Funding for Asian Americans lags

While the Asian American and Pacific Islander populations in the U.S. are growing rapidly, funding for these groups is not keeping pace, a new study says.

Currently, there are about 12 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in America, representing about 4.5 percent of the nation’s population, says a new report by Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.

But at a time when poverty rates, health risks, hate crimes and educational gaps among these populations are increasing, they receive only 0.4 percent of all foundation dollars.

Similarly, groups led by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, are not receiving enough foundation investment to keep up with the needs in their communities.

That gap is magnified by crises like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, when language barriers and a lack of cultural literacy can exacerbate the problems these groups face.

To address these inadequacies, the report recommends foundations deepen their understanding of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by collecting more data, tracking the impact of funding and soliciting input on community concerns through affinity groups, advisory boards and community tours.

The report also urges the creation of funding collaboratives, increases in operational and program funding, a focus on funding for minority-led organizations and increased recruitment of board and staff with relevant cultural competencies.

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