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Occasional Paper

Publication Date



This article analyzes the characteristics of Asian American nonprofit organizations in major U.S. metropolitan areas. The data are based on internet archives of nonprofit organization Form 990 and related information. Asian American nonprofits are less than 20 years old on average. They remain a relatively small part of the nonprofit sector. Religious organizations are generally the largest group among Asian American nonprofits, followed by cultural organizations, service agencies, and public interest associations of similar proportions. Asian American secular organizations as a group tend to be younger, are more likely to by in central cities, in wealthy and poor communities, as well as in metropolitan areas with a more homogenous Asian ethnic population and a relatively more active general population in community organizing. The opposite is true for religious Asian American organizations. The pattern is less consistent among Asian American cultural, service, and public interest organizations. Regarding organization size, more established Asian American nonprofits, pan-Asian American organizations, and those agencies located in communities with a larger Asian American population have more total assets and annual revenue.


An Occasional Paper for the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Reprinted with permission from UCLA Asian American Studies Center, aapi nexus Vol. 3, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2005: 67-97.



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