Cathay Bank Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

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: Within Cathay Bank Foundation’s geographic regions of interest, the foundation emphasizes Asian-American and Asian immigrant populations. This funder also prefers fairly 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. Cathay Bank opened in 1962, “with the mission of providing financial services to the growing but underserved Chinese-American community,” starting in Los Angeles as the first Chinese-American bank in Southern California, and expanding from there with a “rapid expansion...fueled by successive waves of immigration, burgeoning trade between America and Asia, and the economic development of the surrounding community.” In addition to education, Cathay has focus areas in economic development, civics and community, and health and welfare.

In the realm of education, Cathay supports “innovative programs that offer assistance to LMI [low- and moderate-income] youths to excel in school and prepare for higher education,” “financial literacy programs for youth and adults in LMI communities,” “effective mentoring programs for at-risk youths,” “student scholarship programs focused on finance-related studies,” “literacy, math, parent engagement efforts and English as a Second Language (ESL) programs,” and “entrepreneurship education programs for underserved youth.”

Grants range from $1,000 to $10,000. Interested grantseekers must first submit a Letter of Intent, after which the foundation may invite a full proposal. The deadline for the complete application typically falls in August of each year.

Note that the Cathay Bank Foundation only serves states where the bank has open locations—namely California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington.

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