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Dogwood Health Trust Partners with Counties, Community Groups Across Western NC to Increase Census Participation, Bring Federal Dollars into the Region

The Trust is actively seeking additional partners for this effort.


Asheville, N.C. (July 28, 2020)In an effort to ensure strong participation and ultimately, increased federal dollars brought back into the region, Dogwood Health Trust is actively partnering with almost all of the 18 Western North Carolina counties and a growing number of community nonprofit organizations to reach communities that have been historically undercounted while increasing participation in the 2020 Census. Since every individual counted has a direct impact on federal funding provided to the region over the next ten years, Dogwood is investing in this effort by providing financial incentives to participating organizations that are able to directly increase the WNC count.

According to a George Washington University study, every person counted during the 2020 Census in North Carolina brings in more than $4,000 in federal program dollars each year – this would translate into approximately $3.6 billion for the region if everyone responded. This potential funding over the next decade provides services like public schools, early childhood education, food access, Medicare, Medicaid, small business supports, agriculture, and infrastructure projects. Census participation also impacts the number of seats in Congress;  planning and funding for community needs like roads, schools, emergency services, and youth programs; and, economic development and jobs.

“Western North Carolina has historically been undercounted in the Census and 2020 is no exception,” said Jackie Simms, chair of the programs and grants committee at Dogwood Health Trust. “Completing the Census is safe, easy and convenient. It takes less than 10 minutes and can be done via the computer, mobile phone, telephone or paper form. We want to partner with county governments and organizations in our region to build on the great work they’ve already been doing and bring it over the finish line to help them succeed in drawing more federal dollars to their communities!”

Dogwood Health Trust is providing participating WNC counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians with an incentive of $1,000 for every full percentage point increase in Census self-reporting from June 26 through October 31, with a 30-point cap. Mini-grants of up to $2,500 are also available to each county to assist with their Census marketing and outreach efforts.

Dogwood Health Trust also seeks to work with nonprofit partner organizations that have the networks to activate and mobilize Census participation. These include partners who have broad reach and relationships with communities that are historically undercounted, especially those of color and/or communities in remote locations. Partner organizations have the ability to communicate directly with individual households and walk them through Census completion, and are willing to keep an accurate record of the number of people counted through their outreach efforts. For every individual counted, Dogwood will provide a $10/per person incentive. Ideal partners are organizations with multiple chapters or member organizations in the region, or those who can mobilize other nonprofit organizations. Partners must be able to manage multiple locations’ or organizations’ outreach under their umbrella, gathering and reporting count data weekly and distributing incentives monthly.

Organizations that fit this description should contact .

Dogwood Health Trust is a North Carolina nonprofit corporation with the sole purpose of
dramatically improving the health and well-being of all people and communities of Western North Carolina. Dogwood Health Trust was created from the net proceeds of the sale of Mission Hospital and focuses on innovative ways to address the many factors that contribute to overall health and wellness. To learn more, please visit


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