What we do
The Korean American Community Foundation (KACF) provides grants and organizational development support to nonprofit groups working to address the most pressing needs in the Korean American community and beyond. This is possible through our work to foster philanthropic giving among Korean Americans, corporations and foundations, and we provide our supporters with an effective vehicle to magnify the impact of their giving.
Why does this matter? We are the fifth largest Asian American ethnic group, with over 1.7 million Korean Americans living in the United States, of whom nearly 240,000 are in New York and New Jersey. Although many Korean Americans are thriving in this country, there are also many who are struggling. According to recent data from the Asian American Federation:
18% of Korean Americans live in poverty.
88 % of Korean seniors have limited English proficiency.
KACF works to address the needs of under-resourced and underserved individuals and families so that we can be stronger as a community. Here are five ways we are doing that.
Economic security is the bedrock that enables vulnerable populations to achieve self-sufficiency, improve their quality of life and build strong futures. KACF invests in programs that strengthen the economic security of low-income Korean Americans in the greater New York metropolitan area.
As of June 2020, KACF has funded almost $9 million in grants to more than 430 projects since the Foundation first began making grants in 2003.
Through our grantmaking, we fund job training programs, ESL and skills-building classes, public benefits counseling, academic enhancement and youth leadership initiatives, asset building programs, and much more. Our funds support pathways to immediate and long-term economic stability, so that individuals and families can realize their full potential.
KACF uses a participatory grant-making model through our Community Grants Committee. Following comprehensive training, participants evaluate grant proposals, conduct site visits under the guidance of the KACF Program Director, and make recommendations for funding.
A healthy community fosters strong relationships not only among its own members but also with other communities. KACF builds bridges between people.
In 2005, with funding from the Ford Foundation to promote inter-ethnic cross-racial community- and relationship-building, KACF hosted the Inter-Community Collaborative Forum Series. We convened a discussion on advancing the state of race relations across ethnic communities and among multiple community and city stakeholders, and awarded four Inter-Community Development Fund grants totaling $33,000 to nonprofit organizations working to promote stronger inter-community building efforts. Since 2013, KACF has incorporated an Inter-Community Development program within our general grantmaking and reaffirmed our commitment to continuing this work.
As part of the Ford Foundation grant and to document the growth of an emerging ethnic-based philanthropy, the Ford Foundation commissioned a case study of KACF, which you can read here.
Improving Nonprofit Effectiveness
Stronger nonprofit organizations make stronger communities. KACF invests in high-performing nonprofits and supports their organizational development, to enhance the impact of their work and strengthen our community.
Since 2014, KACF has helped nonprofit grantee partners succeed through its capacity building program, which shares expertise on strategic planning, board development, fundraising and more. We have provided management consulting services totaling over $1.2 million as of 2020.
Find out more about our capacity building work here.
Promoting a Culture of Giving
Opportunities to learn about the challenges and needs in our society can inspire philanthropic leaders and drive communities to participate in solutions. KACF instills a culture of giving that is collective and strategic among Korean Americans, with the goal of making lasting social impact across generations.
KACF leverages the expertise and financial resources among community members to achieve this goal together. Learn more about how you can be a part of it here.
Volunteers have played an integral role in KACF’s success since it was founded. We engage volunteers through various initiatives, including the Community Grants Committee (CGC) and fundraising events such as our Annual Gala, Summer Benefit and Golf Classic. Join our mailing list and follow us on social media for the next opportunity.
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