Request for Proposals

Community Based Outreach to Parents/Caregivers of Young Children

New Mexico Counts 2020 invites community-based organizations to submit a proposal for community-based outreach to parents (or caregivers) with children under the age of 10. In New Mexico Children under the age of 10 represent a significantly undercounted population. The term ‘Parents/Caregivers’ is meant to be inclusive of diverse family structures/situations children under 10 may be living in. The goal of this grant opportunity is to increase the participation rates of parents/caregivers with children under the age of 10 by 5% in an effort to address the under count of children under the age of 10. Grants will range from $5,000 to $20,000.

Note: Although most of New Mexico is considered Hard to Count (HTC), follow these links to see the degrees to which a community is considered HTC:


Wednesday, September 4: Issue RFP 
Friday, September 20: Submissions due at 5 pm via email
Week of September 30: Organizations notified of grant approval or decline
Monday, October 14: Work begins

Grant Ranges and Other Considerations

  • To be considered for a $20,000 grant proposals must demonstrate existing collaborations between at least three sectors (nonprofit, community members representative of RFP’s intended population, business, county, city or state). Where only two sectors are engaged, proposals must include a plan for effectively and rapidly engaging a third sector.
  • To be considered for a $10,000 to $15,000 grant proposals must demonstrate existing or proposed collaborations AMONG at least two sectors (nonprofit, community members representative of RFP’s intended population, business, county, city or state). Where collaborations are proposed, proposals must include a plan for effectively and rapidly engagement.
  • Requests at the $5,000 level must demonstrate collaboration with other nonprofit efforts in reaching parents/caregivers with children under 10 years old.
  • Special consideration will be given to requests focused on under-represented communities. Specifically, priority will be given to efforts in HTC communities (see above links to view maps detailing HTC communities).

Messaging and Outreach Resources


The 5-page maximum submission must be received by Friday, September 20 at 5 pm via email. You may email your application and required attachments (combined in a single PDF file) to:
ABQ Community Foundation, ATTN: Grants Dept.,

Should you have any questions, contact Cathy Frey, 608-239-8640 cell or

Work to be Supported

The work focuses on populations of young children under the age of 10 living in HTC New Mexico counties. Ensuring the highest level of participation, HTC communities in the 2020 Census will require a coordinated and well-informed effort that focuses on educating, engaging and assisting parents/caregivers of young children. Grantees should identify how their work is aligned or coordinated with relevant complete count committees.

Proposals are to include clear strategies of engagement and measurable objectives. Proposals should include but are not limited to the listed areas below:

  • Public education campaigns
  • Media/communications
  • Trainings & Special events
  • Leveraging and adapting existing materials
  • Engaging in social media
  • Outreach and Education

Submission Requirements

Your proposal should address each of the following sections (with each section clearly identified). Submission should be no more than 5 pages in total.

  1. Brief organization overview and capabilities
  2. Key staff for this project and description of experience
  3. Capabilities of any subcontractor partners, if one is used, and clear description of roles and responsibilities
  4. Description of approach. Provide an overview of the approach(es) you will be undertaking and include:
    a) What are the intended outcomes you plan to accomplish?
    b) Describe the main activities you will carry out to accomplish each intended outcome.
    c) If your Census outreach/engagement approach includes a canvassing operation, please share:
      • messages that will be discussed at the door.
      • other campaigns that will be undertaken by your organization at the same time as this grant. Please review the prohibitions noted in this RFP.
  5. Describe any partnerships or collaboration that will be involved. Make sure to include a list of collaborators/partners, sectors represented, each partner’s role in approach and whether named collaborators represent existing or potential partnership.
  6. Methodology of field research. Describe the select your approach.
  7. Proposed project timeline
  8. An estimated project budget with a breakdown of the costs
  9. An annual organizational budget
  10. Letter of IRS 501c3 Determination Status or that of a Fiscal Sponsor
  11. Proposals will not be considered from applicants or Fiscal Sponsors who are not in compliance with all state and federal regulations. NM Counts 2020 will review all documents submitted, as well as every applicant’s report from:
    a) Guidestar (
    b) NM Secretary of State ( )
    c) AG NM COROS (

Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be reviewed and scored using criteria that include the following considerations:

