The United States 2020 Census is still underway, and this decade’s census is perhaps the most important and unique to-date. This collection of the nation’s population, in part, helps agencies allocate funds ($1.5 trillion a year) for emergency services, education, health services, housing aid and more. Many of these issues are social good organizations’ missions to diminish. Yet, many of the communities the social sector serves are historically undercounted and subsequently underfunded.
As we continue to navigate a global pandemic, take steps to end systemic racism, and look to a future of uncertainty and change, we can’t say for sure what 2020’s census results will come to be. But what we do know is the information collected now and in the past is a critical component of many social good organization data management processes. This information can help organizations and agencies to visualize, understand and increase funding to better serve their communities.
Keep reading to learn how having a more holistic view of your community can help your human services organization drive more real-time impact.
1 – Elevate Your Workflow
Integrating external census data sources into your primary technology tool increases productivity and enables data-driven decision making to be a part of everyday workflows. With a more expansive view of your community and its demographics, you can make better-informed decisions and drive more outcomes – whether it’s identifying areas of most concern or streamlining Program Placement for new participants.
For example, participant A lives in a low-income area; they are eligible for X, Y, Z services from our organization.
2 – Understand Your Community
With census data integrated into your systems, you gain a 360-degree look at the communities you help to understand your populace better. You can see visual representations of the areas served, which elevates your understanding of regional requirements and dependencies.
For example, ZIP Code XXXXX has a higher poverty rate than others in the area and should be our organization’s next financial workshop location.
3- Leverage Data for Grant Applications
Census data integrations also make data easy to understand and pull to present to funders. Often grant applications will request population characteristics, and when the information is readily available, you can comfortably support your reasoning for your funding request.
For example, our organization requests funding to host a financial workshop in ZIP Code XXXXX. This area would benefit from this service because of the median household income and poverty data provided.
Census Data Dashboard by Social Solutions
Social good organizations have traditionally lacked viable solutions to support census data integrations, but Apricot 360, Social Solutions’ premier case management software, now includes our Census Data Dashboard. This newly launched capability is an interactive map powered by Google Maps integration and allows users to dig into the demographic make-up of the communities they serve.
The Census Data Dashboard is available for organizations with an Apricot 360 license – included as part of your subscription at no additional charge. For a quick tutorial on how to use this capability, you can check out a demo here.