The Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community makes up about seven percent of the U.S. population. But we receive only about 0.2 percent of overall philanthropic giving in this country.
To address this disparity and help fill the funding gap, The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), with help from a grant from the Walmart Foundation, has created the AAPI Nonprofit Database—which is an “interactive resource to find and connect with AAPI organizations.”
Launching today, the website is designed to match donors, volunteers, and partners with nonprofits. This comprehensive database is the first of its kind and was born out of the fact that there just wasn’t anything like this before. It includes more than 600 organizations focused on serving AANHPI communities nationwide, which have been verified by TAAF’s staff.
Sruthi Chandrasekaran, TAAF’s director of data and research, says they plan to verify organizations on an annual basis to ensure users have the most updated information on these organizations. Verified organizations are signified by a checkmark next to their listing.
There are nonprofits of all sizes in the database, and Chandrasekaran—who oversees the project—says they particularly want to drive funding to grassroots organizations.
More than just a list of organizations, the AAPI Nonprofit Database includes interactive search functions to make it easier for folks to find exactly what they are looking to support. From cause and ethnic group, to geographic location, budget and staff size, Chandrasekaran says users can filter their searches to be matched with the right organization. The site also includes links so people can donate directly to organizations, as well as a quiz on the site that can match you with your top five dream nonprofits. “If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you can start there,” Chandrasekaran says.
The database was developed over the course of about seven months, in collaboration with AAPI Data, Asian Pacific Fund, and Give in May—organizations also focused on providing resources for and raising visibility of our communities.
Chandrasekaran says while they will welcome and are happy to include organizations that serve BIPOC communities overall, they want to focus on groups who serve AANHPIs specifically.
This being said, CEO Norman Chen says TAAF did reach out to Black and Latinx organizations who have already established similar databases to serve their respective communities and looked at their work as benchmarks during development. In addition, Chen says they are also looking to collaborate with these groups as well.
With TAAF’s mission to unlock resources and raise AANHPI visibility—still sadly lacking, as we’ve seen in their latest STAATUS Report—the database is the next step in doing this. There are organizations out there that have been serving our communities for years, and even decades, and Chen says they hope to elevate them (as well as newer nonprofits) and connect them with funding, people, and partners.
“It’s very much tied to our goals with STAATUS and TAAF overall,” he says, acknowledging that “this is still the tip of the iceberg,” and he hopes more organizations will sign up to be listed on the site.
Published on July 31, 2023
Words by Samantha Pak
Samantha Pak (she/her) is an award-winning Cambodian American journalist from the Seattle area and assistant editor for JoySauce. She spends more time than she’ll admit shopping for books than actually reading them, and has made it her mission to show others how amazing Southeast Asian people are. Follow her on Twitter at @iam_sammi and on Instagram at @sammi.pak.