Cathay Bank Foundation: Grants for New York City

OVERVIEW: The Cathay Bank Foundation seeks to “create opportunities” for the geographic areas its banks serve, with those opportunities touching upon many different sectors of need and community development.

IP TAKE: Cathay focuses on Asian American and Asian immigrant populations. While the foundation’s grantmaking prioritizes Los Angeles, New York City grantseekers do receive modest funding. This funder also focuses on established organizations that can show several previous years of programmatic, organizational, and financial successes.

PROFILE: The Cathay Bank Foundation is the nonprofit affiliate of Cathay Bank, which opened in 1962, “[to provide] financial services to the growing but underserved Chinese-American community.” The bank started in Los Angeles as the first Chinese-American bank in Southern California and expanded from there “fueled by successive waves of immigration, burgeoning trade between America and Asia, and the economic development of the surrounding community.” The foundation prioritizes affordable housing, community and economic development, and education, with additional consideration given to arts and culture, health and welfare, environmental issues, human services needs, and community programs.

Most grants fall in the $1,000 - $10,000 range. Past New York City grantees include Housing Partnership Development Corporation,  Henry Street Settlment, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Child Center of NY, New Destiny Housing Corporation, Museum of Chinese in America, and New Women New Yorkers.

The foundation has clear application guidelines and invites organizations that align with its grant focus to submit a letter of intent. Cathay does not accept unsolicited grant proposals, and its invitation-only grant application has an August deadline.

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