Cathay Bank Foundation: Grants for Los Angeles

OVERVIEW: The Cathay Bank Foundation invests in community development, community engagement, education and health and welfare in the communities served by its parent company. This foundation partners with established nonprofits in California, New York, Illinois, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey and Maryland.

IP TAKE: Cathay prioritizes Los Angeles, especially where programming coincides with the foundation's emphasis on Asian American and Asian immigrant populations. This funder also prioritizes established organizations that can show several previous years of programmatic, organizational, and financial successes.

PROFILE: The Cathay Bank Foundation was established in 2002 in Los Angeles, California by the Chinese-American Cathay Bank. It seeks to “enhance the growth and success of communities in which the Bank serves.” Cathay Bank opened in 1962 to “[provide] financial services to the growing but underserved Chinese-American community.” It began in Los Angeles as the first Chinese-American bank in Southern California. The foundation prioritizes affordable housing, community and economic development, and education. It also funds arts and culture, health and welfare, environmental issues, human services needs, and programs that benefit the communities at large.

Carthay’s community and economic grants often support affordable housing efforts, local seniors, workforce development, and commercial revitalization.

Education grants fund financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and mentoring programs. Civic and community grants aid voter registration and social issue awareness in neighborhoods.

The Cathay Bank Foundation's education program prioritizes students from low- to moderate-income families and invests in literacy, math, ESL, mentoring parent engagement and financial literacy. Past recipients include the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, which provides K-12 students with academic support, enrichment and counseling services; the New Jersey-based School for Children with Hidden Intelligence, which serves children with physical and intellectual disabilities; and the I Have a Dream Foundation, a national nonprofit that supports low-income students with social, emotional and academic support.

Cathay’s health and welfare related grantmaking address homelessness, hunger, and disease prevention. While the bank has expanded its footprint, it prioritizes Los Angeles, as well as its environs extending east to the Inland Empire and south to Orange County. Past grantees include Junior Achievement Southern California, Asian Pacific Islander Small Business Program, the Jewish Free Loan Association, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater LA, and Koreatown Youth & Community Center.

Cathay Bank Foundation grants range from $1,000 to $10,000 and are generally awarded to established nonprofits in the nine states where Cathay operates consumer banks: California, New York, Illinois, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Nevada and Maryland.

Application for Cathay grants is by invitation only. Contact the foundation via email with general inquiries.


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