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Asian American Civic Association, Inc.

 87 Tyler Street, 5th Floor
 Boston, MA 02111
[P] (617) 426-9492 x 206
[F] (617) 482-2316
Lisa Wong
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2476258

LAST UPDATED: 04/22/2019
Organization DBA N/A
Former Names Chinese American Civic Association (1967)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes


Mission StatementMORE »

AACA’s mission is to provide education, occupational training, and social services to all immigrants and economically disadvantaged individuals enabling them to attain lasting economic self-sufficiency.

Mission Statement

AACA’s mission is to provide education, occupational training, and social services to all immigrants and economically disadvantaged individuals enabling them to attain lasting economic self-sufficiency.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $3,827,128.00
Projected Expense $3,362,758.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Adult Education Center
  • Multi-Service Center
  • Workforce Development Center
  • Youth Center

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

AACA’s mission is to provide education, occupational training, and social services to all immigrants and economically disadvantaged individuals enabling them to attain lasting economic self-sufficiency.

Background Statement

The Chinese American Civic Association (CACA) opened its doors in 1967 as the first social service agency to help the increasing influx of Chinese immigrants resulting from family reunifications. In 1969, CACA becomes a major social planning and cultural advocacy agency out of which evolves the South Cove Community Health Center, the Chinese Golden Age Center, and the agency's current programs. In 1984 the demand for workforce development services leads to the implementation of innovative job training and workplace education programs. The CACA changes its name to the Asian American Civic Association in 1992 to better reflect its wider role in supporting immigrants and refugees from all of Asia. In 2007 we moved to our present location at 87 Tyler Street within the Chinatown Community Education Center. In 2009 the city of Boston awards AACA the only grant for "green" job training. AACA enhances the Facilities Maintenance program to train "green-collar" building maintenance workers, renamed Building Energy Efficient Maintenance Skills. AACA opens the Walk-in Employment Center to offer job search/ job placement assistance to all MA residents at the peak of the US economic crisis. Then, in 2010, AACA opened the Buds & Blossoms Early Education Center and Care Center, the first and only Mandarin Immersion, Reggio Emilia inspired early education center in New England. Last year AACA was awarded the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation grant to enhance and expand the Next Steps Transitional English Program (Next STEP), an intermediate ESL Program that prepares students to enter college, job training programs, or start a career in the US. Our programs currently support all immigrants or economically disadvantaged people in the Greater Boston area and vicinity towns. In 2014, AACA finalized purchase of headquarters at the Chinatown Community Eduction Center. In July 2014, English for New Bostonians awarded grant to AACA to start New Roots to Employment Project. News Roots is designed to help advanced ESOL students with college degrees in STEM from their own countries to prepare for careers in their fields in the U.S. In April 2015, the Boston Private Industry Council awarded a three-year subcontract grant through the Social Innovation Fund to provide the much needed employment services to Boston Youth. 

Impact Statement

Our top five accomplishments from the past fiscal year 2017 include:
  •  Completion rate for job training programs: 100%
  • Job placement rate for job training programs: 86%
  • 2-year job retention rate for job training graduates: 76%
  • Number of employer partners: 117
  • Number of adult education graduates enrolled in college: 21
  • College retention/graduation rate: 76%
  • Dollars returned to low-income clients via tax returns: $560,388
  •  AACA sent the most students to college among all 82 state funded community based adult education programs funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary Secondary Education from 2013-2016.
-Continue to grow our youth employment services
-Expand financial literacy to all programs
-Continue to operate a 10 level ESOL program 

Needs Statement

  • Replace Foundation funding for intermediate ESOL college transition program. 
  • Secure funding for new ESOL/Job readiness program for high skill highly educated immigrants. 
  • Secure funding for job training programs.
  • Secure funding for Employment Center to provide job readiness and job placement for low-income unemployed individuals.
  • Grow the Chau-ming Lee Scholarship Fund.