  • Trusted community member with identified HTC community/ies, including but not limited to educators, home-visitors, early childhood educators, community health workers, community organizers;
  • Under-Resourced Areas;
  • Prior experience in advocacy, research, outreach, organizing, or public education;
  • A clear commitment to increasing the participation in the census of hard-to-count communities;
  • Evidence of clear understanding of project goals;
  • A commitment to and clear alignment of NM Counts messaging in communications & other outreach materials;
  • Creativity to tackle research and recommendations;
  • Ability to adhere to the project’s timeline and budget;
  • Compliance with the submission requirements of this RFP;
  • Active 501c3 status or active Fiscal Sponsor relationship, and
  • Active participation with a local, regional or statewide Complete Count Committee is strongly encouraged.

Grantees will be required to submit a final report that outlines how the project was implemented and how funds were spent.


Grantee must affirm that no grant funds will be contributed to an incumbent, candidate, or successful candidate for elective office of a government entity, contributed to a political party or used for lobbying purposes under Internal Revenue Service definitions. Activities related to Census efforts and grant awards may not be combined with any lobbying, citizen lobbying or partisan or non-partisan electoral work, such as candidate issue education, candidate debates and forums, voter registration, get out the vote drives, and distribution of voting records of incumbents—or supporting or opposing candidates for public office. All activities must be in compliance for IRS 501c3 rules applicable to non-profits, community foundations and private foundations. Any questions on prohibitions should be referred to our project coordinator Cathy Frey.

Accomplishments to Date

  • NM Counts 2020 is an outreach campaign supported by a group of New Mexico foundations in partnership with the Census Working Group to help ensure that all New Mexicans are counted in the 2020 Census, especially in the most HTC and reach communities.
  • In partnership with the UNM Geospatial Population Studies team, NM Counts 2020 jointly invested with the NM Legislature $363,500 to conduct a review of the Local Update of Census Address (LUCA) file. These efforts added over 100,000 addresses missing from the U.S. Census Bureau’s files, primarily in New Mexico’s Colonias, Tribal areas, and areas of new construction.
  • Raised over $800,000 for NM Counts 2020.
  • Joined national philanthropic and advocacy efforts by drafting and signing a letter calling for the removal of a citizenship question on the 2020 census form.
  • Supported the UNM-Geospatial Population Studies to create a website that identifies the location of hard to count communities and the financial impact of an undercount to those political subdivisions. We encourage grant seekers to utilize these tools in their application and work because this will be part of our evaluation criteria.

What’s at Stake

New Mexico received over $7.8 billion through 55 federal spending programs guided by the 2010 Census. Just a 1% undercount of New Mexicans in 2020 could result in a $750 million loss of federal assistance over a ten-year period.

  • Each New Mexican not counted equates to a loss of approximately $3,000 every year for the next decade for critical programs below.
  • The undercount of young children in the 2010 Census cost the state approximately $32 million in federal dollars for children’s programs.
  • Businesses rely on census data for market planning, new products and determining locations for plants or offices.
  • Census data provide the formula basis for transportation, education & workforce development federal funding.

New Mexico is One of the Hardest States to Count

Based on the latest census estimates, approximately 43% of our state’s current population (or 888,033 people) live in HTC neighborhoods. New Mexico faces serious challenges to achieve an accurate count.

  • In 2016, New Mexico had a foreign-born population of 9.5% or 198,406 residents. This means that nearly 1 in 10 residents were immigrants, and more surprisingly and consequential, 60.4% were non-citizens. Moreover, 74.5% of this group came from Latin America.
  • Nearly 108,000 people live on 140 colonias spread across 11 counties. ✓ New Mexico has a Hispanic or Latino population of 48.8% compared to 18.1% across the US.
  • The US has an American Indian population of 1.3%, New Mexico has 10.9% — 227,600 people — spread across 19 pueblos and 4 reservations.
  • According to latest American Community Survey data, New Mexico’s racial composition for under-represented populations show Black or African American at 2.02%, Asian at 1.44%, two or more races at 3.28%, ‘other’ race: 9.49% and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander at 0.07%.
  • During 2013-17, 26.3% of New Mexico’s households had either no internet access or dial up-only. Approximately 1 in 6 New Mexicans are under the age of 10.

Learning Network

Grant recipients will have the opportunity to share data, findings, challenges and innovations with other grantees through a learning network, facilitated through convenings and resource hubs.