Request for Proposals

Community-based Outreach to Hard-to-Count Immigrant Communities (Round 1)

NM Counts 2020 invites you to submit a proposal for Community-based Outreach to Hard-to-Count (HTC) Immigrant Communities for the 2020 Census. The goal of this grant opportunity is to increase the participation rates in HTC New Mexico immigrant communities by 5%. Grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000. Awards will be announced by May 31, 2019 with work beginning on June 28, 2019 and ending by April 17, 2020.
Although most of New Mexico is considered HTC, follow these links to see the degree to which a community is considered HTC:


April 1, 2019 – Issue RFP
May 13, 2019 – Submissions due by 5 pm via email, US Post, or fax (see details in sidebar)
May 31, 2019 – Organizations notified of grant approval or decline
June 28, 2019 – Work begins

NM Counts 2020 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 $735,000 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 for New Mexico

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 10-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.
  • 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 and workforce development federal funding.

New Mexico is One of the Hardest-to-Count States in the Nation

Based on the latest census estimates, approximately 43% of our state’s current population (or 888,033 people) lives 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.
  • During 2013-17, 26.3% of New Mexico’s households had either no internet access or dial up-only.

Work to be Supported

The work focuses on immigrant populations 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 immigrant communities. Larger grant amounts are available to collaborative efforts among nonprofits, service providers and other sectors. Priority will be given to efforts in HTC communities.
Although most of New Mexico is considered HTC, follow these links to see the degree to which a community is HTC:

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
  • Immigrant legal service support
  • Outreach and Education, which includes:
    • Know Your Rights (maximize protections, including information to protect against detention)
    • Connecting the immigrant and refugee community to legal services (e.g. through workshops or seminars)
    • Referring families to immigrant-serving organizations.

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.

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
  5. Methodology to field research
  6. Project timeline
  7. An estimated project budget with a breakdown of the costs
  8. An annual organizational budget
  9. Letter of IRS 501c3 Determination Status or that of a Fiscal Sponsor
  10. 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:

Proposal 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 and 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 encouraged.


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.