The U.S. Constitution requires that a census, or count, of every person living in the United States take place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to states and local communities.

2020 Census Countdown - April 1, 2020


Notice of Funding Opportunity

North Central Illinois 2020 Census Grant Program

Notice of Funding Opportunity

2020 Census

North Central Illinois

The U.S. Constitution requires that a census, or count, of every person living in the United States take place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to states and local communities. In FY2016, Illinois received $34,331,000,530 through 55 federal spending programs guided by data derived from the 2010 Census, or approximately $2,669 per capita, in federal assistance. The funds support vital public needs, such as schools, roads, public transportation, hospitals and social programs. The failure to count every Illinois resident would have a significant negative impact on Illinois’ ability to meet the needs of its residents.

With much at stake, Governor J.B. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2019-10, establishing the State of Illinois’ Census Office (Census Office) at the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to support a robust statewide effort to educate and engage communities across the state, to increase collaboration between all levels of government, and to build strong partnerships between private-sector and community leaders to ensure a complete and accurate count of Illinoisans.

An accurate count of Illinois’ population is essential to ensure that Illinois receives the funding it needs to adequately and effectively care for its residents and to provide critical services and programs. The Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) appropriated $29 million to the IDHS to support a statewide census outreach and education effort to reach the highest self-response rate possible. Of this amount, up to $20 million was awarded to Regional Intermediaries (RI) in 12 designated regions across the state. RIs will work with subrecipients, who are trusted messengers to reach Hard-to-Count (HTC) communities.

Selected RIs will be the central coordinators of the census outreach efforts and provide subawards to subrecipients, who are viewed as trusted messengers in their communities and are able to provide linguistically and culturally appropriate services. RIs are responsible for selecting, supporting, and managing subrecipients; providing technical assistance (TA) and capacity building; collaborating with the State and other entities to identify subsequent needs; and carrying out appropriate outreach and education efforts.

The North Central Illinois Region
The North Central Illinois region encompasses the following counties: DeWitt, Fulton, Livingston, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Peoria, Stark, Tazewell, and Woodford. The Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) has been selected as the RI for the North Central region, and it is uniquely situated to do so since TCRPC encompasses three counties (Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford) in the center of the region.

Eligible community organizations or local governments wishing to provide census outreach services to smaller geographic areas (e.g. neighborhood, village, town, etc.), or to serve a specific HTC population (e.g. people with disabilities, children younger than five-years old, people with Limited English Proficiency, older adults, etc.) or provide a specific skill (e.g. ethnic media expertise, community outreach training and technical assistance within a region, etc.) will need to work with TCRPC as a subrecipient. All subrecipients’ program activities must be approved by TCRPC.

Focus on Hard-to-Count (HTC) Communities
Funding through this award will focus on increasing the self-response rate of HTC communities. Historically, the U.S. Census has undercounted certain population groups and certain geographic communities, which are composed of people in population groups and geographic areas that are least likely to return census questionnaires without in-person follow-up.

The Census Office also wanted to understand the geographic areas that were hardest to count. It worked with Northern Illinois University’s Center for Governmental Studies to create the Illinois Hard-To-Count Index (IL HTC Index) using 18 variables describing the characteristics commonly associated with low response areas, such as housing, income and age, including variables describing low internet access. This created a better understanding of potential response rates of certain geographic areas for the 2020 Census. The IL HTC Index guides how to allocate funds proportionally by targeting and prioritizing hardest to count areas. To see an index map highlighting Illinois’ hardest to count geographies, a full list of variables, and how the index was calculated, go to

The following list of HTC populations was developed by reviewing lists from the U.S. Census Bureau and the College University of New York (CUNY). RIs will be expected to create outreach strategies for these populations. Please note that there is not a singular definition of HTC populations, and the groups listed are not mutually exclusive, as one person may identify with multiple experiences.

