The Fund sponsors workshops and activities to help community organizations expand the resources they need for their programs and the people they serve.
At our meetings for affiliate agencies, we cover topic areas like:
- Planned giving and major gifts
- Working with private donors
- Board recruitment and development
- Securing corporate and foundation funding
- Communications, branding and organizational identity
- Cultural giving patterns of Asian donors
The Fund also participates in conferences and panel discussions to help others learn about charitable giving in Asian American communities, and we give personalized advice to individual organizations. Non-profit organizations have an ongoing need for professional development and training opportunities, and when resources have been available, the Fund has supported a voucher program for this purpose. Keep reading for an example of how the Asian Pacific Fund has valuable services to local Asian groups.
The Fund invites local Asian organizations to become affiliate agencies. Currently there are 90 and all are eligible to receive grants and participate in programs of the Fund. In 2008 we hosted two workshops for affiliate agencies.
In 2008 Asian Pacific Fund awarded grants for health education programs that address childhood obesity. The work of the grantee agencies will be enhanced by a campaign in the ethnic media in spring 2009. Even though there are recent indicators that the problem is leveling off for the general population, the percentage of Asian American kids in California who are at risk for becoming overweight has risen faster over the past 10 years than for any other ethnic group. This means that early intervention is important, since being overweight puts people at risk for many health problems, like diabetes and asthma. According to the World Health Organization, Asians will experience weight-related health problems at a lower fat count than those from other racial and ethnic groups.
The Fund hosted a workshop help the grantee organizations strengthen their programs in the area of childhood obesity by enlisting the help of Kim Nguyen, research specialist at the UC Berkeley Center for Weight and Health, Jyu-Lin Chen of the UCSF School of Nursing, and Mike Wong, a private consultant who specializes in foundations, non-profits and public departments. The three experts designed and conducted a session for the affiliate organizations.
The workshop gave the program managers current information regarding childhood obesity within the Asian American community, discussed ways to enhance their programs, and offered worksheets, activities, and Asian language resources to make the programs more impactful.
Small group discussions and brainstorming sessions gave the agency staff a more comprehensive understanding of the issue and provided tangible solutions raising awareness about the problem and its long term effects.
Because of the Asian Pacific Fund’s long-term commitment to building capacity in the Asian community, the second workshop featured guests who discussed major gifts fund raising and board development. The speakers were Priscilla Hung, Co-Director of the Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT), Steve Lew, Senior Project Director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services and Vince Sales, Director of Development for Asia in the Stanford University International Division. Major gifts can strengthen an organization and put it on more stable financial footing. The guest speakers shared strategies, gave an overview of types of major gifts, and offered suggestions on how to initiate Board involvement in soliciting major gifts.
Domestic violence is a problem for many people, and what makes this problem especially difficult to address is that the abuse takes place behind closed doors. It can be hard for Asian victims to speak up due to overwhelming feelings of shame, and new immigrants may feel especially isolated.
Unfortunately, services are often limited for those who are brave enough to seek help. Asian Women's Shelter, the Shimtuh project of Korean Community Center of the East Bay, Maitri and Narika all run domestic violence programs for Asian women, but they often have to turn people away because they do not have regular sources for funding to help survivors get back on their feet. Demand for services has risen due to increased awareness and a growing Asian population, but money has always been difficult to secure.
To remedy this problem, the Asian Pacific Fund worked on a two-stage project with these four agencies. First, the Board and staff of each organization developed an individualized strategy to expand their private donor base and, working with grants from the Asian Pacific Fund, enhanced their fundraising activities and materials. Then the four organizations applied for a total of $200,000 in matching grants from the Blue Shield of California Foundation in 2005.
We saw an opportunity for funds that would not only expand existing programs but also strengthen the organizations' private fundraising base. The matching funds and Blue Shield's endorsement motivated many individual donors to give, and the Fund was on hand to provide guidance and consultation at every step of the way.
Atashi Chakravarty, executive director of Narika, said the Fund gave them new ideas on ways to involve their supporters on an ongoing basis. The grant took the organization in a new direction, she said, and the money allowed them to buy donor database software and begin a legal defense fund.
The Korean Community Center of the East Bay (KCCEB) launched an innovative outreach campaign at Korean churches and temples. Volunteer speakers drew attention to impact of domestic violence on the congregation as well as on the larger community. The Center also successfully enlisted the support of popular Korean language newspapers to assist them with raising matching funds.
"We were surprised that people of little means were willing to give so much," reported KCCEB. "We had rarely thought about fundraising as a way for the community to participate in our program. Once we were challenged to think about this, we spoke more publicly about our program in a way which would compel the public to contribute."
With more funds at their disposal, the domestic violence organizations are able to better serve their clients and provide in-language counseling, referrals, legal assistance and emergency shelter. In addition, all four agencies built stronger ties to their donors and communities in the process, placing them on more stable financial footing. Asian Women's Shelter, KCCEB, Narika and Maitri completed their matching grants in 2007, and the Asian Pacific Fund thus helped add a total of $600,000 toward ending domestic violence for good.