Non-profit

The Asian American Foundation

Website:

www.taaf.org

Location:

Katy, TX

Fiscally Sponsored by:

New Venture Fund

Formation:

2021

Type:

Asian American Advocacy Organization

President:

Sonal Shah

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is a left-of-center Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) advocacy fund and grantmaking organization that conducts outreach campaigns to generate support for left-leaning causes among AAPI communities. [1] [2] [3] TAAF asks its corporate partners to prioritize Asian Americans in their critical race theory-inspired diversity, equity, and inclusion agendas. [4]

TAAF publicly launched on May 3, 2021, with $125 million dollars on hand and an additional $125 million in pledges to support AAPI advocacy. [5] Within weeks of its launch, TAAF met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House[6] and announced it had raised $1.1 billion in donations in partnership with the left-of-center Ford Foundation and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. [7]

TAAF is fiscally sponsored by the left-of-center New Venture Fund. [8] TAAF’s partners and projects include Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Stop AAPI Hate, The Urban Institute, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and others. [9]

Sonal Shah, a former Obama administration White House official and national policy director for Pete Buttigieg’s unsuccessful 2020 presidential campaign, is TAAF’s president. [10]

History and Leadership

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) was founded in 2021[11] and publicly launched on May 3, 2021,[12] with over $125 million on hand from its founding board members and $125 million in pledges to support AAPI advocacy. [13]

Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama provided video remarks at TAAF’s kickoff event on May 4, 2021. [14] Just weeks after its launch on May 20, 2021, TAAF met with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House. [15]

Sonal Shah is the president of TAAF. She previously worked as national policy director for Pete Buttigieg’s failed 2020 presidential campaign and as deputy assistant to the President and director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation during the Obama administration. [16] Shah sits on the boards of the left-of-center Oxfam America and Century Foundation[17] and has held positions with the Google Foundation[18] and at the liberal Center for American Progress. [19]

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) CEO Jonathan Greenblatt sits on TAAF’s board of directors and was involved in TAAF’s founding. [20] Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a member of TAAF’s advisory council. [21]

TAAF is headquartered in Katy, Texas. [22]

Activities and Funding

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is a left-of-center AAPI advocacy organization which focuses its efforts on combatting anti-Asian hate crimes, gathering data and collecting research for issues relevant to AAPI communities, supporting education reform to include AAPI information in K-12 and higher education curricula,[23] and making grants to support AAPI-related causes and organizations. [24] [25] [26]

After its launch, TAAF began the AAPI Giving Challenge in partnership with the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation. TAAF advises its partners how to deploy financial commitments and ask them to prioritize Asian Americans in their critical race theory-inspired diversity, equity, and inclusion agendas. [27]

TAAF’s grantmaking activity includes issuing $1,000,000 grants to the left-of-center Asian Americans Advancing Justice Coalition (AAJC), Stop AAPI Hate (a joint project of Chinese for Affirmative Action, a pro-racial-preferences advocacy group; Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council; and San Francisco State University),[28] and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). [29] TAAF has also made grants to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to improve the group’s Center on Extremism and to fund research tracking anti-Asian hate incidents,[30] and to the Asian American Education Project, The Urban Institute, Asian Pacific Fund, and AAPI Data. [31]

Funding

Big Philanthropy

The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) is the single largest philanthropic effort dedicated to Asian Americans and is fiscally sponsored by the left-of-center New Venture Fund, which is managed by the Arabella Advisors, a consulting firm that controls a multi-billion-dollar “dark money” network. [32]

TAAF launched with $125 million of pledges from its founders as well as $125 in commitments from foundations and corporations as a part of the AAPI Giving Challenge. [33] As of August 2021, contributions and grants to TAAF totaled at least $1.1 billion. [34]

Working in partnership with the Ford Foundation and John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation,[35] TAAF has received support from left-of-center California Endowment, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Chicago Community Trust, Cleveland Foundation, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Ford Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Surdna Foundation. [36]

Corporate Support

TAAF has received corporate support from Adobe, Allen & Company, Amazon, BCG, Bain & Company, Bank of America, BlackBerry, Blackstone, Bloomberg, BSF, CAA, Citadel Securities, Citi Foundation, Coca-Cola,[37]  Dalla Valle Vineyards, DANA, EastWest Bank, Egon Zehnder, Etsy, FedEx, CGV Capital, General Atlantic, General Catalyst, Goldman Sachs, Goodwater Capital, Heidrick & Struggles, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Goodwater Capital, Google, KKR, KPMG, Levi Strauss & Co., MasterCard, McKinsey & Company, Merck, Micron, Moody’s, Morgan Stanley, the NBA, the NFL, Nike, O’Melveny, Oscar, P&G, Panda Express, PepsiCo,[38] Ralph Lauren, Salesforce, SilverLake, Sweetgreen, UBS, UTA, Uber, United Airlines, Verizon, ViacomCBS, Walmart.org, Wieden and Kennedy, Workday, and Zoom. [39]

Associated Organizations

The Asian American Foundation led the creation of left-of-center See Us Unite campaign in collaboration with the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation. [40]  TAAF board member Shelia Lirio Marcelo is the executive producer of the campaign. [41]

