The Asian Community Fund at the Boston Foundation is a permanent resource designed to develop, strengthen and support Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community power in Massachusetts, to galvanize and unite the diverse ethnicities within this community, and to build a stronger advocacy voice. The Fund seeks to advocate for equal access to all aspects of our society and collaborate with other communities of color and oppressed communities to build collective strengths to overcome injustice and racism.
THE HISTORY: Asian Americans have lived, worked, and raised families across the Commonwealth for more than a century and a half, and this community now represents the fastest growing—and arguably the least understood—group in our region. Aggregated data masks many disparities and community needs, including poverty and a need for improved language resources. There is a clear need for the ACF to step forward as an organizing platform to support and advance AAPI interests.
THE GOAL: The Asian Community Fund at the Boston Foundation was established to increase the visibility of the Asian American community and expand resources for nonprofits that serve disadvantaged Asian Americans.
Research shows that in the past 30 years, just 0.2% of philanthropic funding has gone to the AAPI community, during a time when AAPI residents have grown to 7.2% of the national population and 9.7% of the Greater Boston population. ACF’s work is focusing on three initial strategies to fill in these gaps and build much-needed community infrastructure and capabilities across the region:
Small business technical assistance and advocacy to create a vibrant community for existing providers of advice and assistance to Asian-owned businesses and to build a strong collective voice for advocacy. This entity, called the Asian Business Empowerment Council (ABEC), will work in coalition with counterpart organizations in the Black, Latinx and other underserved communities which are dedicated to closing the racial wealth gap
Community leadership to develop Asian American nonprofit professionals through talent identification and development, mentoring, training, and networking to build and strengthen the capacity of Asian-led nonprofits to serve the AAPI community.
Community advocacy to amplify the AAPI community’s voice in addressing injustice and anti-Asian racism and to overcome historic invisibility. This will give the AAPI community a voice to speak out forcefully against anti-Asian hate and racism, and to educate the public about the AAPI community.
In addition to the above, the ACF also plans to support collaboration among existing nonprofits through more traditional grantmaking, and to commission and release research to inform its own strategy and more effectively advocate on behalf of the AAPI community.
We seek to raise a permanent fund to serve the AAPI community in Massachusetts long into the future
The Boston Foundation launched the fund in 2020 with an initial $250,000 commitment.
The Fund has raised over $4 million in gifts and pledges to date.
To learn more about the Fund, contact Danielle Kim, Director, and explore our 2022 Impact Report.
“Asian American” suggests a degree of homogeneity that obscures the complexity of our community. Made up of many ethnic groups, Greater Boston’s Asian Americans include large populations of Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Korean, Filipino, Japanese, Nepalese and Pakistani Americans, all speaking different languages. This diversity extends to educational attainment and income levels.
This is a critical moment in the Asian American community nationally and locally. ACF with the Advisory committee is beginning to explore the challenges and opportunities exposed by COVID, the rise in Anti-Asian violence, and the limited public understanding of and resources devoted to the diverse needs of AAPI communities.
The 2021 report "Building AAPI Power" from Boston Indicators explores some of the complex dimensions of the Asian and Pacific Islander community in Greater Boston, its growth, and the possibilities for increasing political and social power.
On March 24, the Asian Community Fund at the Boston Foundation commemorated the one-year anniversary of the murders of eight people, including six Asian women, with an event to honor the resilience, strength, and power of Asian American communities. A series of speakers, including Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and national leaders Ai-Jen Poo and John Yang, reflected on the progress fighting anti-Asian racism to date, celebrated the leadership and contributions of local AAPI leaders, highlighted the importance of multiethnic and multiracial coalition building, and discussed strategies to continue advancing equity and solidarity throughout our region.
The Asian Community Fund and Boston Indicators presented this opportunity to learn about the growing Asian American population in Greater Boston, explore recent successes and shortcomings in Asian representation, and discuss the opportunities and challenges facing this diverse community, with the goal of increasing visibility for all AAPI people.
In the wake of anti-Asian hate and inequities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, increased visibility has allowed for a conversation about how Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities can build AAPI-led capabilities to mobilize for lasting change. On May 24, 2021, in honor of AAPI Heritage Month, the Asian Community Fund and the Boston Foundation shared a data presentation assessing the current needs of AAPI communities, followed by a panel discussion featuring community leaders who shared how we can build AAPI power.
The Asian Community Fund is overseen by a fourteen-member Advisory Committee of leaders from the Asian Community.
Paul W. Lee
Retired Partner, Goodwin Proctor LLP
Director, The Boston Foundation
Director, Environmental Sustainability
Analog Devices, Inc.
Chief of Staff
Shu (Nick) Chau
Founder and President
Tai Tung Realty, Inc
Pam Y. Eddinger, Ph.D.
Bunker Hill Community College
Jeffrey D. Hsi, Ph.D.
Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C.
Casner & Edwards, LLP
Helen Chin Schlichte
Co-Founder, President Emeritus,
South Cove Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility
Dr. Peter Nien-chu Kiang
Professor and Director of the Asian American Studies Program
College of Education & Human Development, UMass Boston
Sarah G. Kim
Deputy Treasurer and General Counsel
Office of the Massachusetts State Treasurer & Receiver General
Edward D. Sevilla
Senior Vice President & Chief Development Officer
USS Constitution Museum
Executive Director, Lowell
EforAll (Entrepreneurship for All)