OAKLAND -- A group of East Bay residents from Orinda, Piedmont, Berkeley and Oakland has launched a foundation with the idea of building an energetic Chinese-American community to promote philanthropy and volunteerism.

The Chinese American Community Foundation, launched Feb. 28 in San Francisco, hopes to use its donor community to tackle challenging problems and advance creative solutions within the Bay Area's growing Chinese-American population. Led by Board Chairman Dr. Rolland Lowe, of Orinda, Vice Chairman David Lei, of Piedmont, and Treasurer Buck Gee, of Hiller Highlands, the foundation's goal is to strengthen community-based nonprofits that support Chinese-American society.

The need for this foundation is based on the fact that though many nonprofits operate within the Chinese-American community, running the gamut from youth and senior services to immigration issues and newcomer services, few services exist to ensure their survival. To answer this need, the foundation will work toward becoming a leading platform for sustained philanthropy, focusing on two main areas. The first is to create a more dedicated, aware and effective community of donors.

"In putting this together, our goal is to educate donors about what can be done and what parts of the community are being served or underserved," Gee said.


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The foundation realizes that most nonprofit organizations are understaffed to the point where there is little time for development and growth, so its second goal is to seed the nonprofits with additional money, some of which could be used for professional grant writing and fundraising.

The foundation also wants to be known as the go-to organization for nonprofits to help with technical support for donations in the form of estate giving, stocks or real estate. The foundation has been launched with a seed grant from the San Francisco Foundation and is gathering research by partnering with Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

With that information, the foundation will better understand which areas are being served, which are underserved and what specific needs they can target for fundraising.

With these needs in mind, the foundation has set a goal of raising $5,000,000 in three years, giving them $250,000 per year operating expenses and to set up its own 501(c)(3), a tax-exempt nonprofit. Down the line, Lei and Gee each have a vision of how the Chinese American Community Foundation will serve its people. For Lei, the answer lies within the strength of the people themselves.

FYI
For more information about the Chinese American Community Foundation, go to www.chineseamericancf.org or call 415-470-9197.