CEO Statement

Founded in 1967, the Asian American Civic Association has evolved from a Chinese social club to a leader in workforce development and college preparation in Massachusetts for all immigrants and economically disadvantaged individuals. We work to ensure economic self-sufficiency for all clients seeking our help. Our client populations face tremendous obstacles in their struggles to find family-sustaining jobs: limited English skills, limited understanding about American workplace culture, multi-generational poverty and lack of marketable skills.  An immigrant in Massachusetts who speaks English earns $38,526 annually compared to an immigrant with limited English skills, who earns just $14,211.
The mission of the AACA is to educate and empower Massachusetts’ new workforce.  1 in 5 workers in Massachusetts and nearly 1 in 3 in Boston is an immigrant, a proportion that has doubled over the last 25 years.  At AACA, we are now serving clients from over 80 countries. Over the last thirty years, the immigrant influx has significantly contributed to the labor force growth in Massachusetts. Our programs and services are critical building blocks in creating a productive workforce that benefits the local economy, businesses and numerous immigrant and indigent families.

Board Chair Statement

The successes and impacts of AACA on transforming lives through education and job training have motivated me to continue serving on the board.   In the past 20 years, we have sent the largest number of immigrants to college compared to other Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education funded community based organizations.  Our workforce development programs aggressively penetrated the job market with exceptionally high placement rates and 117 employer partnerships. The strong track records speak for the effectiveness of AACA’s programs and services.
In addition to our impressive statistics, the personal success stories of our students provide a more profound account of the impact of our programs. One of our students, Evgeniia (Zhenya) Kagramanova, who finished Next STEP in April, has been accepted to UMass Boston for Sept, 2015. She is one of a very small number of students in the past 22 years who made the jump from NS directly into a 4-year school. Zhenya was obviously a very strong student, and she probably would have done very well if she never came to AACA.  But she told me on more than one occasion how much she got out of our program in Level 9 and Level 10 and how grateful she is to AACA.
We have numerous student successes like Evgeniia and their stories demonstrate AACA's success in promoting self-sufficiency as a means to improve one's life. By educating and empowering our students and clients, we help them find their career goals and achieve economic self-sufficiency. At the same time, we provide employers with a knowledgeable and dedicated workforce. I believe in the important work AACA has been doing and am delighted to be a part of it.
In order to sustain and expand AACA’s vital programs and services, your support is critical. By contributing to AACA, you are not only investing in the future of our students and clients but also their families and generations of new Americans to come.

Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
City of Boston- Chinatown/ Leather District
City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
AACA serves all immigrants and refugees, as well as economically disadvantaged individuals residing in Chinatown, Malden, South End, Allston/Brighton, Dorchester, and vicinity towns including Quincy, Randolph, Cambridge, Malden, and Somerville.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Adult Education
  2. Employment - Job Training
  3. Human Services - Ethnic/Immigrant Services

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Adult Education Center

The Adult Education Center offers basic to intermediate English for Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) classes for individuals seeking higher education, jobs or job training and incumbent worker education for the health care industry.
Budget  $604,950.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees International Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL):

  • Enroll 250 students
  • 60% will advance to the next level or into a higher level ESOL program

Next Steps Transitional English Program (NEXT Step):

  • Enroll 168 students
  • 90% of the students complete a level
  • 70% will advance to the next level
  • 20 graduates will enroll in college
  • 20 graduates will enter employment, job training, or advance in their jobs
  • 80% of graduates placed in employment will retain their job for 6 months; 70% will retain job for 12 months

 SouthCove Community Health CenterWorkplace Education:

