AAPIP Voices

Actions Louder Than Words: How Giving Circle Trailblazers Sparked a Movement


By: Alex Wong, AAPIP Community Philanthropy Manager

In celebration of the Asian Giving Circles 10th Anniversary, we feature the impact and partnerships that Giving Circles have in our communities.  This is Part One of a three-part series, featuring the Asian Giving Circle.   Read Part Two here.

When Kathy Im, Alice Lee-Osborne, and Serena Moy found out that less than 1% of all foundation dollars went to the AAPI community, they started to talk about ways to increase resources to the community.  As young professionals working in philanthropy and as members of AAPIP’s Chicago Chapter, they knew there was a need being overlooked and that a significant gap needed to be filled. 

That was 10 years ago.  While the needs in the AAPI community continue to grow, the percentage of funding to AAPI communities has remained woefully stark. And so it is within this context that the Asian Giving Circle (AGC) continues to organize and band together likeminded people from diverse backgrounds to learn about philanthropy and dispel the notion that AAPI’s don’t give.  “We can’t stand alone– because if we don’t stand together, we will be ignored,” recalls an AGC member when asked why he became a member.

Over the past 10 years, AGC, fiscally hosted at The Chicago Community Trust, has stood together and nurtured a living legacy.  Providing a total of $150,000 to 26 organizations in the Greater Chicago region, they have helped inspire 23 other Giving Circles to join AAPIP’s National Giving Circle Campaign.  AGC’s reach and success are reflected in the breadth of applications from the different communities and organizations that seek them out for support.  With a strong community of members and as the oldest circle in AAPIP’s National Giving Circle Network, AGC demonstrates the power of shared leadership, collective giving, and an example of what dreamers and doers can accomplish together

This fall, in celebration of their 10-year anniversary, AGC hopes to reach their cumulative goal of $200,000 in giving to the community.  They are well on their way to success and this September, AAPIP will be there to join them!  Interested in celebrating with us this fall?  Join us in Chicago on Saturday evening, September 21, 2013. For more details, contact .