California Census 2020 Statewide Funders' Initiative


The California Census 2020 Statewide Funders’ Initiative was established in 2017 in order to achieve two overarching goals:

  • To ensure that hard-to-count populations in California are accurately counted
  • To build a stronger movement infrastructure across the state that can improve opportunities and conditions for Californians who have been politically, economically, and socially marginalized



  • Ensure that specific hard-to-count populations and geographies are reached
  • Invest in resources that can be utilized across the state, including talking points, communications tools, and multilingual community information
  • Support strategies with a high return on investment, such as identifying hidden or low-visibility housing that will increase the census count in under-resourced areas
  • Coordinate with state government to identify funding needs and gaps, devise complementary and coordinated funding strategies, and inform the allocation of state funding
  • Develop a single statewide evaluation plan
  • Align grantmaking with movement-building goals, including bringing civic engagement funders to the table and engaging movement leaders in census mobilization efforts
  •  Support regional planning and capacity building and develop related grantmaking strategies

How We Connect


  • Quarterly meetings support relationship building, deeper dialogue on major issues, and expanded collaboration
  • Subgroups offer participants opportunities to dive deep on specific issues, exercise their leadership, and forge partnerships on shared concerns
  • A listserv brings regular updates and information about issues and events related to the census in California and beyond


Steering Committee

Melina Sanchez, Co-Chair
Program Officer
The James Irvine Foundation
Tara Westman, Co-Chair
Program Manager
The California Endowment
Lisa Cleri Reale 
Lisa Cleri Reale & Associates
Leslie Dorosin
Co-Executive Director
Grove Foundation
Stephania Ramirez
Director, Strategic Initiatives
California Community Foundation

Advocacy Partners

Statewide Funders’ Advocacy Table, organized by Philanthropy California

Cecilia Chen
Public Policy Director
Northern California Grantmakers
Karla Mercado
Senior Manager, Public Policy and Philanthropy California
Southern California Grantmakers
Megan Thomas
Vice President of Collaboration & Special Initiatives
San Diego Grantmakers



sheila Chung hagen
chung hagen consulting 
GCir consultant
[email protected] 
Stephanie Martinez
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
California Programs Associate
[email protected]


Membership is open to professionals affiliated with grantmaking organizations, including philanthropic consultants and advisors, from throughout California. For more information, contact Caleb Beaudoin