Here at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, we’re focused on the best ways to achieve our vision of an equitable and vibrant Hawai‘i where all our Island communities thrive.

As we think back on 2022, a common thread is just how many of the year’s high points involved working in deep collaboration with our partners toward common goals.

The Hawaiian word pilina means an association, a relationship, a union, a connection. It offers a holistic perspective that intertwines individuals with their ‘ohana, community, and the ‘āina. We know that, by having strong pilina, we can achieve great things together. Think of the strength of lau hala strands woven together into one united piece.

For us at HCF, the concept of pilina resonates. In our work, we’re striving to build stronger connections and deeper relationships with partners across the Islands. And this includes the generosity of our more than 1,500 donors who continue to make it possible to support our communities across Hawai‘i.

Over the course of 2022, we distributed $86 million in grants from funds at HCF and on behalf of partners. In this effort, we are focused on doing everything we can to make a meaningful difference in the lives of as many people as possible, and finding new ways to reform systems that are no longer working for us across the state.

One project we took on in 2022 was gathering community input to update the strategy for our CHANGE Framework. It’s a useful tool to examine the root causes of Hawai‘i’s greatest challenges and create effective solutions, using sustainable, community-informed data points that reflect where challenges and opportunities might be in six essential sectors, including the natural environment, education, and arts and culture.

To make sure the data indicators we’re using align with what community organizations are tracking on the ground, we held a series of community convenings, both virtually and in person, to ask for feedback from our partners across the state. The responses have been tremendously useful, and we’re working now to incorporate these learnings into the CHANGE Framework, which will help HCF focus its efforts per sector, whether that’s through grantmaking, advocating for policy change, or convening new networks of changemakers.

Another breakthrough was the creation of the Hawai‘i state Office of Wellness and Resilience (OWR). The first of its kind in the nation, the OWR aims to improve the ways that early childhood mental healthcare and other trauma-informed resources are offered statewide, by raising capacity, connecting stakeholders, and advocating for legislation to support effective healthcare for children 0 to 5. This is an issue HCF has been prioritizing for years through our Promising Minds Initiative, and we’re proud to have been part of the collaborative effort by both public and private partners to establish an office that will bolster early childhood healthcare in Hawai‘i.

And one of the most exciting milestones reached in 2022 was the reopening of our headquarters in the historic C. Brewer and Co. Building, after an extensive, year-long renovation. Our goal was to create a gathering place where community members, nonprofits, donors, and many others can come together and collaborate, and seeing the building fill back up with energy and activity is a great confirmation that we’ve succeeded in this task.

There’s more to celebrate, of course. In all, 2022 was a year of collaboration and progress, and in this annual report, we’re proud to share the ways in which HCF worked with partners to find new ways to make a difference throughout Hawai‘i. Mahalo for joining us in this journey—the best way to achieve a better, more equitable Hawai‘i is to do this work together.

Me ke aloha,

Signature of Micah A. Kāne
Micah A. Kāne,
Chief Executive Officer and President
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation

Signature of Peter Ho
Peter Ho,
Chair of Board of Governors
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation

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2022 HCF Initiatives

One of the ways HCF pursues our mission of building equity is through the work of our three key initiatives. Led by HCF staff and in close partnership with a diverse group of stakeholders including nonprofits, community-based organizations, and government agencies, our initiatives focus on addressing the root causes of complex social problems, instead of short-term fixes. Shifting underlying systems, such as changing norms and passing new policies, requires a multi-year commitment to the initiative that can create transformative change. Here are just a few of the highlights of the work we accomplished together in 2022.

The House Maui InitiativeThe Keaka Aumua ʻohana, just one of many families who have received financial counseling through the Maui Financial Opportunity Center to help reach their housing goals.

The House Maui Initiative

The House Maui Initiative of HCF aims to create a sustainable housing system that generates and keeps homes affordable for kama‘āina, enhances natural and cultural resources, and enriches our quality of life. On Maui, 50.3 percent of families are housing cost burdened, meaning they pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income on housing. It’s estimated that more than 14,000 units are needed to keep local families on island.

  • The County of Maui was awarded a federal RAISE grant of $25 million to build the Wai‘ale Road extension, enabling 213 additional affordable housing units in the Waikapū Country Town development. HCF made this grant possible by bringing Maui County and the state together, and by funding a grant writer to explain the compelling need for this project.
  • Maui County funded HCF with $2.5 million in matching funds to administer to the Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) in Wailuku; as well as an individual development account pilot program that will match savings 2-to-1 for costs including a down payment, a deposit or first/last month’s rent; and also a deferred payment mortgage pilot program to help potential home buyers qualify for their home loan.

Promising Minds Initiative

The Promising Minds Initiative

Promising Minds is dedicated to improving early childhood behavioral health in Hawai‘i. We believe if organizations, agencies, and practitioners adopt a trauma-informed stance based on the research that trauma impacts a child’s development, the whole system will shift so that early adverse experiences are non-stigmatized and every child receives the support they need to be set up for success. The key is to integrate mental health prevention services into the settings where children spend their time, such as at home, childcare, or the doctor’s office, and by working with the important adults in their lives, since children depend on these relationships for their wellbeing.