  • Provide ESOL education for 20 incumbent workers at South Cove
  • At least 40% will demonstrate learning gains on standardized test.
Program Long-Term Success  The long-term success of our Adult Education program is demonstrated by the opportunities that become available to students after they graduate. Once students master essential language skills, they perform their jobs more effectively or have a greater options in their job search and placement opportunities. These courses also make it possible for adults to pursue more a more advanced education through their enhanced English communication, reading and writing skills.
Program Success Monitored By  Since the stated goal of the project is to help learners acquiring English language skills and transition to higher education, skills training or employment, or to advance their current jobs, program success will be evaluated in the following ways:
- Demonstrated increase in Student Performance Level achieved (SPL is a standard way to measure the English language acquisition of students);
- Documented enrollment in the intermediate level Next Steps Transitional English Program
- Job training program acceptance letter;
- A hiring letter or company recognition of a promotion, salary increase, etc.;
Examples of Program Success  Kate Luo grew up in a small town in China. Her father was a construction worker and her mother did not have a job. She dreamed about going to college but had to begin working after completing vocational high school. While pregnant, she and her husband immigrated to the US in 2006 to seek a better future. Before she came to AACA, Kate had a newborn baby and her English was limited. She enrolled in AACA's basic ESL program. After she graduated from the AACA ESL programs she went on to attain her Associate's Degree from Bunker Hill Community College with a 3.8 GPA. Kate is now working as a full-time Customer Service Representative at EastWest Bank and raising two children.

Multi-Service Center

The Multi-Service Center is staffed by trained social workers and employment specialists who speak Cantonese and Mandarin and can offer timely support with personal and family issues. Walk-in clients are welcomed (in FY16 served over 2,500 clients). We also provide a Chinese-English translation service.
Budget  $134,584.00
Category  Education, General/Other Adult Education
Population Served Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program Short-Term Success 
In FY16, the Multi-Service Center served 2,500+ clients. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were  returned to low-income clients through filing of income tax returns.
Program Long-Term Success 

AACA's Multi-Service Center|provides immigrants and economically disadvantaged residents with immigration counseling, housing counseling, college access information, welfare and benefits assistance, fuel assistance, information and referrals, and tax preparation and assistance. These services aim to stabilize families living in unsuitable living conditions. Additionally, the assistance and counseling provided through the Multi-Service Center help clients make goals for themselves and provide them with hope.

Program Success Monitored By 
The Multi-Service Center tracks progress through counselor notes and follow-up appointments.
Examples of Program Success 
"Quan" immigrated to the US from Vietnam in 1992 after waiting 11 years to leave. She lives with her brother who is mentally ill and her mother who suffers from severe diabetes. Before she came to AACA's Multi-Service Center, she worked in a garment factory and then a supermarket. She was the only source of income for her family. Facing financial hardship, she didn't make enough to pay for food or rent. She couldn't properly take care of her brother, and her mother had to give herself insulin injections while she was at work. 
The Multi-Service Center helped Quan's family apply for public housing, food stamps, SSI and home medical care services for her mother through the Adult Foster Care Program. Now Quan takes care of her mother full-time at home and gets paid. Quan's brother receives SSI. Quan plans to buy a car in the near future to be able to take her mother and brother to see doctors. 

Workforce Development Center

The Workforce Development Center is recognized as one of Boston's leaders in vocational training for adults. The agency operates two pre-employment job training programs targeted at high demand occupations: Careers in Banking and Finance and Building Energy Efficient Maintenance Skills (BEEMS) as well as the Employment Center, which offers financial literacy, job readiness and job placement services to all low-income residents.
Budget  $686,459.00
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 

In FY15 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016), the Workforce Development Center will serve 266 new clients. Over 100 clients served in the last two years will receive retention services. Expected outcomes:

Employment Center:
  • Provide individualized career counseling to 200 individuals to enhance their knowlege of career opportunities
  • Launch weekly Job Club
  • Help 120 clients write resumes and cover letters
  • Teach interviewing skills to 80 clients
  • Place 75 clients into jobs  
Job Training Programs: 
Building Energy Efficient Maintenance Skills (BEEMS) & Careers in Banking and Finance
  • Enroll 66 students
  • 90% of the students complete the course
  • 75% of enrollees are placed into employment
  • Provide post-placement support for 100 graduates placed in past two years
  • 75% of graduates retain job for two years post placement 
Program Long-Term Success 
The goal of the Workforce Development program is not only to teach clients the skills they need to secure a job, but to place them in that job with all of the wrap-around support services they require.
75% of clients enrolled in the Workforce Development program will be placed into employment.
75% of graduates will retain employment for two years post placement.

