April 2021 Issue


Dear AAPIP Community, 


This week marks a new year in many cultures. Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists alike celebrate today in numerous languages. Some of us say Ramadan Mubarak, Puthandu Vazthukal, or Pi Mai extending new year greetings and wishes to friends and family. 


Given how challenging the last several months have been, we earnestly welcome these new year greetings and wishes. However, these celebrations come in the wake of more tragedy here in the U.S. For us at AAPIP, the importance of actualizing racial justice - and the necessary philanthropic efforts to realize this justice - come to the fore once again after yet another Black man’s life is extinguished at the hands of law enforcement.


We mourn the death of Daunte Wright. Our hearts break repeatedly without enough time to pass for much healing. We are appalled. We are emotionally drained. But certainly, we are spurred to action and steeled in our determination to address the root of the senseless violence afflicting our communities - white supremacy. And AAPIP is on the move to do our part.


So much has happened since our last AAPIP Connect Newsletter. In less than 24 hours after the Atlanta shootings, AAPIP President & CEO Pat Eng and Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) Executive Director Erik Stegman penned a Letter to the Editor which appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. A week later, AAPIP released its latest funding report, Seeking to Soar: Foundation Funding for AAPI Communities which found that foundation funding designated to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities only accounts for 0.20 percent of all U.S. grantmaking. This was immediately followed by A Call for Solidarity and Collective Action: Asian American Philanthropy Letter of Intention signed by more than 720 leaders in philanthropy, including close to 300 AAPI and non-AAPI CEOs. 


Join us next Monday, April 19th for a deeper dive into the key findings from Seeking to Soar and a CEO-level panel discussion to follow up on the call to action featuring guest speakers Aleyamma Mathew, Executive Director of Collective Future Fund, James Head, President & CEO of East Bay Community Foundation, and Mariko Silver, President & CEO of Henry Luce Foundation. Registration for this webinar is open to professionals in grantmaking institutions or philanthropy-serving organizations only.


Soon heading into Asian Pacific American Heritage Month this May, this issue of AAPIP Connect includes information on how to participate in #GiveInMay, Asian Pacific Fund and AAPI Data’s nationwide giving campaign to raise awareness and funds for nonprofit organizations serving AAPI communities, AAPIP’s directory containing lists of API organization and coalitions addressing anti-Asian violence, and a brand-new Giving Circle Directory developed by Philanthropy Together! Next month’s AAPIP Connect issue will include more exciting events coming up during APA Heritage Month.


Once more, we extend our warmest and most healing energies to you all as we simultaneously mourn and organize the philanthropic sector towards addressing root causes and creating systems and institutional changes. We in philanthropy must do our part. 


Thank you for engaging with us in this important work to accelerate philanthropy towards an inclusive democracy that calls us all to our fullest human potential.



In community and with gratitude,

The AAPIP Team

Register Now!
(Webinar) Seeking to Soar:

A Call for Collective Action 

The recent anti-Asian attacks are the latest in the U.S.’s long history of white supremacy, systemic racism, and gendered violence. In the midst of heightened violence, AAPIP released both a new report on foundation funding for AAPI communities, Seeking to Soar, and a Call for Solidarity and Collective Action: Asian American Philanthropy Letter of Intention. The report revealed that foundation funding designated to AAPI communities makes up just 0.20% of total grantmaking dollars; in other words, AAPI communities receive 20 cents per $100 awarded by foundations. With over 700 philanthropic professionals and allies signing AAPIP’s Call for Solidarity and Collective Action, AAPIP seeks to mobilize the philanthropic sector to develop sustained strategies for expanded support of AAPIs and all historically underserved communities of color in service of an inclusive democracy.


Seeking to Soar: A Call for Collective Action will include:

  • A closer look at AAPIP’s new report, Seeking to Soar: Foundation Funding for AAPI Communities, highlighting key findings and recommendations

  • A CEO-level panel discussion on how philanthropy can support AAPI communities for the long-term, featuring the following guest speakers:

    Aleyamma Mathew, Executive Director, Collective Future Fund
    James Head, President & CEO, East Bay Community Foundation
    Mariko Silver, President & CEO, Henry Luce Foundation

Please note: We will be reserving seats for this webinar for professionals in grantmaking institutions or philanthropy-serving organizations only.

RSVP here!

Signed by 700 Philanthropic Leaders,
Including 300 Philanthropic CEOs

Immediately after the shootings in the Atlanta-area, AAPIP organized over 700 philanthropic leaders, including more than 300 CEOs to sign this letter of intention.


