The Tina Yao Fund

Est. 2015 by Nancy Yao Maasbach.

Tina Yao (second from left) as a young adult with her family in China, and on Mother's Day 2016 with daughter Nancy. The Yao Fund was created as part of the MakingWaves Leadership Giving Program to grow the Community Fund for Women & Girls endowment. Photos courtesy of Nancy Yao Maasbach.

Nancy Yao Maasbach says establishing a fund in 2015, in honor of her mother, Tina Yao, became a turning point for her.

"I seized the opportunity to recognize my mother. She is an extraordinary yet humble woman. On a daily basis, my mother models kindness, generosity, and strength."

The sixth of ten children, Tina was the first to emigrate from China, arriving in New York City in 1966.

"As a new bride, young mother, and recent immigrant, my mother faced many obstacles: loneliness, language, culture," Nancy says. "Nevertheless, she single-handedly navigated a complex bureaucracy to apply for each one of her brothers and sisters to emigrate to the U.S. over the next 15 years."

Nancy, the former Chair of the Community Fund for Women & Girls, remembers her mother once saying that she wished there were more Chinese names on donor lists.

"I know this remark was made up of many hopes, wishes, losses, and too many pieces of a complex journey. We have benefitted a great deal from the generosity of others: givers, donors, philanthropists, people with big hearts – and not always with big wallets. I am excited to give back. I am proud to create a fund in honor of my extraordinary mother, Tina Yao."

Creating a Legacy that Supports Women & Girls

Donors who make gifts or pledges at $10,000 or more can create individually-named funds that benefit women and girls' programs in perpetuity. These designated funds at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven support the mission of the Community Fund for Women & Girls. If you are interested in establishing a named fund, contact Sharon Cappetta at 203-777-7071.

Make a donation

Tina Yao Fund