In FY14, AACA placed 80% of job training program graduates. Those that were previously employed had an estimated annual income of under $22,000 and many were previously unemployed. The average initial starting wage for those placed was $27,330, with an expected 6% increase during the two-year retention period. Job retention is key to successful outcomes. A Retention Specialist works with all placed training program graduates to facilitate job retention and career advancement.

Program Success Monitored By 
AACA tracks the number of Workforce Development clients that get and maintain new positions in employment through employer partner reports and follow-up job retention counseling.    
Root Cause, an independent research firm conducted an analysis of AACA’s workforce development programs and compared AACA to other agencies providing similar services. Consistently AACA scored higher than the organizations in the comparison group, scoring as a high performing organization with 37 out of a possible 40 points measuring program performance, organizational health, and field advancement. AACA received the highest possible points in technical training and education, employment preparation and placement services, social services, and performance measurement.
Examples of Program Success  Linda Bergen, a formerly homeless woman was finally able to secure housing but was working two part time jobs with no benefits; just barely making ends meet. She came to the employment center hoping to find a full time, benefited position in the hospitality industry. After working with the employment specialist in the Employment Center, she was hired as a full time server at the Doubletree Horel Downtown Boston. She loves her job and the fact that she received the employee of the month award in her department, speaks for itself. Linda now has a 40 hour a week job with benfits and the opportunity to advance within the hotel. Linda recently visited the Employment Center because she wanted to thank the employment specialists for helping to change her life in a positive way. She now has a savings account and is planning on a vacation, where there is a Hilton Hotel. Linda is eager to awail of her "Friends and Family" discount that is going to make the vacation extra special! 

Youth Center

The Youth Center, launched in 2008, offers leadership development through actual job/volunteer opportunities. The center prepares youth from a wide range of economic, social, and ethnic backgrounds for high education and career preparation.
Recently, AACA was the recipient of the Boston Opportunity Youth Colloborative funding, which has enabled us to hire a Youth Employment Specialist, who will focus on placing unemployed young adults, including career counseling and job readiness training of young adults. 
Budget  $190,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Leadership
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Minorities College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
In 2011, the Youth Council held a College Day event that drew in over 150 parents and students from the community to learn more about college opportunities directly from college representatives. There were a total of 26 colleges and universities present at the event.
In the beginning of 2012, the Youth Council also launched a Teen Tutors program. In this program, 20 high-achieving teens were paired with k-8 students who struggled in school. The teens provided their mentees with academic support and mentorship. We already have a waiting list of families who wan to participate in the fall!
Last year the Youth Council also demonstrated their competitive leadership skills when they entered into the entrepreneurial training program called Junior Achievement. Eight of our Youth Council members  completed the program that gave them an opportunity to experience the business world by marketing and selling their own products.
Program Long-Term Success 
The long-term success of our program is demonstrated through the dedication of our Youth Council. Events and activities of the Youth Council are supported on a volunteer basis. Without the help of our team of youth leaders, it would not be possible to provide outreach and community service projects to the youth in our community.
Our long-term success is also demonstrated by our youth's keen focus on their goals. We are proud to say that all Youth Council leaders are college bound. 
Program Success Monitored By  The success of our programs are monitored through randomized surveys and conversations with the youth.
Examples of Program Success  "Anonymous" was recruited to the Youth Council by a friend. At first, this student was shy and didn't speak up much, but after tutoring youth and participating frequently in Youth Council meetings, his demeanor changed. He became a leader among the other youth who was not afraid to help recruit other students for projects, or even give presentations about the work he is doing in his community. This summer, he is a leader in the Junior Achievement Program, and next year he will be the Co-Chair of the Youth Council.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

