Cathay Bank Foundation: Texas Grants

OVERVIEW: The Cathay Bank Foundation supports the geographic areas its banks serve, including Texas, touching upon many different sectors of need and community development.

FOCUS AREAS: Community and economic development, education, civic and community, health and welfare

IP TAKE: This funder focuses on fairly established organizations that can show several previous years of programmatic, organizational, and financial successes.

PROFILE: Founded in 2002, the Cathay Bank Foundation is the nonprofit affiliate of Cathay Bank. The history and organizing principle of this bank also illuminates its nonprofit giving. 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. The foundation’s purpose is to raise and administer funds for community-based nonprofits. Grantmaking areas of interest are community and economic development, education, civic and community, health and welfare.

The foundation lists affordable housing, community and economic development, and education as its three largest priorities, with additional consideration given to arts and culture, health and welfare, environmental issues, human services needs, and programs that benefit the communities at large. Causes commonly supported include work-entry programs, financial literacy programs, English as a second language programs, entrepreneurship for youth programs, and voter registration efforts. More specifically, the funder focuses on at-risk and low/middle income populations. Grantees in Texas include the Dallas Chinese Community Theater, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, Women’s Home, the MEED Center, and Mosaic Family Services.

Foundation grants tend to range from $1,000 to $10,000. The foundation does not have an online grants database. The foundation supports the state of Texas, primarily the Houston and Dallas areas. Other states supported are in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Washington.

The foundation has an LOI process that welcomes unsolicited letters of inquiry on a rolling basis. The funder does not accept unsolicited full grant applications, so it is necessary to submit a LOI first. Direct general questions to the staff at


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