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 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 Monday, May 2, 2022 at 9am EST and are due Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 11:59 EST.
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 in a particular neighborhood, community, city, county, region, state, or have a national impact.
Only one proposal can be submitted per organization for the Gold Futures Challenge per year.
Voting will be open on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 9am EST, and will remain open until 11:59pm EST September 27, 2022 on the Gold Futures Challenge website. Voters are permitted to only vote once.
We will be giving out 10 prizes ranging from $25,000 – $100,000, with a total of $500,000 being granted. All finalists will receive a prize, but the amount each organization receives will be determined by the public vote. The organization with the most votes will be the grand prize winner.
- Instead of a focus on projects, we are focused on the overall work organizations are doing and all grant funding distributed will be unrestricted funding.
- Unrestricted funding is financial support that a nonprofit can use to support their mission any way they see fit.
- We have pivoted to unrestricted funding because we believe that organizations should have the agency and freedom to determine how funds are allocated. Furthermore, we trust our grantees know best how the community should be served, as they are the experts, not us as funders.
- We’ve changed our timeline based on feedback from last year’s applicants (see here for the detailed timeline). The challenge is now opening on May 2nd and closing on June 30th. It’s important to note that although the challenge is officially opening in May, a copy of the application is now available, which you can find here.
- For GOTV (get-out-the-vote), we have shifted to having folks vote for three organizations per virtual “ballot”.
- Our application is also shorter and more streamlined based on feedback from last year’s applicants. Additionally, we’ve added in questions where applicants can have a video response.
“Through applying to the Gold Futures Challenge, North Carolina Asian Americans Together has been able to showcase our work to partners and funders interested in bettering the lives of Asian Americans nationwide. We have been able to look at and learn from the creative and inspiring projects proposed by other like-minded organizations in the cohort. Finally, we have had access to valuable resources such as the NODE workshop series and been able to expand our network.”
– North Carolina Asian Americans Together
“As a youth-led and 100% volunteer organization, the Xīn Shēng | 心声 Project has grown tremendously from applying to the Gold Futures Challenge and being part of its community. We’ve been able to make connections with more established API organizers, situate our organizational mission within broader AAPI movements, and learn about more sustainable ways of running our collective. We encourage other API collectives — big or small, well-connected or up and coming — to invest in an application to GFC!”.
– Xīn Shēng | 心声 Project
“In piloting our first-ever National Civic Impact Fellowship & Incubator Program, it was so crucial for AAWPI to receive support and funding from Gold Futures Challenge (GFC). We couldn’t have scaled nationally without GFC and the community that comes with it.”
– Asian American Women’s Political Initiative (AAWPI)
If you did not receive a funding prize a last year, you are eligible to apply again.
The Futures Network brings together the most promising Asian & Pacific Islander (API) creatives and founders who benefit from career-making acceleration, skill-building, and structured networking with like-minded API leaders. For detailed 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. We’ve also put in additional measures to ensure faireness:
- All finalists will be provided a GOTV guide and graphics to make it an easy lift to encourage folks to vote.
- We are prohibiting our finalists from using digital ads this year to ensure the playing field remains level.
- We are prohibiting “bullet voting” by asking voters to pick their Top 3 organizations.
- We are working with an IT services company to ensure that votes are secure, votes are registered properly and double voting is prohibited.
- Applications are first reviewed by Asian American Futures and Gold House staff for rules compliance. After that initial review, a selection committee comprised of AAPI identifying activists, foundation executives, academics, researchers, and three of our winners from last year’s Gold Futures Challenge will review the applications using certain criteria (see below for criteria).
- Multiple reviews are done for each applicant to reduce inherent bias and 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 can vote for their Top 3 proposals.
- 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.
- The selection committee looks at an organization’s connection to the challenge themes, implementation plans, personal measures of success, and what the organization is doing that is innovative and inspiring.