With the influx of immigrants to Massachusetts and the high unemployment rate among non-English speaking immigrants, as well as the aging and changing of job skills of the labor force, AACA's role in workforce development is pertinent to address the employment need of immigrants and the demand of labor from local employers.
The one-stop holistic service approach from ESOL instruction to job training to job placement enables students and clients to transition seamlessly in every stage of their lives. In addition, the training is supported by multi-lingual and multi-cultural case management. The two year retention service further allows clients to advance their careers both horizontally and vertically, culminating in a higher wage earning.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Mary Chin
CEO Term Start July 2017
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Mary Chin has been the Executive Director of AACA since 2017. Her vision of the Association is to assist immigrants from over 100 countries to achieve social and economic self-sufficiency. Mary is a longtime community leader with extensive experience in human services and a strong track record of service in Boston and beyond. A native of Lowell, Massachusetts, Mary is the daughter of immigrants and understands the struggles immigrant families face firsthand.

Mary is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker in private practice and has served as the Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Social Work. She has led social service departments and psychiatric programs in Boston and the North Shore. Mary served on AACA’s Board of Directors as President beginning in the 1980s and oversaw the organization’s growth, including the construction of the building at 87 Tyler Street, the expansion of workforce training, education and social service programs, as well as the addition of the Mandarin immersion daycare, Buds & Blossoms.

Mary completed her graduate studies in social work at Simmons College and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts. Mary has also served on the boards of Action for Boston Community Development, Urban College, Mothers for Justice and Equality, Company One, and Eastern Bank.

In 2017, the Asian American Commission awarded Mary the Lifetime Achievement Award. She also received a Citation for her service to the community from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker at AACA's 50th gala.

Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mary Chin -- --
Mr. Spencer Klein Director of Finance Dpt --
Ms. Georgiana Tam Administrator --
Lisa Wong Deputy Director --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


AACA is a lead or active member of many collaborative groups of adult education and training - Chinatown Community Educational Partnership, adult education providers in Boston’s Chinatown; Job Training Alliance, Greater Boston non-profit workforce development organizations; Adult Literacy Initiative, a partnership of Boston adult literacy organizations; Massachusetts Coalition of Adult Education, a statewide adult education and advocacy coalition; and Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees.

AACA has memoranda of agreement with Bunker Hill Community College, Roxbury Community College, Cambridge College, and Urban College for the Next Steps Transitional English Program.

AACA has an extensive list of partnering community-based organizations who refer clients for education, job training, and employment services.

For job placement, AACA staff have secured partnerships with 117 employers across a wide spectrum of industries.

Among government organizations, AACA collaborates with Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Commonwealth Corporation of Massachusetts, Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC)/Mayor’s Office of Jobs and Community Services, etc.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 54
Number of Part Time Staff 10
Number of Volunteers 67
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 90%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 70
Caucasian: 28
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 70
Male: 30
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan Yes
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration No

