Pierre and Pam Omidyar's Commitment to Hawaii
In 2009, Pierre and Pam Omidyar announced a $50 million commitment over six years to the Hawaii Community Foundation to fuel their charitable investments in Hawaii. Believed to be the largest single gift made by living donors in the history of the state, the investment established the Omidyar Ohana Fund which is being used to launch several community initiatives as well as to support the Omidyars’ ongoing philanthropic interests.
Civil Beat CEO and publisher Pierre Omidyar delivered the keynote address on philanthropy at a nonprofit summit put on by the Conference of Nonprofit Communities of Hawaii. See the replay online here.
Over the past two years, investments from the Omidyar Ohana Fund have provided the community with programs and grants totaling $12 million, including:
- Hawaii Community Stabilization Initiative (HCSI): Launched in late 2009, HCSI is a six-year, $8 million funding partnership aimed at stabilizing communities by helping families and individuals weather the recession and build towards the future. The initiative seeks to help families increase available benefits, access credit counseling, bankruptcy and mortgage foreclosure prevention services, and build long-term financial security. In the initiative’s first phase, The Omidyar Ohana Fund provided a lead grant of $2.25 million, which was matched by 10 other donors and foundations. The second phase will be announced in 2012. Matching dollars must also be secured from additional funders. Read more about HCSI’s funders and grantees.
- Island Innovation Fund (IIF): Launched in 2010, IIF is a new competitive grantmaking program aimed at spurring innovation in Hawaii’s nonprofit sector. The Omidyar Ohana Fund is providing $3 million over three years to support and scale creative ways of solving community challenges through an open, transparent grant process. The first round of grantees was announced earlier this year and the second round is currently underway. Visit the Island Innovation Fund website for more information on the Fund and details on the first round of grantees.
Hawaii Technology Transformation Program (HTTP): In March 2011, with the support of the Omidyar Ohana Fund, the Hawaii Community Foundation formed a partnership with the State of Hawaii to transform how government does business with and for Hawaii’s citizens. The mission of the program is to assist agencies in the effective, efficient and convenient delivery of programs and services to the public through business transformation and information technology modernization. Its vision is to create a state where:
- the public engages with an open and transparent government;
- state employees, citizens and businesses have convenient and secure access to reliable information;
- government processes are streamlined, integrated and implemented to meet the public’s service expectations;
- information technology and information capabilities align and support business needs, strategies, and outcomes;
- innovation and continuous improvement are fostered.
A grant of just over $4 million from the Omidyar Ohana Fund at HCF, along with in-kind contributions from the state, is supporting the start-up effort of this program. For more information visit the Office of Information Management & Technology.
Capital Grants to Support Building a Sustainable Hawaii: From time to time, the Omidyar Ohana Fund has made capital grants to help key Hawaii organizations pioneer the achievement of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification. A commitment is also made by the grantee to share lessons learned and best practices with other organizations to encourage green building design in Hawaii. The following capital grants to support LEED certification have been committed:
- Omidyar K-1 Neighborhood at Punahou School: In 2010, the commitment of a $6 million, six-year challenge grant, matched by other donors, supported the construction and operations of the new kindergarten-first grade school. The building was constructed according to the rigorous LEED Platinum Certification guidelines and was the first of its kind in Hawaii.
- Kapiolani Health Foundation: In 2011, the Omidyar Ohana Fund made a four-year commitment of up to $1 million to support the inclusion of LEED Certification guidelines into the renovation and expansion of the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children.
- Omidyar Ohana Fund Community Needs Grants: The Hawaii Community Foundation works with the Omidyars to identify and address community needs and opportunities. Since 2009, the Omidyars have provided more than $2 million in small grants to causes across the state including education, environment, arts and culture, and human services.