• Racial and ethnic minorities including, but not limited to:
• African American/Black
• Arab American
• Asian American and Pacific Islander
• Hispanic or Latino
• Native American/American Indian
• Children younger than five years old
• Foreign-born individuals
• People with Limited English Proficiency
• Undocumented immigrants
• People living close to or below the poverty line
• Renters
• People who are young and mobile
• People experiencing homelessness
• People who live in rural areas
• People with disabilities (including Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning or Queer people
• Older adults
• People who distrust the government

Additionally, the 2020 Census will be the first decennial census to rely primarily on on-line responses; therefore, persons living in homes with limited internet access are also at risk of not being counted.

These Illinois residents and families are at risk of being undercounted. Therefore, Illinois’ census communication and outreach strategy will focus on both geographic areas and demographic populations who are least likely to respond.

Tri-County Regional Planning Commission received $500,000 from the Illinois Department of Human Services. Below is the budget.

Media Campaign: $250,000
Administration:$ 50,000

Of the subrecipient budget, the below table details the anticipated funding allotment per county.

DeWitt: $12,524.53
Fulton:   $15,650.73
Livingston:    $15,937.46
Marshall:      $11,926.82
Mason: $12,235.66
McLean: $35,849.23
Peoria: $38,428.79
Tazewell:  $30,639.20
Woodford:     $15,893.87

Allowable Costs
Allowable costs are those that are necessary, reasonable, and permissible under the law. Examples include, but are not limited to:

1. Staff/personnel
2. Contractual (subawards, contracts, etc.)
3. Interpretation and translation services
4. Supplies (tablet devices, laptops, office supplies, etc.)
5. Printing (Census Office-approved collateral and merchandise)
6. Advertising
7. Telecommunications (internet service, hot spots, data plans, phone banking)
8. Travel
9. Events, training, and meeting-related expenses which may include food, room rental, AV equipment rental, booth fees. Food and beverage costs must be reasonable, necessary and directly tied to the goals of the 2020 census grant. Examples of food and beverages that may be allowable include water, coffee, bagels, donuts, pizza or other items available at a nominal cost. Catered or sit-down meals, alcohol, and other non-essential items are not allowed. All food and beverage purchases billed to the grant must be designed to encourage gathering of HTC populations. All grantees and subrecipients are subject to monitoring and should maintain all necessary documentation to support all food, beverage, and venue expenses. Additionally, grantees and subrecipients are encouraged to acquire lower cost locations and venues and avoid the appearance of extravagant spending.

Project Implementation Timeline
TCRPC has divided the census outreach activities for the IDHS 2020 Census Grant Program into five (5) phases: planning, education and engagement, awareness, motivation, and remind. A brief description and timeline for each phase are provided below.

Phase 1: Planning
Timeline: November 2019
Goal: Fully prepare for the 2020 Census though planning and clearly identifying the goals and objectives of the process.

Phase 2: Educate and Engagement
Timeline: November 2019 – April 2020
Goal: Build awareness and trust among the public, especially among the HTC populations, about the 2020 Census and engage additional partners to participate in the outreach efforts.

Phase 3: Awareness
Timeline: January – March 2020
Goal: Educate residents of the fast-approaching Census Day, April 1, 2020, and inform the public on how and when they are able to complete the survey.

Phase 4: Motivation
Timeline: March – April 2020
Goal: Encourage prompt completion of the census form among the public, especially among HTC populations.

Phase 5: Remind
Timeline: April – June 2020
Goal: Encourage non-responsive households to complete the census through targeted outreach in areas that have a low response rate.

North Central Illinois Workplan
You can find the North Central Illinois workplan here. Your individual workplan needs to relate back to this regional workplan. 

Application Instructions
Fill out the Google Form application here. You will also need to fill out the Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance, provide a workplan narrative, and fill out the programmatic risk assessment. Please include your budget in the workplan. Applications are due by Friday, November 8, 2019, by 4:00 pm.

Feel free to contact us by phone or email.

Tri-County Regional Planning Commission
456 Fulton Street
Suite 401
Peoria, Illinois 61602

(309) 673-9330

Michael Bruner –
Reema Abi-Akar –