  • In 2022, the state of Hawai‘i established the Office of Wellness and Resilience, the first of its kind in the nation, with the advocacy efforts of HCF and many others. In short, the office is tasked with ensuring that all services offered by the state are trauma-informed—meaning that people are approached with compassion and understanding that everyone has a story that impacts how they are showing up every day in their lives.
  • Through the Promising Minds Fellows Program, an ongoing partnership with the Association for Infant Mental Health in Hawai‘i, several cohorts totaling 49 people completed specialized training in infant mental health in 2022. Another 16 people were selected for a Child Parent Psychotherapy cohort, to work with Hawai‘i’s infants and caregivers with complex needs who will most benefit from therapeutic intervention. This enlarged network of professionals from across disciplines in child-serving fields—from social workers and behavioral health case managers to therapists and parent coaches—is already working with early childhood programs across the state and putting its new expertise to use.

Fresh Water Initiative

The Fresh Water Initiative

The Fresh Water Initiative of HCF is designed to proactively address and resolve fresh water supply issues throughout Hawai‘i caused by many factors. Rainfall decreased by 18 percent over the last 30 years. Hawai‘i's population has doubled since 1959. Visitor arrival records are repeatedly broken. And half of Hawai‘i's watershed forests have been destroyed. In response, HCF invited stakeholders from all sides of the issue—agriculture, private landowners, scientists, and government officials—to convene as a Fresh Water Council in 2013, with the goal of conserving more than 40 million gallons of fresh water a day, recharging more than 30 million gallons a day, and reusing more than 30 million gallons a day of the Islands’ precious fresh water supply.

  • Through the work of the Fresh Water Initiative, 19.3 million gallons a day is confirmed to be or in the process of being preserved, recycled, or recharged and the preservation of an additional 41.5 million gallons per day is in progress through policy change, partnership creation, and capacity building.
  • In 2022, the Fresh Water Initiative assisted county government agencies with securing federal funding for key projects on Hawai‘i Island, Maui, and O‘ahu:
    • $100,000 to replace large, under-registering meters for County of Hawai‘i water customers that use significant volumes of water.
    • $600,000 to support the expansion and use of recycled water produced by the Kīhei Wastewater Reclamation Facility on Maui.
    • $849,000 for a project to take a cost-effective, resilient approach to managing storm water impacts by installing green stormwater infrastructure in Honolulu County.
    • $1 million to the County of Maui for West Maui Water Re-use Expansion.
  • In 2022, HCF applied for and was designated as an Environmental Finance Center by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). HCF will receive $3.2 million in funding over five years to operate the center, and support Hawai‘i government agencies in accessing millions of dollars in federal water infrastructure funding.

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2022 Programs and Funds

In addition to its key initiatives, HCF partners with organizations and government entities in a variety of programs, and oversees several funds dedicated to doing important work throughout Hawai‘i. Here are some of the highlights of our program and fund work in 2022.

Holomua Marine Initiative

The Holomua Marine Initiative Fund

HCF administers a pooled field of interest fund to support community nearshore marine management efforts, with a funding goal of $3 million a year. The Hawai‘i state Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) launched Holomua Marine Initiative as a way to work with communities to effectively manage our nearshore marine resources around each main Hawaiian island so that our local resources are available and plentiful, today and for future generations. DAR is working with communities through a locally led planning process.

  • In December 2022, HCF announced a new round of funding of $550,000 from its pooled fund to support partnerships and networking in the community, as well as funding for science research and data collection and analysis relating to nearshore marine management. Six groups on Maui—from Hāna to Olowalu—received grants to engage as a cohort in technical assistance training over the next two years, particularly focusing on board recruitment, sustainability planning, and consensus building.

ALICE Initiative Cohort

ALICE Initiative Cohort

In a partnership with HCF and Aloha United Way, the 2022-2024 ALICE Initiative Cohort supports the upward mobility of ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) households by focusing on improving systemic economic inequities in Hawai‘i. The cohort of 17 organizations are receiving a combined total of $1.5 million per year through 2024 to support their work on key issues facing ALICE households, specifically relating to financial stability, building savings, and safe and affordable housing.

  • Over the course of 2022, the ALICE Initiative Cohort began discussing the systemic issues that face ALICE households, laying out its goals and priorities, and defining the challenges that the cohort will tackle. In addition, work was done to develop cohort bonds and build the foundations for collective impact, including knowledge sharing and other relationship-building activities.

Social Impact Investing Fund

Social Impact Investing Fund

The Social Impact Investment Fund provides revolving, catalytic capital to Hawai‘i-based nonprofit and for-profit organizations and qualified intermediaries that can have impact on critical social issues that align with HCF’s CHANGE Framework. To date, HCF has deployed $4.2 million from our Social Impact Investment Fund, providing catalytic capital to local Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and intermediaries that serve communities in the areas of affordable housing and homeownership, financial services and asset-building, small-business lending, and sustainable food systems.

  • In 2022, HCF made three social impact investments: $1 million to the Rural Community Assistance Corporation to provide training, technical and financial assistance and advocacy to indigenous and rural populations; $500,000 to the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement to enhance the cultural, economic, political, and community development of Native Hawaiians; and $500,000 to the Feed the Hunger Fund to improve lives through loan capital for small business owners, farmers, cooks, cultivators and innovators.

