Search the Google for geocoding in QGIS and you find a few nice articles, mostly pointing to third party web sites that will geocode for you, e.g. this post from 2009. It’s a good post, but there’s an easier way now.
Well, let’s see if a little SEO will help solve this for people– a great tool for geocoding in QGIS is MMQGIS. Add it as an extension, choose “GeoCode from Google”, and load up your CSV of addresses. You may have to sit and wait a while, but rest assured, the result will be worth the wait. So, load up the extensions manager and search for MMGIS. Install. Enjoy.
Now, off to find census data during the sequester… .