Spotlight on the Asian Pacific Community Fund
By Phill Weber
The Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have a long and intertwined history in the United States, with many shared experiences between them, and many differences as well. Though the points of origin of these communities are sometimes geographically distant and their histories distinct, they share many cultural similarities such as an emphasis on tradition and the family. The term “Asian American” emerged in 1968, with the establishment of the Asian American Political Alliance, a student group founded at UC Berkeley. The term “Asian Pacific” was introduced in the 1980s to include Pacific Islanders. The term gained household status with George Bush Sr’s pronouncement of May as Asian American Heritage Month in 1990.
The Asian Pacific Community Fund, or APCF, was founded in that same year by Asian and Pacific Islander community leaders in Los Angeles. APCF was created with the goal of increasing philanthropy among Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the LA area. APCF has been extremely effective in achieving this goal, with a recent tally of 4.3 million dollars distributed to over 150 nonprofits since its creation in 1990. The nonprofits that APCF assists span a broad spectrum, with 60% of funding going to Asian and Pacific Islander nonprofits, 15% going to Hispanic/Latino groups, and the remaining funds going to nonprofits that help African American and other communities.
Front and center amongst the grants that APCF offers is their annual Giving Circle Grant. This grant is intended to assist Asian and Pacific Islander communities, specifically, in Los Angeles and Orange County. The recipients of the Giving Circle Grant change from year to year, with past recipients using the grant to make progress in promoting mental health, youth leadership development, language access, bullying prevention, environmental justice, and financial literacy.
APCF also offers the annual Firecracker Fund. Created in collaboration with the Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker Run Committee, the Firecracker Fund is intended to help nonprofits that promote healthy lifestyles, nutrition, and fitness among Asian and Pacific Islanders in LA and Orange Counties.
These grants offered by the Asian Pacific Community Fund are just two examples of the sort of opportunities available to nonprofits that serve the Asian and Pacific Islander communities, in this case in the LA area. If you would like assistance applying for one of these grants, or with researching additional grants, please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be reached at:
Phone: (775) 237-8667
Grants for Pacific Islander Nonprofits
By Phill Weber
Pacific Islanders are a fast growing, but underserved, community in the United States. It is no surprise then that community members are creating nonprofits to gather resources and share knowledge. Searching for grants that fund Pacific Islander nonprofits is a daunting task because there are very few designated “Pacific Islander grants.” In addition, the Pacific Islander demographic is actually made up of different groups - those who are descendants of Polynesian, Melanesian, and Micronesian heritages - and the current state of grant funding hasn’t yet addressed that reality.
In a global context, Pacific Islanders are recognized for their unique identity and shared customs and culture, especially in places where the West meets the Pacific, such as Australia and New Zealand. In the United States, however, Pacific Islanders are currently grouped into a category called “Asian American Pacific Islander” (AAPI). This is noteworthy when it comes to researching relevant grants. Another point worth noting is that because the Pacific Islander community is marginalized, one should perform a broad search as well as narrow search for nonprofit grants.
After using the search terms “grants for pacific islander nonprofits”, “AAPI grants”, and “nonprofit grants for underserved communities”, I found these 5 grants and funding: Asian Pacific Community Giving Circle; Local Community Grants; Covid-19 relief and support funds; Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant; PIC Media Fund for Pacific Islanders. These grants vary in location and award amounts, but are beneficial for the nonprofit who makes the best case for funding.
1. Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF) offers the “Asian Pacific Community Giving Circle” grant to organizations that serve underserved Asian and Pacific Islander communities in Orange County and/or Los Angeles County. The focus of this fund changes from year to year, with past recipients using the funding to make progress in promoting mental health, youth leadership development, and financial literacy. The award is $5,000.
Deadline: December 4, 2020 at 5pm.
2. Walmart offers “Local Community Grants” that are available to local organizations in the U.S. that directly benefit the service area of the Walmart and/or Sam’s Club facility. The award ranges from $250 to $5,000.
Deadline: December 31, 2020.
3. Pacific Power Foundation offers “COVID-19 relief and support funds” to organizations that provide critical far-reaching services to most at-risk community members in the states of
Oregon, Washington, and California. The award can be determined by applying through the
online grant management system.
Deadline: Rolling. Your application will be considered in the next grant cycle.
4. The Bush Foundation offers a “Community Innovation Grant,” which has been awarded to Pacific Islander nonprofits in the past, such as AAPIP (Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.) The grant’s stated goal is to “solve problems and create opportunity” for
indigenous people, people of color, and people of rural communities in Minnesota, North
Dakota, South Dakota, and Native Nations that share the same geography.
Deadline: Applications are accepted year-round.
5. PIC (Pacific Islanders in Communications), a media arts organization based in Hawaii, offers a “Media Fund” for Pacific Islanders who are working on “single non-fiction projects” about the Pacific Islander experience. The stipulations are that the funding be used for 3 phases of the project: the research and development phase, production, and post production. The final product must be geared for public television broadcast.
Deadline: July 2, 2021
These 5 grants represent some of the funding opportunities currently available for enterprising Pacific Islanders. I expect the funding landscape to broaden considerably in the coming years, as Pacific Islanders become a greater political force in the US and a more evident reservoir of talent and ideas. Though there is certainly room for more funding, the opportunities are out there, for those who take the time to search for them. If you would like assistance applying for one of these grants, or with researching additional grants, please do not hesitate to contact me.