Tobacco Prevention and Control

Tobacco Prevention and Control

HCF administers the Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund under a contract with the Department of Health (DOH), implementing a statewide comprehensive tobacco prevention and control program consistent with the Center for Disease Control’s best practices.

  • For the first time since before the pandemic, in 2022 HCF hosted an in-person gathering of staff from 17 tobacco cessation grantees across Hawai‘i. Nearly 15 years since the cessation grant program was first launched, these grantees have acquired deep expertise in what it takes to help Island residents quit smoking, with a particular focus on populations with the highest smoking rates. With more than 40 attendees, the grantee gathering was an opportunity to share that expertise across the cohort and to celebrate their many accomplishments. Presentations from DOH, the program’s external evaluators (professional data analysts), and grantees highlighted the comprehensive work the grantees have been doing throughout the grant period. Grantees shared about forming partnerships in the community to reach more tobacco users, how to leverage technology to help with delivering services, and gave each other tips on marketing and social media.

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Turning Grantmaking into a Two-Way Street

Centering Community in CHANGE

In 2022, we convened partners across Hawai‘i to gather input on ways to evolve the CHANGE Framework—and to center the community throughout its six sectors.

One of the core tenets of trust-based philanthropy is that funders should “ask and act” on feedback. In that spirit, HCF staff held Community Convenings in May and June 2022, to solicit perspectives on the CHANGE Framework—from its current data to its application. Nonprofits and community leaders across the state were invited to participate in the virtual convenings, with close to 400 people participating. No statewide discussion at this scale had ever been attempted by HCF previously.

The vision of the CHANGE Framework is that by engaging stakeholders around common data and shared goals, we can achieve collective action on systemic issues to improve the overall well-being of Hawai‘i’s islands and people.

“Our core intention is to center the community in developing a long-term vision and theory of change for each of the sectors of the CHANGE Framework,” says Larissa Kick, vice president of Community Grants and Initiatives at HCF. “If we can do that, then we can co-create strategies that can help us drive change with long-term, lasting effects.”

Participants were divided into separate virtual breakout groups for each CHANGE sector, based on self-selection during the registration process. After the convenings concluded, HCF staff in each sector team compiled reports of what they observed and learned during the breakout sessions.

Then, each CHANGE sector team had more gatherings in smaller groups, in the form of open-house events, site visits, face-to-face meetings, and virtual convenings.

For the “A” in CHANGE, the Arts and Culture sector, for example, an open house was held in September 2022 at HCF’s headquarters at the C. Brewer Building in Downtown Honolulu. Approximately 45 people attended, including nonprofit, community, and government leaders.

“We asked attendees about our draft vision statement for the sector, what was resonating with them, and what might be missing,” explains program director Elise von Dohlen. Similar events were held in Kahului, Maui, as well as virtually to include as many nonprofit partners as possible.

Some common themes developed across sectors, including sentiment on the prevalent factors that are contributing to inequity such as high cost of living and the digital divide. When it came to key opportunities in the community, participants shared that our strengths are the inclusion of indigenous practices and knowledge, connection to place, and collaborative partnerships between organizations.

All sectors shared that they need resources and training to support capacity building for effective data usage, from data collection, to accessing publicly available data, to data analysis. As one participant put it, most members of community-based organizations are wearing multiple hats: “Individuals try to do it all with little to no support.” In short, all sectors want more focus on meaningful data that measures long-term impact and supports community efforts.

As a next step, each CHANGE sector will synthesize the feedback and create a long-term vision and theory of change that reflects the expertise and perspective of those doing systems change work throughout Hawai‘i. HCF will integrate this vision as we refine the CHANGE Framework, ensuring it is both grounded in data and community-informed to address Hawai‘i’s most pressing needs. “We’re looking for ways we can support the community and uplift the work that is being done,” says Kick.

To learn more, check out this summary of the CHANGE Community Convenings.

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Closing the Gap

Closing the Gap

The new Hawai‘i State Office of Wellness and Resilience aims to improve the ways that trauma-related concerns and associated health outcomes are addressed statewide.

At its best, childhood can be a carefree and happy time, with children free to explore, learn, and grow in a safe environment. But things don’t always go as planned.

In Hawai‘i, nearly half of all children (an estimated 46 percent) will at some point experience an adverse childhood experience, such as physical and emotional abuse, household violence, caregiver mental illness, or neglect. As a result, almost a third of children in Hawai‘i are at risk for behavioral or developmental issues or delays.

“In the past, there was often a gap when it came to caring for young children’s mental health needs,” says HCF Promising Minds program director Justina Acevedo-Cross. “There are times when a child and perhaps their families need significant treatment. If we invest in care early on, it can yield a positive ripple effect throughout a child’s life.”

That’s why she’s excited about the establishment of the Hawai‘i state Office of Wellness and Resilience (OWR), newly created in 2022 to improve the ways that trauma-related issues are addressed statewide, particularly for children ages 0 to 5.