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Ms. Yongmei Chen
Board Chair Company Affiliation Eastern Bank
Board Chair Term July 1980 -
Board Co-Chair Yongmei Chen
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Christina Chan Assistant Attorney General --
David Chang Retired Voting
Ms. Amy L Chen MassMutual Fiancial Group Voting
Yongmei Chen Eastern Bank Voting
Mary Chin Community Volunteer Voting
Philip Chin WCVB-TV Voting
Helen Choi Retired Voting
Mr. Tony Franzone DoubleTree Boston Downtown Hotel Voting
Diana Jeong Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Business and Technology NonVoting
Ms. Julia Kim Income Research + Management Voting
Stephen T. Kunian Community Volunteer Voting
Joseph A. McGrail Jr. State Street Corporation --
Ms. Patricia Moy China Pearl Restaurant Voting
Tuan Pham Tech Networks of Boston --
Edward Scribner Seidman & Scribner Voting
Vatsady Sivongxay Candidate for Cambridge City Council --
Ian So Chicken and Rice --
Hua Wang Boston University --
Benny Wong Massachusetts Development Finance Agency Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Eddie Andelman Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Edward G. Andelman Phantom Gourmet Voting
Eric J. Beyer Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare --
Ms. Caroline Chan inVentiv Health, Inc. Voting
Mr. Francis E. Chin Chin & Curtis Voting
Mr. Dan Conley Suffolk County District Attorney Voting
Mr. Richard Gavegnano N/A Voting
Ms. Margaret Ings Emerson College Voting
Ms. Treen Liu N/A Voting
Ms. Madge Meyer N/A Voting
Mr. Joseph Milano N/A Voting
Mr. Scott Miller U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Solicitor Voting
Ms. Linda A. Moulton CEO, TRU Corporation Voting
Mr. Tony Neoh Hong Kong Bar Voting
Mr. Robert J. Newman Ocean Edge Resort & Club on Cape Cod Voting
Mrs. Faye Polansky N/A Voting
Mr. Joseph Riley Eastern Bank Voting
Mr. Clifford Scott -- NonVoting
Mr. Francis Seow N/A Voting
Ms. Clare M. Sheridan American Textile Museum Voting
Ms. Clare Sheridan -- NonVoting
Ms. Clare Sheridan -- NonVoting
Mr. Tai Van Ta N/A Voting
Mr. Ming Tsai Blue Ginger Voting
Dr. Bak Fun Wong Josiah Quincy Upper School Voting
Dr. Wan Wu Kam Man Food Voting

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 79
Caucasian: 21
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 47
Male: 53
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 10
Board Meeting Attendance % 76%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • --
  • --
  • --
  • Advisory Board / Advisory Council
  • Audit
  • By-laws
  • Capital Campaign
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Nominating
  • Personnel

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The challenges facing the organization is communicating across various immigrant groups and citizens the important fact that AACA serves more than Chinese clientele, and in fact caters to more then people 100 countries and U.S citizens.
Essentially, AACA is exploring ways and options to market what truly it stands for to potential clients, who will immensely benefit from the programs and services AACA offers.    
Another challenge is the recruitment of constituents and non-English speaking service consumers to our Board. There is an increasing effort from the Nomination Committee to address this particular issue.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2017 to June 30, 2018
Projected Income $3,827,128.00
Projected Expense $3,362,758.00
Form 990s

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

2009 Form 990

2008 Form 990

Audit Documents

2016 audit

2015 audit

2014 Audit

2013 Audit

2012 Audit

2011 Audit

2010 Audit

2009 Audit

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $3,103,990 $3,112,689 $3,544,687
Total Expenses $2,998,368 $2,714,611 $2,771,213

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- $880,852
Government Contributions $900,944 $661,730 $828,422
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $900,944 $661,730 $828,422
Individual Contributions $971,055 $767,194 $360,274
Indirect Public Support $108,777 $114,344 $97,143
Earned Revenue $1,095,362 $964,589 $1,019,311
Investment Income, Net of Losses $9,097 $16,031 $30,035
Membership Dues $0 $0 --
Special Events $6,232 $351,841 $322,691
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $12,523 $236,960 $5,959

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $2,402,987 $2,100,310 $2,143,886
Administration Expense $400,789 $426,916 $360,643
Fundraising Expense $194,592 $187,385 $266,684
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.04 1.15 1.28
Program Expense/Total Expenses 80% 77% 77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 10% 10% 11%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $6,532,208 $6,309,053 $4,005,773
Current Assets $2,196,995 $2,129,274 $1,971,467
Long-Term Liabilities $2,528,172 $2,592,718 $57,419
Current Liabilities $595,415 $324,256 $433,060
Total Net Assets $3,408,621 $3,392,079 $3,515,294

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $0.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 4.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates Jan - June
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.69 6.57 4.55

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 39% 41% 1%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s for FY16 and FY15 and per the audited financials for FY14. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.  


