WASHINGTON, DC, May 20, 2021 — The Asian American Foundation (“TAAF”) today announced that just two weeks after launching it has raised nearly $1.1 billion to support AAPI communities. This builds upon an initial commitment from the TAAF board of $125 million announced on May 3rd, which was already the largest philanthropic commitment in history fully focused on supporting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In the days and weeks since, TAAF has been working with foundations,
corporate partners, and individuals to commit even more resources through TAAF’s “AAPI Giving Challenge” — a 5 year commitment to bringing resources to AAPI organizations and causes. Today’s announcement marks a crucial turning point in philanthropic support for AAPI communities which have historically been severely underfunded, receiving less than 0.5% of charitable giving.
“TAAF was founded to close critical gaps of support for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and end the longstanding underinvestment in our communities. Today’s historic announcement should send a clear signal to the 23 million AAPIs living in this country that TAAF and our AAPI Giving Challenge partners are here to upend the status quo in favor of a better, brighter future for AAPI communities,” said Sonal Shah, President of TAAF. “The AAPI Giving Challenge was created to invite other funders, leaders, and philanthropists to the table to help TAAF advance our mission, and we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we’ve received in such a short period of time. It’s amazing to know that we are not alone in wanting to help lift up AAPI communities. In fact, there’s a long list of organizations and people who are joining us in saying enough is enough — the time for change is now.”
Shah and members of TAAF’s Board attended a meeting at the White House this afternoon to discuss their groundbreaking commitment to AAPI communities, briefing Biden-Harris administration officials on their plans to deploy the committed resources across the foundation’s three priority investment areas: combating anti-AAPI hate, data and research, and education. They also discussed the importance of business, philanthropy, and nonprofits working together for change. Members of TAAF’s Advisory Council, including Daniel Dae Kim and Lisa Ling joined the meeting virtually, as did some of the foundation and corporate partners that made contributions to the fundraise, including representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, MacArthur Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, Mastercard, Bain & Company, and sweetgreen.
TAAF’s representatives met with White House Public Engagement Director Cedric Richmond, Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, and Deputy Assistant to the President and AAPI Senior Liaison Erika Moritsugu. President Biden and Vice President Harris dropped by the meeting to express their support for TAAF and solidarity with the AAPI community.
A full list of TAAF’s AAPI Giving Challenge partners are listed on its website, and they include leading foundations and corporations, as well as individual donors. Partners either pledged contributions to the $1 billion raised so far through the AAPI Giving Challenge, or they made in-kind commitments to support AAPI communities with TAAF’s help. Some of the money raised will go into TAAF, though the vast majority will go directly to AAPI communities. In some cases, TAAF will advise its AAPI Giving Challenge partners on how best to deploy their financial commitments. In addition, TAAF is also asking its corporate partners to prioritize AAPIs in their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agendas.