I can be reached at:
Phone: (775) 237-8667
The Successful Grant Writer
By Phill Weber
Whether you are a nonprofit looking for a grant writer to craft a winning proposal, or are a writer attempting to create a proposal yourself, it helps to know what attributes make a grant writer successful. This article will explain those attributes and show how they are used by grant writers to secure funding from organizations that believe in your nonprofit’s project.
For those new to the field, grant writing is an unmapped terrain. There are so many different kinds of grants, and so many different kinds of grant makers, that there is no single agreed-upon way to write a grant proposal. Rather than relying on templates or recycled elevator pitches, the successful grant writer draws on their intuition to seek out new opportunities. And, having found a potential grant maker, they use flexibility to craft a proposal the grant maker will find hard to ignore.
The successful grant writer must have the foresight to see how their nonprofit’s goals fit into a prospective grant maker’s mission, but they must also be flexible enough to suggest changes to the nonprofit, if and when they are needed, and then communicate these changes in a compelling way to both parties.
It is rare that a grant maker’s goals automatically correspond with the specific aims of a nonprofit. There is usually a general alignment between the two organizations when it comes to broader goals, but the finer points need to be ironed out, with the nonprofit more often than not modifying their goals to fit the grant maker’s vision. This modification process is necessary to arrive at a goal that both the grant maker and nonprofit believe in.
Successful grant writers guide this delicate process of modifying the finer points by storytelling. They use their proposal to create a compelling narrative about the nonprofit and the grant maker coming together to accomplish a shared goal. The successful proposal will clearly explain the steps the nonprofit will take to achieve this goal. Knowing how to create this narrative and clearly defining the steps the nonprofit will take is often a matter of simply asking the right questions. The successful grant writer knows the right questions to ask by reading any available information - such as sample proposals and reports on previous projects the grant maker has funded - and by communicating with key people in both parties.
Most grant makers publicize who receives their grants and will give details on their various sponsored projects. An intrepid grant writer will research these nonprofits and projects, starting by visiting their websites, and make themselves an expert on what the grant maker wants to achieve with their funding. The grant writer will take note of any patterns in the funding, such as whether the focus of the funding has changed over the course of the grant maker’s history, from outreach to health, for example. The successful grant writer will also note the scope of the funded projects, and whether there are activities that are not allowed.
The successful grant writer is also a bit of a detective. They keep their eyes open for any inconsistencies between the prospective grant maker’s publicized goals, and the actual projects they fund, zeroing in on information that warrants further investigation. For example, a prospective grant maker’s website may state that they do not make grants to organizations located in their own state, but an examination of past recipients might reveal that this guideline is a loose one and often circumvented. Finding places where wiggle room exists is an example of how intuition, and a keen eye for opportunity, serves the successful grant writer and their nonprofit.
The successful grant writer gives the grant maker something compelling to read and stand behind if they grant the award to their nonprofit. But merely writing in a compelling way isn’t enough. The successful grant writer also does the proverbial math. One of the biggest mistakes a grant writer can make is telling a story that has no facts, evidence, or internal consistency. The winning proposal will include any and all relevant data and demonstrate the impact that the nonprofit has already made, with or without grants in the past.
The successful grant writer makes sure that the grant maker’s interests and the nonprofit’s interests are aligned before the conversation even begins. This means checking, and re-checking, the facts. The goal the grant writer proposes must be achievable with the material resources that the nonprofit is requesting. The grant proposal must anticipate and answer any questions a grant maker might ask. Depending on the grant maker’s requirements, the proposal may range from a one-page letter, to a one hundred page plus application. The successful grant writer will provide whatever is necessary to make their case.
The successful grant writer will pay extra attention to crafting the proposal’s “abstract.” The “abstract” is a description in plain language of how their proposed project is constructed. The successful grant writer crafts this portion of the proposal so that anyone, regardless of their expertise or education, can understand it. The narrative that follows will provide a deeper dive, utilizing facts and evidence to flesh out the broader statements that the abstract presents.
In summation, the successful grant writer understands what the grant maker wants, and will have a clear vision as to how to match the nonprofit's abilities with the grant maker’s mission. Success in grant writing is a matter of matching a nonprofit’s abilities with a grant maker’s mission and then uniting the two parties with persuasive writing.
I hope I have given the reader a clear overview of what is involved in grant writing, and the attributes that make a grant writer successful. If you represent a nonprofit that wishes to hire a writer with these attributes, I can be contacted at:
Phone: (775) 237-8667
Please welcome our independent contractor, Phill Weber.
He's a reliable and diligent writer who has joined our team to perform grant research and grant writing for nonprofit clients.
What is the role that nonprofits play in the indigenous Pacific Islander community?
Quite often, nonprofits are set up in our communities to provide resources and knowledge to low income families. These community nonprofits step in and fill our underserved needs. Some nonprofits focus on elders and their health, while others focus on distributing food to families in need. In any event, they are doing lots of good with very little resources and funding.
In addition, the nonprofit churches are active in our communities. They meet spiritual needs, unite families and friends, and share a lot of resources. Similar to the community programs, our churches are often underfunded.
But donations, grants, and fundraisers keep these important programs running. We want to support these nonprofits so they can continue to support the community at large.
If you would like to make an appointment with Phillip, feel free to call us at (775) 237-8667.
Or email: PhillipWeber.FFC@gmail.com.