Other Documents

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The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

AACA’s ultimate goal is to assist immigrants, linguistic minorities and economically disadvantaged individuals to achieve economic and social self-sufficiency. Economic and social self-sufficiency is measured by acquisition of career-oriented employment, generation of family sustainable income, and building of assets such as home ownership.

AACA’s clients often face obstacles that seem insurmountable, from language barriers and lack of transferrable job skills, to unstable and substandard housing, past criminal records, and multi-generational poverty. AACA’s tasks are to give them opportunities that will allow them to fully integrate into mainstream – a point at which they have a steady income at a sustaining wage, they are able to take active part in their communities, and they have a secure living situation for themselves and their families.

As an organization, AACA envisions itself as a beacon of hope for its clients. In particular, AACA wants to be seen as the one-stop center providing seamless social and educational services for new immigrants arriving in Massachusetts; a key advocacy group in terms of workforce development; and an innovator promoting a path to better futures for all disadvantaged residents of Massachusetts.

Over the last thirty years, the immigrant influx has significantly contributed to the labor force growth in Massachusetts. AACA has a vital mission to educate and empower Massachusetts’ new workforce. AACA’s programs and services are crucial in building and supporting a productive workforce that benefits the local economy, businesses and numerous immigrant and indigent families.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

AACA takes a holistic approach to clients and their families, providing not only English language education and job training and placement services, but also providing critical case management and social services.

AACA is an outcome-driven organization that focuses on services for 'the whole client' - this means that we not only provide our clients with training, but also with the essential wrap-around social services they and their families require, and with job retention services for a minimum of two years after they are placed in a job. Depending on their individual needs, a client will receive help, teaching, and advice from a number of different specialized members of the AACA team throughout their contact with us. This integrated team strategy is focused on achieving benchmarks such as completion of programs, successful college entry, securing housing or retaining a job, while valuing and promoting the individual’s ambition to succeed.

AACA’s job training programs are particularly effective because they embrace economic realities: each program is developed after extensive labor market research. Each job training program has strong relationships with employer partners who are actively involved in all aspects of the program design from setting standards for program admittance, advising on curriculum and providing workshops, to hosting interns, hiring graduates and supporting them so they thrive and advance (we now work with over 90 employer partners). Through AACA’s unique formula of holistic client services combined with strong employer relationships, the workforce development programs prepare strong candidates for hire.

AACA already has an excellent reputation for immigration and social services as well as workforce development. We have several medium- to long-term strategies that will allow AACA to continue to deliver its programs and to adapt those programs to changes in the economy and in workforce demands.

In terms of program development, we plan to increase capacity in our highly successful Building Energy Efficient Maintenance Skills (BEEMS) and Careers in Banking and Finance programs.

Other areas that we are looking to develop include an entrepreneurial training program aimed at immigrant women, and our youth employment center.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

An innovator in our community, AACA has taken a leadership role in workforce development, developing high quality training as a means to promising career attainment. All of AACA’s workforce development programs combine English language education contextualized to the industry with technical skills, computer literacy, and job readiness training. AACA provides its students with the needed skills for employment, provides career coaching, and works closely to help its graduates find jobs and build assets.