The OWR is the first of its kind in the nation. In addition to building Hawai‘i’s trauma-informed care resources, the office and its staff also aims to:

  • Connect with state departments, medical health facilities, university researchers, and cultural practitioners to better understand data trends in Hawai‘i’s health system.
  • Host an annual wellness and resilience summit.
  • Propose and support trauma-informed and resilience-related legislation.
  • Work to establish new practices to improve outcomes when it comes to child welfare, mental health, and criminal justice in Hawai‘i.

Tia Hartsock, the executive director of OWR, says, “There are groups already doing a good job of helping people in the community. Our goal is to listen, honor what works, and build upon that. How can this new agency fill in those puka that could be useful for organizations?”

The OWR is, in many ways, a successful outcome of the work that Acevedo-Cross, HCF, and its public and private partners have been cooperating on over the past several years to improve early childhood behavioral health throughout the state.

In 2019, HCF launched Promising Minds, a public health initiative aimed at equipping early childhood educators, caregivers, and service providers with the necessary trauma-informed tools, strategies, and support to help ensure that Hawai‘i’s vulnerable children develop healthily and stay on track.

“The vision was to develop an inclusive mental health system for keiki to kūpuna, with specific services and support available for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers,” Acevedo-Cross says.

HCF and Promising Minds helped organize a network of more than 100 healthcare providers, therapists, social workers, and other early childhood professionals equipped to offer trauma-informed care, which means recognizing and responding to signs of trauma to better support patients’ health needs and create a culture of safety and healing.

In addition to working to increase the number of mental health providers and hosting professional development events, the Promising Minds team connected with legislators and advocates for support through policy changes.

The Trauma-Informed Care Task Force, an advisory group under the state Department of Health, was created in 2021 as a way to bring experts together who could make recommendations for trauma-informed care statewide. This task force then led to the creation of the OWR in 2022.

“I believe that the vision OWR is developing—to bring together people, agencies and organizations that deeply care about Hawai‘i—holds promise for a future that focuses on community well-being,” says Acevedo-Cross. “I see signs of progress already, including the State of Hawai‘i winning some competitive federal mental health grant awards. The success of OWR will grow and we will all be better off because of it.”

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Supporting Hawai‘i’s Changemakers for Two Decades

Supporting Hawai‘i’s Changemakers for Two Decades

For 20 years, the Ho‘okele Awards have honored and supported nonprofit leadership in Hawai‘i by providing recipients with the opportunity for personal renewal and professional development.

In late 2021, Jeff Gilbreath was just about maxed out. He had spent almost two years leading nonprofits Hawaiian Community Assets and Hawaiʻi Community Lending through a time of pandemic and economic downturn as their executive director, and the stress was taking its toll.

“We were deep in COVID response,” he says. “I was running two organizations, and it was just really overwhelming. I think [leadership burnout] is one of those issues that doesn’t get talked about a lot.”

Indeed, Hawai‘i’s best nonprofit leaders give their all to their organizations as they tackle some of the Islands’ toughest challenges. But, while these leaders do an exceptional job caring for others, they often have a harder time caring for themselves.

For the past two decades, the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Ho‘okele Awards have addressed this issue, recognizing the hard work of Hawai’i’s most dedicated nonprofit executives, and giving them financial support to rejuvenate themselves personally and professionally.

“We know that, to keep people in this profession, and to stabilize the nonprofit sector and its leadership, we have to invest in those leaders,” says Michelle Ka‘uhane, senior vice president and chief impact officer of HCF. “This award is about embracing and lifting up leadership through service, and reminding those leaders that they deserve a break.”

The annual recognition, which is given to mid-career nonprofit leaders, includes a $10,000 award to be used for self-care. Ka‘uhane says the idea is for honorees to use the award to recharge in whatever way most meaningful to them. That could include travel, a vacation to spend quality time with family, or even paying for home renovations that they’ve been putting off.

Gilbreath received his Ho‘okele Award in 2021, and decided to use the funding to travel to Ireland and trace his ancestral roots. Learning about his family history, their connection to the land, and the history of colonization in Ireland gave him a powerful sense of connection to his work with the Native Hawaiian community in the area of economic equity, he says.

“It gave me a path to really recommit to the mission and think about the importance of this work, providing tools and resources that can unlock affordable housing and living-wage jobs for Native Hawaiian families,” he says.

In 2022, HCF celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Ho‘okele Awards. Named for the ho‘okele, or steersman, of a voyaging canoe, the program was founded in 2002, modeled on a similar program run by the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.

HCF’s previous president and CEO Kelvin Taketa says the original awards program was the brainchild of Tom Layton, the former executive director of the Gerbode Foundation.

“Tom was a nationally recognized leader among foundation executives in the US, and we were fortunate to have him and the Gerbode Foundation as our partners,” Taketa says.

In addition to the money and recognition, Ka‘uhane says the awards program has fostered an informal network of nonprofit leaders that support, encourage, and inspire one another. Nominations for awardees come from past recipients, as well as HCF board members and staff members. Looking to the future of the program, Ka‘uhane says she would like to see HCF develop more opportunities for connection.

“We’re thinking about how to build more synergy, more networking, and a cohort of peer-to-peer mentoring and support.” she says. “It’s not just about that night of celebration, but bringing them together to share the struggles, the challenges, and the victories of executive leadership.”

