Non-profit

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Civic Engagement Fund

Website:

aapifund.org

Formation:

2014

Type:

Election Activism & Grantmaking

Fiscal Sponsor:

New Venture Fund

Director:

Eunsook Lee

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Civic Engagement Fund is a left-of-center election activism and grantmaking organization. It is a fiscally sponsored project of New Venture Fund. While the organization claims to support civic engagement throughout the entire AAPI community, the organization’s programs focus on increasing AAPI political participation in Democratic Party-aligned politics.

History

Asian and Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Fund was created in 2014 to increase AAPI participation in elections and politics. [1]  The organization’s seed funding was provided by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund,  Ford Foundation, and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. [2] The organization’s fiscal sponsor is New Venture Fund, a left-of-center funding organization. [3]

Finances

As a fiscal project of New Venture Fund, AAPI Civic Engagement does not disclose its funding. However, the organization’s website does list its largest donors. The organizations that have made contributions to AAPI Civic Engagement include corporations and major left-of-center foundations such as the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ford Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Mastercard. [4]

AAPI Civic Engagement has also received funding from multiple left-of-center grantmaking organizations, including the MacArthur Foundation, The Morningstar Foundation, Naomi & Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, Raikes Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Susan Sandler Fund, Surdna Foundation, Unbound Philanthropy, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, The Henry Luce Foundation, the JPB Foundation, Linked Fate Fund for Justice, and the Loud Hound Fund. [5]

Research

In 2020, Asian and Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Fund, along with 21 other organizations, commissioned a poll to evaluate AAPI voter participation rates, political alignment, and demographic trends. [6] The poll projected that 68 percent of Asian Americans would vote for Democratic candidate Joe Biden, and 28 percent for Republican candidate Donald Trump. [7]

Grantmaking

AAPI Civic Engagement provides funding to Get out The Vote (GOTV) organizations, many of which seek to register Democratic Party-aligned individuals, organizations that seek to expand welfare policies, organizations that focus on race-based social policy, and organizations that seek to make significant expansions to immigration policy.

GOTV  organizations supported by AAPI Civic Engagement include APACEvotes, APIA Vote Michigan, and the Asian American Resource Workshop. [8]

Race focused, left-of-center organizations supported by AAPI Civic Engagement include 18 Million Rising, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta, Asian Americans Advancing Justice Chicago, Filipino Advocates for Justice, EMGAGE Florida (the Florida subsidiary of Emgage Foundation), Adhikaar, Asian Americans United, Asian American Community Development Council, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Chinese for Affirmative Action,  Justice for Muslims Collective MASA Fund, Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, Coalition of Asian American Leaders,  and VietLEAD. [9]

AAPI Civic Engagement also supports organizations that seek to expand welfare policies and government spending, those organizations include the National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council, Chinese Progressive Association of Boston, Chinese Progressive Association of San Francisco, Desis Rising Up & Moving, and the Chhaya Community Development Corporation, and Asian Services in Action. [10]

AAPI Civic Engagement has provided funding to organizations that seek to liberalize immigration policy in the United States, those organizations include Boat People SOS of the Delaware Valley and CAPI USA. [11]

Leadership

Eunsook Lee is the director of AAPI Civic Engagement, and she has led the organization since its formation in 2014. [12] Before leading the organization, she was a senior deputy to Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA). Lee was previously the executive director of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC). [13]

References

  1. “About” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/about/ ^
  2. “About – Our History” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/about/  ^
  3. “Donate” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/donate/ ^
  4. “People – Our Donors” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/about/people/ ^
  5. “People – Our Donors” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/about/people/ ^
  6. “2020 American Election Eve Poll” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/program/research-and-tools/ ^
  7. “2020 American Election Eve Poll” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/program/research-and-tools/ ^
  8. “Cohort Members” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/members/ ^
  9. “Cohort Members” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/members/ ^
  10. “Cohort Members” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/members/ ^
  11. “Cohort Members” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/members/ ^
  12. “Eunsook Lee” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/people/eunsook-lee/ ^
  13. “Eunsook Lee” AAPI Civic Engagement Fund. https://aapifund.org/people/eunsook-lee/ ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Sue Van
    Board Member
  2. Geri Mannion
    Board Member
  3. Ethan Frey
    Board Member
  4. EunSook Lee
    Executive Director
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