AACA’s core asset is its ability to adapt to changes in its programming and services based on the ever-changing demographic characteristics of its clients, as well as shifts in local labor market needs. The internal resources that currently play into AACA’s work and help strengthen it for the future are:

  • A committed Board of Directors with membership comprising human service, legal, education, and business professions.
  • A dedicated staff that is committed to the cause of the organization.
  • Qualified staff with professional training in the fields of education and human services.
  • One-stop center that provides a wide range of appropriate services and programs to immigrants, linguistic minorities and economic disadvantaged residents.
  • Practical programs: we cater to clients’ needs by providing concise vocational training and a high job placement rate (over 80%).
  • Unique features in program designs such as the Individual Service Plan, case management, business English, customer services, contextualized English, and two-year retention service for program graduates.
  • Financially sustainability: AACA is not heavily reliant on public funding. It diversifies its revenue from earned income, government grants, foundations/corporations, and fundraising. In FY 2014, the largest portion of AACA income was earned (30%), with government grants and foundation/corporation support at 23% and 25% respectively.

The external strength of AACA includes:

  • AACA has a solid reputation and track record among its clients and funders.
  • Industry partnerships: AACA’s relationships with its employer partners are key to its success. It is their involvement that keeps AACA’s programs relevant, ensures that students are exposed to real world situations, and given a great start in a growing industry.
  • AACA’s willingness and readiness in collaboration and partnership with other education institutes and community-based organizations is vital to its resource development and program success.

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

AACA is an outcome-based organization focused on achieving positive results for our clients. AACA is committed to not just placing graduates into good jobs but also ensuring they keep the job and advance in their careers, and so we measure not only program registration and attendance, but also the rates of job retention for a minimum of two years after clients are placed in a job.

For Fiscal Year 2017, AACA achieved these results for clients enrolled in our job training programs:

Completion rate for job training programs: 100%

Job placement rate for job training programs: 86%

Two-year retention rate for graduates placed in a job: 76%

AACA will strive for equally compelling outcomes for the Workforce Development Center in FY19, including:

For our Multi-Service Center, we measure our successes in terms of numbers served, and in terms of what we are able to do for our clients. In FY16, the Multi-Service Center served over 2,500 clients, and among its many services, we were able to help with filing of income tax returns.

For our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs, a key indicator of success is the number of graduates who go to college after graduating the program, or who find a job based on their English skills. 

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

AACA has come a long way since its beginnings. Founded in 1967, the Asian American Civic Association has evolved from a Chinese social club to a leading workforce development and college preparation center in Massachusetts for all immigrants and economically disadvantaged individuals.

Eight years ago, we concentrated our fundraising efforts on a $2.8 million campaign that allowed us to create a new facility at the Chinatown Community Education Center, 87 Tyler Street, Boston, which incorporated much-needed space for teaching, counseling, meeting and organizing, including a multi-purpose community room, multi-functional conference room, two computer labs, confidential counseling spaces, and multiple classrooms.

Since moving into the new premises in 2007, we have significantly expanded vital programs and met many of the strategic goals established by our Board of Directors in 2001: we have added nine major new programs; the City of Boston and the City of Cambridge each awarded AACA the only grants for “green” job training; and in 2010, AACA opened the Buds and Blossoms Early Education and Care Center. In 2013, AACA is awarded five years of funding from the George and Alice Rich Charitable Foundation to create a scholarship fund for AACA students. 

Among the new programs we created after the move were: the Employment Center, the Careers in Banking and Finance program, and Workplace Education at South Cove Community Health Center, Tufts Medical Center and China Pearl Restaurant. We created a new youth initiative focusing on leadership development and civic engagement. In response to client needs, we also expanded our Next Steps Transitional English Program to include a college track for adult immigrants interested in pursuing a college education. This has been very successful, with 40 Next STEP students placed in college in 2014.

 In November, 2014, finalized purchase of headquarters at the Chinatown Community Education Center. In July, 2014, English for New Bostonians awarded grant to AACA to start New Roots to Employment Project. New Roots is designed to help advanced ESOL students with college degrees tin STEM from their own countires to prepare for careers in their fields in the U.S. 
In April 2015, the Boston Private Industry Council awarded a three-year subcontract grant through the Social Innovation Fund to provide he much needed employment services to Boston Youth.