To learn more about the Ho‘okele Awards Program, including a list of all past awardees, visit our website.

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Creating a Gathering Place for All

Creating a Gathering Place for All

HCF’s renovation of the C. Brewer and Co. building aims to welcome everyone into its headquarters to work together for a better Hawai‘i.

When Duane Kurisu, a Hilo-born-and-raised businessman and philanthropist, first leased the C. Brewer and Co. Building to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation in 2011, he did it with the goal that HCF would use the historic space to make Hawai‘i better for everyone, a mission HCF has steadfastly pursued since its own inception in 1916.

“I wasn’t just looking for a tenant, I wanted a partner,” Kurisu says. “There wasn’t anybody more deserving of this building than the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, because, together as partners, we brought collaboration and accessibility together.”

Built in 1930 in the financial district and piko (center) of downtown Honolulu, the C. Brewer and Co. Building was one of the original “Big Five” company headquarters, making it emblematic of Hawai‘i’s long-running plantation era. When it came time to update and renovate the building, in 2021, Kurisu and HCF’s leadership wanted to be intentional in creating a gathering place where community members, nonprofits, donors, and many others can come together and collaborate.

“This is an important time, because it’s a new beginning to bridge the divide in our community,” Kurisu says. “Erasing that divide—whether you have money in your pocket or not, whether we’re Hawaiian, or haole, or Japanese, or Korean, we’re all same same.”

For the renovation, while preserving the building’s distinctive features, HCF built in additional meeting spaces, a media room for creating content, technological advancements to conference rooms, and a new, welcoming lobby experience with art and visual displays, including work by Sig Zane’s Hilo-based design firm, Sig Zane Kaiao. Every update works to create a community resource in the heart of the Honolulu business district that can support the work HCF has done to create a thriving Hawai‘i with its partners today—and into the future.

“HCF has been supporting Hawai‘i’s people and places over a century—and we hope to do this humbling work for another century,” says Micah Kāne, HCF CEO and president. “Collaboration and inviting people into the conversation is critical to meeting our long-term vision of making a better Hawai‘i for everyone here in our islands. As an organization, we know that we’re greater as a combined, collective force in our efforts to solve systemic challenges.”

HCF completed its renovation in 2022, reopening to the public in July. At the blessing ceremony, that month, Peter Ho, president and CEO of Bank of Hawai‘i and chairman of HCF’s Board of Governors, said he looked forward to seeing what the next chapter of the foundation would hold.

“When you think about the things that happen in these walls, the decisions that are made, the lives that are changed for the better, the futures and trajectories improved—it's amazing what the people in this building do and have done for many years,” Ho said. “To be able to bring this building up to the luster it so richly deserves, to make it more functional and create additional capacity, is an incredible opportunity.”

HCF is proud to share the newly renovated C. Brewer and Co. Building with three partners that are strongly committed to making a positive impact in Hawai‘i’s communities.

  • The Hawai‘i Executive Collaborative serves as a convener and backbone organization to accelerate the impact of the collective leadership of CEOs and top decision makers, building resilience for Hawai‘i’s people.

  • The Hawai‘i Data Collaborative supports government, nonprofit, and private sector organizations to respond to Hawai‘i’s pressing challenges by building data capacities and catalyzing a data culture.

  • The Holomua Collective works to make Hawai‘i more affordable for all working families, focusing its efforts on building cross-sector relationships, providing public education, and advancing public policies that make affordability possible.

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Image collage: A man and woman standing side by side while smiling at the camera; A man wearing a lei standing close to a women while they smile at the camera; Two women wearing leis standing close while smiling at the camera.

Mahalo to Our Donors

The beating heart that drives HCF is the continued generosity of our donors. We are grateful for their continued support to our community. There are many ways to give—whether it’s an individual making a legacy gift to have an impact long beyond their own lifetime, or a business weaving philanthropy into its corporate culture. Here, we share the range of ways to give at HCF, and examples of contributions made in 2022 that demonstrate what’s possible in philanthropy.

Donor Advised Funds

Donor advised funds allow maximum flexibility to recommend grants for the benefit of the community. Donors contribute to the fund as frequently as they like and recommend grants when they are ready.

Residential real estate brokerage Hawaiʻi Life established the Mealoha Kraus Legacy Fund in memory of a cherished colleague who fought a short, brave battle with breast cancer, passing at the age of 42. She left behind her husband Chris, son Connor, daughter Faith, sisters Kealohanui Browning and Mililani Browning, and mother Denise Nakanishi, all of whom now help direct grants to support causes close to Mealoha’s heart, including food assistance in local communities.

Legacy Gifts

Legacy gifts provide lasting support to communities and honor an individual’s passion for making a difference beyond their lifetime. Legacy donors choose to leave a gift to the community in their will or trust, creating a legacy for a particular cause for generations to come.

Driven by a desire to make a difference in the lives of those in her community, Blyth Kozuki has set up a legacy gift with HCF, which will establish three funds, the Blyth Kozuki Scholarship Fund, which will provide post-secondary scholarships to Hawaiʻi students pursuing a degree in social work, the Francis Michael Poʻai Fund, to support the Washington Place Foundation and its work with Hawaiian culture, and the Robert Satoshi Kozuki Fund, to support the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation Cancer Center.

