which must be provided no later than Nov. 8, 2019.

If a grant recipient has unspent/unencumbered grant funds on June 1, 2020 project completion deadline, can the recipient request an extension to spend remaining funds?

It is ADECA’s expectation that all projects will be closed by the deadline in the grant agreement. Currently, an extension process is not being considered.

If an agency or group applying for a grant cannot obtain a letter of support from a partner by Oct. 11, are there other acceptable ways to document or confirm a partnership?

Partnerships can be documented through letters, resolutions, proclamations, memorandums of understanding, or other similar documents. Regardless of the format, the document should indicate a specific contribution(s) the entity intends to make to the project in the form of funds, resources, or activities.