The letter calls for:

  1. We call for solidarity and intersectionality amongst all people of color against systemic racism, hate-based violence, and all discrimination. This is a declaration of our interdependence and mutuality.
  2. We call for narrative change. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders reject cozying up to white supremacy and will hold white-dominated institutions accountable for dividing and erasing the experiences of people of color. 
  3. We call to increase funding to AAPI communities and increase funding to all racialized communities, who, in 2014 received less than 2% of all foundation dollars.
  4. We call for allies in our efforts. As a multi-racial coalition, we will work towards an America where everyone can thrive. Our efforts will exceed our own sector to partnerships with affected communities and allies across all fields. 
Read the full letter signed by 700 signatories

Read Now!
Seeking to Soar: Foundation Funding for AAPI Communities

This new AAPIP report finds that foundation funding designated for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities only accounts for 0.20 percent of all U.S. grantmaking. This mirrors findings from our 1992 report --  from three decades ago -- Invisible and in Need: Philanthropic Giving to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As AAPI communities seek to soar and reach new heights, they continue to be hamstrung by an alarmingly low level of philanthropic investment. 


The report notes:

  • While the AAPI population in the United States more than doubled in size, foundation funding for AAPI communities flatlined, totaling a mere $174 million in 2018 - even when overall philanthropic giving was rising.

  • Put differently, for every $100 awarded by foundations for work in the United States, only 20 cents is designated for AAPI communities.

  • As a percentage of overall grantmaking, funding designated specifically for AAPI communities has declined since peaking at 0.60 percent in 2002 and 2009.

  • The funding is also heavily concentrated among a handful of foundations. The top five funders accounted for nearly 40 percent of all philanthropic support for AAPI communities. This creates instability where any shift can topple that lifeline.

Download the full funding report

Native Americans in Philanthropy

Call on Philanthropy to Act

We have made progress together for our communities, but invisibility remains one of our greatest barriers to investment and action. Each of our organizations includes communities representing hundreds of diverse and complex cultures, languages, communities, and nations. All of them have faced racialized violence going back centuries, yet we are too often relegated to an asterisk in the data with sample sizes “too small” relative to population size, or so we have been told. This is also a reason cited by the philanthropic sector to overlook our communities.


That’s why our organizations have come together to ask: When will philanthropy take action to stop this violence against Asian Americans?


Overlooking and underinvesting has real-world consequences. This is especially true right now. We call on the philanthropic sector to act by:

  • Strongly repudiating violence against Asian American communities. Send a clear message about your institution’s position on anti-Asian violence and all hate-based actions.
  • Disrupting the “model minority” and “perpetual foreigner” narratives alongside other racial tropes that serve to divide rather than unify this nation.
  • Supporting Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations as part of regular grant making and also in advancing a more holistic racial-equity strategy.
  • Honor and support cross-racial efforts that strengthen rather than divide the United States along racial lines.


Read the full letter

Upcoming AAPIP Chapter Events

AAPIP-New York


AAPIP-NY is excited to kick off their Conversations with Leaders series on Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 at 4:00 - 5:00 pm Eastern Time with two dynamic women: Rini Banarjee, President of Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and a former AAPIP Board Chair, and Peggy Saika, Executive Director of Common Counsel Foundation and AAPIP's former Executive Director. Join them for what will surely be a warm, fun, and honest conversation about leading through crisis, solidarity work, and allyship. Register here to participate.

Supporting API Communities
Resource Directory


AAPIP developed this Supporting API Communities Resource Directory to mobilize the philanthropic sector towards meaningful action in the midst of heightened violence and hate targeting Asian American communities. We encourage allies to engage by learning about and supporting the work of API organizations and coalitions, participating in webinars and online discussions, and the deeper work of connecting the dots between the interpersonal racism experienced by individuals, the systemic racism that impacts Asian American communities (detention, deportation, etc.), and the harm caused by the “model minority” narrative that pits Asian communities against Black communities. It is important for the sector to understand the greater context that these anti-Asian attacks fall under and to support community efforts addressing anti-Asian violence. 


There is a downloadable pdf version of the directory on our website - we welcome you to share this resource widely.


Explore and download the full directory

New Global Giving Circle Directory

AAPIP is proud to partner with Philanthropy Together to list AAPIP- affiliated giving circles through this new Giving Circle Directory. Simply filter by "Network" and select Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) to find the 23 active AAPIP-affiliated giving circles.

Explore Global Giving Circle Directory

Give In May Campaign

Mark your calendars for Give In May!


From May 1-31, in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Asian Pacific Fund and AAPI Data are hosting this nationwide giving campaign to raise awareness and funds for nonprofits serving the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, many of whom are often unseen. In its first year, the campaign shattered expectations raising over $265,000 for 92 nonprofits to support COVID-19 response efforts including food security, housing and health services.


Learn how to participate in Give In May!

Participate in Give in May

Support AAPIP:

30 Years of Advancing Racial Justice

Since its founding in 1990, AAPIP has envisioned a more just and equitable society and has been a critical voice for advancing the full picture of racial justice - one which includes Asian and Pacific Islander communities. As our nation, and the world, reckon with the legacies of dehumanization and injustice, AAPIP is an important voice in philanthropy.  


Your membership helps support AAPIP's work and centers you as an important part of the growing AAPIP community with special benefits!


Help us commemorate AAPIP's 30th anniversary by becoming a new member or renewing your membership!



Become an AAPIP Member Today

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