Scholarship Funds

Scholarship funds help Hawai‘i students achieve their life goals by making a college degree more attainable, and unlocking their academic and professional potential.

Bob Kubota and his wife Lynn are the current owners of Pono Market, a longtime, multi-generational-family business on Kauaʻi’s east side. They set up a scholarship to honor Bob’s parents, Minoru and Kiyoko Kubota. The scholarship is awarded each year and benefits graduates of Kapaʻa High School, the alma mater of most of the Kubota family.

Field of Interest Funds

Field of interest funds enable givers to benefit a particular cause or group of people. When organizations or charities serving that specific field change, merge, or cease to exist, this type of fund can adapt and evolve to continue to serve its purpose effectively.

Years ago, Gladys Tsubouchi, future grandmother to the children of financial advisor Gregg Takara, became seriously ill and needed care she couldn’t receive in Hawaiʻi. A person-in-need grant from HCF enabled her to get the off-island treatment she needed, and Gregg never forgot the impact it made on his family. He has now established the Gladys Fund in her honor of his late mother-in-law, to support other patients on Kauaʻi who need to travel off-island to seek medical care.

Catalyst Fund

Catalyst Fund contributions provide funding for operational support that enables HCF to address critical issues by convening key stakeholders, creating meaningful partnerships, and establishing shared goals to promote systems change for a better Hawai‘i.

Peter and Vicki Merriman, owners of Merriman’s restaurants across the state, have long been champions of making the Islands a sustainable place to live and work—helping to pioneer Hawaiʻi Regional Cuisine and building an economic base for local farmers, ranchers and fishers. With their consistent support of HCF’s Catalyst Fund, beginning in 2015, the Merrimans demonstrate their commitment to a better Hawaiʻi—always with a big-picture perspective.

Private Foundation Services

HCF’s private foundation services, which include grantmaking and administrative assistance, can help individuals, families, or corporations carry out their charitable missions effectively and efficiently

The Charles & Mitch Ota Foundation has created a scholarship program to support Maui County students who have been part of the AVID program, a college prep elective course for those who wish to pursue higher education. Many of the students are the first generation of their family to attend college, and all attend state Department of Education public high schools. Each cohort of Ota Scholars is provided with a renewable scholarship for four years at $20,000 per year. For the 2023/2024 academic year, the foundation is marking an important milestone, with the first two Ota Scholars graduating from college in 2024.

Funding Partnerships

Funding partnerships pool resources, including knowledge, funds, and connections, to enable diverse groups of people with shared goals to make a larger impact than any one of them could do alone.

The Coldwell Banker Island Properties Foundation Fund is supported by donations made by Coldwell Banker agents and staff throughout Hawaiʻi. To date, it has granted over $222,000 to programs in the community that provide housing and youth support, and it remains committed to creating a better Hawaiʻi today in the areas of community development, housing attainability, and environmental preservation.

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Anne and Allen Abaya

Time, Talent, and Treasure

For Anne and Allen Abaya, finding a whole range of different ways to give back to their community just makes sense.

For Anne Abaya, one of the best things about retirement has been the extra time she has to pursue one of her passions: helping other women thrive. The former global human resources executive for General Electric now regularly coaches women to help them prepare for job interviews.

One of the women Anne previously coached graduated from the YWCA’s work furlough program and re-entered the workforce. With the skills she learned while in prison, training service dogs, she was able to land her first job after the program. “It’s impressive what these women can overcome if they’re given the chance,” says Anne.

Her husband, Allen Abaya, also enjoys volunteering—paying homage to his Hawaiian ancestry by working as a guardian at ‘Iolani Palace. “It’s a special place with a long history,” says Allen.

In addition to their volunteering efforts for causes and charities they care about, five years ago the Abayas approached the Hawai‘i Community Foundation seeking the best ways to support their five main charitable interests: Hawaiian and Japanese culture, kūpuna (elder) care, the environment, service animals, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives for girls. They wanted help honing their focus, to direct their contributions to the places where they will have the most impact—now and well into the future.

Jen-L Lyman, HCF’s senior director of gift planning and advisor relations, says the Abayas exemplify the philanthropic ideal of generosity—giving time, talent, and treasure to support the causes they care about. “They have such a heart to give back to others for all of their blessings,” she says. “They have a real connection to their giving; they want to know how the money is being used and see the impact it’s making.”

The Abayas opened two charitable funds with HCF: a donor-advised fund that allows them to respond to immediate needs at nonprofits including the Friends of ‘Iolani Palace, Assistance Dogs of Hawai‘i, YWCA of O‘ahu, and Kōkua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services.

Then, through a gift in their trust and upon their passing, the Nohara-Abaya Family Fund, an endowed field-of-interest fund, will be established to support each of their charitable passions in perpetuity. “We know they will still have funds coming to them in the future, when we’re both gone,” says Allen.

