Experts say the first generation of Chinese American immigrants who have worked their way to the top of their professions are giving back to the community in a big way and creating a path for their children looking to contribute to society.
To raise awareness of the philanthropic contributions of Chinese and Chinese Americans, the Global Chinese Philanthropy Initiative planned to release today, Sept. 6, a study believed to be the first academic research to examine the scope, drive and impact of giving from this once marginalized minority group here and in China.
The Initiative, formed two years ago to do the study, is a partnership of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, UC Irvine’s Long U.S.-China Institute and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, a legal and civil rights organization. The study looked at charitable donor lists tracked by GuideStar and Indiana University, interviewed philanthropists and worked with the China Foundation Center.
According to the study, from 2000 to 2014, Chinese American-operated nonprofit foundations have increased by 400 percent to nearly 1,300 in the United States. In a five year span from 2008 to 2013, Chinese Americans donated nearly $500 million to causes such as higher education, health and science and local charities. In China philanthropic giving was $16.7 billion in 2014.
In Orange County, Chapman University and UC Irvine have benefited from Chinese American donors. Entrepreneur Steeve Kay gifted Chapman $7.5 million, including $5 million toward the Marybelle and Sebastian P. Musco Center for the Arts. And Highridge Partners founder John Long and his wife, Marilyn, gave through their Long Family Foundation $5.5 million for the creation of the UCI U.S.-China institute for the purpose of bridging relationships in business, law and society between the two powerhouse countries.
The Longs also helped create a real estate center at UCLA in 2000.
“We want to understand how immigrants and Chinese Americans are giving back to the community,” said Steward Kwoh, executive director and president of Asian American Advancing Justice. “It’s not just to credit people, but by understanding the process it could perhaps encourage more giving and dialogue from other philanthropists.”
Chinese Americans boast a population of 4 million in the United States and are one of the fastest rising Asian American groups in the country. The rise in contributions coincide with a surge of the Chinese immigrant…