References

  1. “Our Work.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/projects. ^
  2. “Grant Inquiries.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/grants. ^
  3. Rojic, Philip. “Wake-Up Call: Anti-Asian hate and Philanthropy’s Role in an Intersectional Justice Movement.” Inside Philanthropy. April 14, 2021. Accessed via Web Archive. April 27, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20210427195205/https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/4/14/wake-up-call-anti-asian-hate-and-philanthropys-role-in-an-intersectional-justice-movement. ^
  4. “The Asian American Foundation Announces Historic Commitment of Over $1 Billion for AAPI Communities.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 20, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/pages/whitehouse-pressrelease. ^
  5. “The Asian American Foundation Launches to Improve AAPI Advocacy, Power, and Representation Across American Society.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 3, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/pages/press-release. ^
  6. King, Hope. “Exclusive” White House meets with The Asian American Foundation.” Axios. May 20, 2021. https://www.axios.com/taaf-asian-american-foundation-white-house-biden-1-billion-3a3973b8-9be0-45fb-b166-bb237cbcab8b.html. ^
  7. “The AAPI Giving Challenge Raises $1.1 Billion Commitment For AAPI Communities.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 20, 2021. Accessed August 11, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/aapi-giving-challenge. ^
  8. “Donate Now.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 20, 2021. https://secure.donationpay.org/taaf/. ^
  9. “Our Partners.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/our-partners#anchor-individuals. ^
  10. “Sonal Shah.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/srshah68/. ^
  11. “About.” The Asian American Foundation. LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/company/taaforg/about/. ^
  12. “The Asian American Foundation Launches to Improve AAPI Advocacy, Power, and Representation Across American Society.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 3, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/pages/press-release. ^
  13. “The Asian American Foundation Launches to Improve AAPI Advocacy, Power, and Representation Across American Society.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 3, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/pages/press-release. ^
  14. “The Asian American Foundation Launches to Improve AAPI Advocacy, Power, and Representation Across American Society.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 3, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/pages/press-release. ^
  15. King, Hope. “Exclusive” White House meets with The Asian American Foundation.” Axios. May 20, 2021. https://www.axios.com/taaf-asian-american-foundation-white-house-biden-1-billion-3a3973b8-9be0-45fb-b166-bb237cbcab8b.html. ^
  16. “Sonal Shah.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/srshah68/. ^
  17. “Sonal Shah.” The Century Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://tcf.org/experts/sonal-shah/?session=1. ^
  18. “Sonal Shah.” The Century Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://tcf.org/experts/sonal-shah/?session=1. ^
  19. “Sonal Shah.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/srshah68/. ^
  20. “Your Daily Phil: How the ADL helped create The Asian American Foundation to track and combat hate crimes + Two more views on Pew.” eJewishPhilanthropy. May 21, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://ejewishphilanthropy.com/your-daily-phil-how-the-adl-helped-create-the-asian-american-foundation-to-track-and-combat-hate-crimes/. ^
  21. “Our Team.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/our-team ^
  22. “Terms and Conditions.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/terms-and-conditions. ^
  23. “The Asian American Foundation Launches to Improve AAPI Advocacy, Power, and Representation Across American Society.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 3, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/pages/press-release. ^
  24. “Our Work.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/projects. ^
  25. “Grant Inquiries.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/grants. ^
  26. Rojic, Philip. “Wake-Up Call: Anti-Asian hate and Philanthropy’s Role in an Intersectional Justice Movement.” Inside Philanthropy. April 14, 2021. Accessed via Web Archive. April 27, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20210427195205/https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/4/14/wake-up-call-anti-asian-hate-and-philanthropys-role-in-an-intersectional-justice-movement. ^
  27. “The Asian American Foundation Announces Historic Commitment of Over $1 Billion for AAPI Communities.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 20, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/pages/whitehouse-pressrelease. ^
  28. “Stop AAPI Hate.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 11, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/projects/stop-aapi-hate. ^
  29. “The Asian American Foundation Launches to Improve AAPI Advocacy, Power, and Representation Across American Society.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. May 3, 2021. Accessed August 11, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/pages/press-release. ^
  30. Chernikoff, Helen. “How the ADL helped create The Asian American Foundation to track and combat hate crimes.” eJewishPhilanthropy. May 21, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://ejewishphilanthropy.com/adl-advises-the-asian-american-foundation-on-tracking-hate-crimes/. ^
  31. “Our Partners.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/our-partners#anchor-individuals. ^
  32. “Donate Now.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 20, 2021. https://secure.donationpay.org/taaf/. ^
  33. “Asian American Foundation launched with pledges totaling #250 million.” Philanthropy News Digest by Candid. May 4, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://philanthropynewsdigest.org/news/asian-american-foundation-raises-nearly-1.1-billion. ^
  34. IP Staff. “The IP Power List: Meet the 100 Most Powerful Players in Philanthropy.” Inside Philanthropy. July 21, 2021. Accessed via Web Archive. July 21, 2021. https://web.archive.org/web/20210721185455/https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/home/2021/7/21/the-inside-philanthropy-power-list. ^
  35. “The AAPI Giving Challenge Raises $1.1 Billion Commitment For AAPI Communities.” Press Release. The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 11, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/aapi-giving-challenge. ^
  36. “Our Partners.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/our-partners#anchor-individuals. ^
  37. Tweet. The Coca-Cola Co. Twitter. May 7, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://twitter.com/CocaColaCo/status/1390671409068785665. ^
  38. “#StrongerTogether: PepsiCo Commits More Than $1,000,000 to Asian American Community Amid Pandemic Setbacks and Increased Race-Based Attacks.” PepsiCo. Press Release. May 21, 2021. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.pepsico.com/news/press-release/strongertogether-pepsico-commits-more-than-1000000-to-asian-american-community-a05212021. ^
  39. “Our Partners.” The Asian American Foundation. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://www.taaf.org/our-partners#anchor-individuals. ^
  40. “See Us Unite //.” See Us Unite Donor Page. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://secure.qgiv.com/for/seeusunite/full. ^
  41. “See Us Unite //.” See Us Unite Donor Page. Accessed August 10, 2021. https://secure.qgiv.com/for/seeusunite/full. ^
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The Asian American Foundation


Katy, TX