Lyman says that legacy gifts such as the Abayas’ make an incredible impact on the foundation’s grantmaking capabilities. “Thanks to the generosity of legacy donors of all sizes through the years, we’re currently able to provide $30 million in grants each year from funds created through legacy gifts to support vital programs for the community."

Anne says she appreciates how HCF has assisted their philanthropic goals, leveraging their donations and helping to vet potential recipients. “They seem to be the eyes and ears throughout Hawai‘i,” Anne says. “If you are interested in something, either the person you’re talking to knows about it or can quickly find out for you. They have offices on all the islands and their staff is very connected to the community.”

To learn more, contact one of HCF’s philanthropic advisors at or (808) 566-5560.

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Connecting for a Stronger Hawai‘i

2022 Annual Report

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Welcome to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s 2022 Annual Report. It was an eventful year, and we’re excited to share the work and progress we’ve made in 2022.

In addition to the financial reporting that’s standard in an annual report, we also wanted to bring you inspiring stories of generosity from donors across the state and abroad, updates on the meaningful work being done by our partners and grantees, and a look at what’s coming up on the HCF horizon.

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Spotlight on Impacts

A family smiling together while standing in front of an orange orchardA family smiling together while standing in front of an orange orchard

2022 HCF Initiatives

One of the ways HCF pursues our mission of building equity and investing in Hawai‘i’s communities is through the work of our three key initiatives, including affordable housing, early childhood mental health, and the sustainability of our fresh water. Here are a few of the highlights of the work HCF accomplished in 2022.

2022 Programs and Funds

In addition to its key initiatives, HCF partners with organizations and government entities in a variety of programs, as well as oversees several funds dedicated to doing important work throughout Hawai‘i. Here are some of the highlights of our program and fund work in 2022.

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The Stories of 2022

From centering community in our key
framework and in our physical space,
to uplifting changemakers and investing
resources in trauma-informed care,
these were the big stories of 2022.

Image collage: A man and woman smiling at the camera; A man presenting to a table of people while another person takes notes on three large posters behind the presenter. Image collage: A man and woman smiling at the camera; A man presenting to a table of people while another person takes notes on three large posters behind the presenter.

Centering Community in CHANGE

In 2022, HCF convened a diverse group of partners across Hawai‘i to gather input on ways to evolve the CHANGE Framework—and to center the community in developing a long-term vision and theory of change for each of its six sectors. The collaborative work ensures that the Framework is both grounded in data and community-informed to address Hawai‘i’s most pressing needs, and uplifts the work that is already being done across the state.

A man out of focus who is appearing to playfully chase a girl who is in focus and smiling away from the camera.A man out of focus who is appearing to playfully chase a girl who is in focus and smiling away from the camera.

Closing the Gap

For years, the Promising Minds Initiative has worked to improve early childhood behavioral health in the Islands. That’s why in 2022 we advocated for the creation of the Hawai‘i State Office of Wellness and Resilience. The first of its kind in the nation, this office aims to build Hawai‘i’s trauma-informed care resources and work to improve outcomes for child welfare, mental health, and criminal justice.

Image collage: A man giving a speech in front of a podium; Multiple people gathered in a grassy formal courtyard with tables featuring drinks while smiling and talking amongst themselves.Image collage: A man giving a speech in front of a podium; Multiple people gathered in a grassy formal courtyard with tables featuring drinks while smiling and talking amongst themselves.

Supporting Hawai‘i’s Changemakers for Two Decades

In 2022, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Ho‘okele Awards, which were established to recognize the hard work of Hawai‘i’s most dedicated nonprofit executives, and give them the support they need to rejuvenate themselves personally and professionally.

Image collage: A man presenting in front of a powerpoint and using a stand up mic; The interior of the renovated C. Brewer and Co. building, featuring dark wood grains, light cream colored walls, and white couches next to earth toned padded chairs.Image collage: A man presenting in front of a powerpoint and using a stand up mic; The interior of the renovated C. Brewer and Co. building, featuring dark wood grains, light cream colored walls, and white couches next to earth toned padded chairs.

Creating a Gathering Place for All

After an intensive, year-long renovation of the historic C. Brewer and Co. building, HCF welcomed the community to a refreshed headquarters in July 2022. Our goal: a gathering place where community members, nonprofits, donors, and others can come together and collaborate.

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Our Donors

Image collage: A man and woman standing side by side while smiling at the camera; A man wearing a lei standing close to a women while they smile at the camera; Two women wearing leis standing close while smiling at the camera. Image collage: A man and woman standing side by side while smiling at the camera; A man wearing a lei standing close to a women while they smile at the camera; Two women wearing leis standing close while smiling at the camera.

Mahalo to Our Donors

Without the continued generosity of donors across Hawai‘i and beyond, HCF couldn’t accomplish the important work that needs to be done every day in our Island communities. There are many ways to give—whether it’s an individual making a legacy gift to have an impact long beyond their own lifetime, or a business weaving philanthropy into its corporate culture—and we are continually grateful for these acts of kindness and generosity.

Time, Talent, and Treasure

There’s an old saying about the fundamentals of philanthropic stewardship: Time, Talent, and Treasure. For Anne and Allen Abaya, giving back to their community just naturally involves all three—whether they’re volunteering at organizations they care about, or setting up a legacy gift that will make a positive impact in perpetuity.

