Press Release

Asian American Family Giving Circle Awards 7 Additional Grants to Social Justice Projects in the Midwest


Contact: Bo Thao-Urabe, BMPP Giving Circle | (415) 407-0959 Mobile |

Minneapolis, Minnesota (January 6, 2014) – Building More Philanthropy with Purpose (BMPP) Giving Circle announced that it made seven additional grants in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2014. Since 2013, BMPP has made 13 grants to social justice projects in the Asian American community in the Midwest.

BMPP Giving Circle was founded in 2012 by a small group of Asian American families who wanted to build on their community’s traditions of giving using the tools of American philanthropy. That tool is in the form of a giving circle where BMPP donor families pool their funds together and collectively decide what they want to support. BMPP began making micro-grants in 2013 to advance the lives of Asian Americans, and in its first year funded projects focused on farming, youth civic engagement, cycling, entrepreneurship, and storytelling.

Their 2014 funds supported the following organizations and efforts:

  • Don’t Buy Miss Saigon Coalition to develop a toolkit and provide organizing support to other areas where the play is being hosted,
  • Saint Paul Public Schools to put on its first Hmong youth and staff leadership conference,
  • A general operating grant to the Hmong American Farmers Association,
  • Support to enable the Karen Student United Association at Saint Cloud State University to host the first Karen Culture Day,
  • ManForward to expand its Midwest Hmong Youth Leadership Retreat that brings Hmong boys ages 13-18 years old from their respective communities together to discuss manhood and gender equity, as well as develop non-violent behaviors, and
  • Hmong Center of Green Bay to develop a Money Management program for Hmong youth 13 and over, and
  • Building Our Future Campaign to work with women and their communities from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and China to address gender injustices towards building healthy and safe families and communities.

BMPP Giving Circle prides itself on making its grant-making application as simple as possible so that smaller groups who may not be familiar or have resources to hire professional grant writers can access philanthropic support. For many grant seekers, BMPP grants provide essential support to making their projects reality.


The BMPP Giving Circle is made up of Asian American families from Minnesota and Wisconsin who come together to celebrate, learn about, and pool our financial resources to support innovative projects that advance justice and equity. Because we come from cultures of generosity and giving, we aspire to model those attributes by finding new practices in American philanthropy that help us to fuel the change we want to see in the world. Additionally, because we know that Asian Americans receive less than 1 percent of philanthropic dollars[1] in the United States we want to help fill some of that gap by putting our dollars towards Asian American focused efforts that receive little philanthropic support.

Our donor families include:

  • Bo Thao and Dennis Urabe, and their daughter Emi
  • Cheng Her and his children: Asya, Logan, and Julia
  • Elizabeth Yang and Elliot Vang and their children: Evan and Evelyn
  • Kaohly and Kong Her and their daughters: Taylor and Ayden
  • Kaosong Vang and Choua Yang and their children: Roan and Aria
  • Paul and Phoua Vang and their children: Kal-El, Gabe and Neela
  • Terri Thao and Cheng Vang and their children: Doua Zong and Touly 

BMPP has gifted over $30,000 to 13 projects in Minnesota and Wisconsin since 2013.

BMPP is a donor advised fund of the Headwaters Foundation, and a member of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy’s National Giving Circle Network.