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