Frequently Asked Questions
The Gold Futures Challenge is an online model for philanthropy that annually awards ten prizes ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 to Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) organizations that seek to ensure our communities are Seen, Heard, Empowered and United.
SEEN means accurate and meaningful representation for AAPI individuals and communities.
HEARD means a strong, unified voice that effectively advocates for AAPI needs and causes.
EMPOWERED means ensuring that all AAPIs have the resources and agency to positively affect their own lives and the lives of others.
UNITED means a unified, pan-AAPI identity lifting up diverse AAPI ethnic groups and allying with Black, Latino, Indigenous communities and other communities of color.
Once organizations submit their application, a selection committee of AAPI-identifying activists, philanthropists, academics, community leaders, and entrepreneurs will select a minimum of 10 finalists, and the public will vote for the amount of funding each finalist receives.
Applications open on May 15th. Submissions are accepted until mid-June.
The history of the term Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) is nuanced and we seek to be intentional and inclusive.
We understand AAPI to broadly encompass approximately 50 ethnic groups, speaking over 100 languages. We understand Asian Americans to include anyone with an ethnic origin or ancestry originating from East Asia, Southeast Asia, and/or South Asia. We understand Pacific Islanders to include those with an ethnic origin or ancestry native to the islands which encompass Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, including Native Hawaiians.
Applicants must be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, fiscally-sponsored project, or governmental organization serving AAPI individuals and/or communities. The organizational work can be concentrated in a particular neighborhood, community, city, county, region, state, or have a national impact.
Organizations may only submit one proposal for the Gold Futures Challenge per year.
Voting will be open on Wednesday, August 23, 2023 at 9am EST, and will remain open until Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at 11:59pm EST on the Gold Futures Challenge website. Each voter is permitted one vote.
The Gold Futures Challenge awards ten prizes ranging from $25,000 – $100,000, granting a total of $500,000 per year. All finalists will receive a prize, but the amount each organization receives is determined by a public vote. The organization with the most votes will be the grand prize winner.
We’re an open call, so we don’t explicitly disqualify larger budget organizations. Though we are prioritizing small, burgeoning nonprofit organizations with budgets under $1M, a few finalists have had budgets slightly larger than that.
If you did not receive a funding prize last year, you are eligible to apply again.
The Gold House Futures Network gathers the most promising Asian & Pacific Islander (API) creatives and founders to benefit from career-making acceleration, skill-building, and structured networking with like-minded API leaders. For more information, visit Gold House’s website.
- From our research and looking at other challenges, we’ve found that organizations, regardless of their size, can be successful during the get-out-the-vote period. To ensure fairness, we put in additional measures, including:
- A GOTV guide and graphics provided to make publicity easy and accessible throughout the voting period.
- Prohibiting the use of digital ads to ensure the playing field remains level across all finalist organizations.
- Prohibiting “bullet voting” by asking voters to pick their Top 3 organizations.
- Collaboration with an IT services company to ensure that votes are secure, are registered properly, and double votes don’t count.
Applications are first reviewed by Asian American Futures and Gold House staff for rules compliance. After the initial review, a selection committee comprised of AAPI identifying activists, foundation executives, academics, researchers, and three previous GFC winners will review the applications using certain criteria. (See question 12).
Each application is reviewed by multiple people to reduce inherent bias. Precautions are taken to ensure that anonymity is used where applicable. Additionally, all selection committee members go through a conflict of interest and recusal check-in process.
After reviews are complete, the Top 10 applications move forward to the voting stage, where the general public votes for their Top 3 organizations.
The selections process centers:
- Historically underrepresented communities
- Organizations, leaders or communities who are often overlooked by traditional forms of philanthropy
- Communities with less access to power and opportunity, and/or
- Causes that are harder to fund
- an organization’s connection to the challenge themes, implementation plans, and personal measures of success
- innovative and inspiring proposals that serve AAPI communities
Traditional philanthropy often puts restrictions on proposal issue areas and regions. This is why Gold Futures Challenge (GFC) strives to be different by being a broad open call to all communities within the AAPI umbrella. We strongly believe that our community knows the solutions to best solve our most pressing issues.
Though we use “pan AAPI language,” if your organization serves a specific ethnic group or demographic (i.e. Samoan, Filipino, etc.), you are more than welcome to apply, and many of our finalists fit into this category.
You can take a look at previous finalists and applicants using the “Previous” tab as well.
No, your organization doesn’t need to be fully developed! One of the goals of the Gold Futures Challenge is investing in new and burgeoning organizations. In fact, some of our previous finalists were solely volunteer-led and/or looking to expand new projects/programs.