AAPIP Voices

23 Circles and Growing!


By:  Noelle Ito, Community Philanthropy Director

Through AAPIP’s National Giving Circle Campaign, AAPI dreamers and doers have been rolling up their sleeves and pooling their funds to affect positive change. Year 2 of AAPIP’s 5-year campaign reflected this spirit as we saw an incredible year of growth, giving, and gratitude.  The giving circle network blossomed across the country to include 23 giving circles in 11 regions, engaging over 1,100 individuals.

With workshops, toolkits and hands-on support, AAPIP helps launch giving circles while building a national network of active donors and volunteers who are deeply committed to strengthening the economic sustainability of small to medium sized AAPI organizations. As we work with the energetic members of the giving circle network, AAPIP sees great potential in the leadership and philanthropic aspirations of our community.

By January 2013, the AAPIP giving circle network is projected to distribute close to $400,000. The funds collectively pooled by thousands of donors represent much-needed resources for causes that are severely underfunded. For example, AAPIP Giving Circles are supporting immigrant youth and families, providing scholarships, fostering racial harmony, promoting creativity and preserving cultural heritage. But most importantly, Giving Circles are empowering their members and grant recipients.  At the Rainbow Dragon Fund’s celebration event, Iimay Ho, one of giving circle’s steering committee members said, “The $10,000 being distributed is more than just money. It represents the efforts of dozens of community members. It represents empowerment and the joy of community-based philanthropy. And it raises awareness that Queer AAPI communities are part of the philanthropic landscape and deserve funding.” Imagine if every community, neighborhood, and city had its own Giving Circle.

This everyday people powered movement is a deeply cultural way for many AAPIs, especially young professionals, to start giving, keep giving and encourage others in their circles of friends to get involved in their community. If you are interested in starting a circle, joining an existing circle in your region or donating to the matching funds pool, please contact us at .