Seeking to Soar: Foundation Funding for Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

AAPIP is proud to release Seeking to Soar: Foundation Funding for Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities.

The 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.

A huge thank you to our members and other supporters for making this report and the work of AAPIP possible. We’re also grateful to the many individuals who provided feedback on earlier versions of this report.

It is our hope that this report informs our members and the wider field of philanthropy about foundation funding for AAPI communities and inspires increased investments – especially in these difficult times.

seeking to soar infographic