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2022 Financials

In 2022, HCF managed approximately $860 million in assets and distributed more than $86 million in grants to the community from funds at HCF, contracts, and private foundations.

Initiatives and Programs


Donor Advised Grants




Donor Designated Grants


Contract and Private Foundation Clients


* The Scholarships total includes funds from Contract and Private Foundation Clients, which are also reflected in that second category.

Our Collective Impact through the CHANGE Framework

HCF represents the vision and desire of a community where everyone can succeed. We are tackling some of our state’s most challenging issues and finding solutions that can only happen by working together. The CHANGE Framework helps us do that. In 2022, $75,495,267 in grants were awarded from HCF.

Here’s how those funds are making positive change in our community:

Community & Economy - $12,927,072

  • Building capacity for disaster relief and recovery by supporting grassroots organizations
  • Housing houseless individuals and youth and helping them meet their basic needs
  • Helping local families achieve their financial goals through financial literacy education and other programs
  • Investing in Hawai‘i-based nonprofits and social ventures with a social or environmental return
  • Providing emergency assistance to community members for rent and utility payments

Health & Wellness - $23,672,827

  • Prevention and cessation of tobacco use by youth and young adults
  • Connecting people with healthy, local food
  • Offering childcare and afterschool programs to essential workers
  • Providing mental health support for our youngest keiki
  • Reducing barriers to care and food for kūpuna
  • Preventing child abuse and neglect
  • Increasing access to healthcare providers, especially for rural and vulnerable communities

Arts & Culture - $6,362,488

  • Expanding arts education to Hawai‘i’s school children
  • Supporting the perpetuation of Hawaiian tradition and culture in schools and communities
  • Increasing educators’ skills through the integration of fine arts
  • Providing opportunities for local artists to engage with the public

Natural Environment - $9,530,623

  • Coordinated outreach and capacity building to ensure clean, fresh water is in our future
  • Conserving our most precious and unique natural resources by developing and supporting community-centric management plans
  • Expanding conservation education in the schools and for the general public
  • Supporting nonprofits and communities working to restore our oceans
  • Protecting watershed areas and forests, through invasive species control, reforestation and other techniques

Government & Civics - $7,536,205

  • Supporting increased community engagement in the political and electoral process
  • Transforming government systems and processes to be more effective and responsive
  • Advocating for increased transparency and accountability for Hawai‘i’s elected and appointed officials
  • Growing ethical and compassionate leaders for Hawai‘i’s future
  • Collaborating with the private sector to encourage corporate citizenship

Education - $15,466,051

  • Expanding literacy to provide more employment opportunities for people
  • Reducing the technology gap for students during remote school
  • Strengthening public libraries as valuable community resources
  • Supporting students as they pursue their higher education goals
  • Engaging youth with enrichment programs, like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)
  • Providing professional development to strengthen our workforce of educators throughout the state

To learn more about the CHANGE Framework visit


The Year in Review

One of the highlights of 2022 was getting to see each other in person more regularly. From volunteer opportunities to initiative work gatherings to the reopening of HCF’s C. Brewer and Co. headquarters, here are just a few of our favorite moments of the year.

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What's Next?

Two women sharing a big hug.Two women sharing a big hug.

Responding to the Maui Fires

In August 2023, Hawai‘i was changed forever when wildfires struck Lahaina, Upcountry Maui, and South Maui. Our hearts broke as we witnessed the devastating effects on our community, and we stand with everyone still grieving the incredible loss.

In response, HCF activated the Maui Strong Fund, which had been created in 2019 to support Maui County’s ability to quickly mobilize support in the event of a disaster. The fund provides financial resources to support the immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people and places affected, following HCF’s four-phase approach to disaster recovery. This work is ongoing; we will share with you more details on our efforts to help Maui rebuild and recover in our next annual report.

Strategic Planning for the next 10 Years

The Maui fires have only increased the urgency for the kind of big-picture thinking that drove HCF to create the Strong Funds. As a community foundation with more than 105 years of experience in supporting the people and places of Hawai‘i we know the value of long-term planning and strategy—while also remaining flexible to evolve with community needs. To make sure that HCF is well prepared for the years ahead, we’re currently working on a new strategic plan that will shape the foundation’s direction over the next decade.

In the plan, we’re doubling down on our commitment to changing long-held systems that are no longer working for us, with a focus on the initiatives we run—from housing cost burden, to access to mental healthcare and freshwater abundance—which will help to ensure that our collective outcomes are inclusive with equity for all.

To learn more about the Maui Strong Fund, visit

The Hawaii Community Foundation team all standing together while smiling and waving happily at the camera. The Hawaii Community Foundation team all standing together while smiling and waving happily at the camera.

Join Us!

Interested in working with us? Whether you’d like to learn more about opening up a fund, are a Hawai‘i nonprofit looking for additional support, or just want to understand more about the many different initiatives and funds that HCF supports—we’d love to have a conversation with you!

Hawai‘i Community Foundation

827 Fort Street Mall
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 537-6333

4268 Rice Street, Suite K
Līhu‘e, HI 96766
(808) 245-4585

444 Hāna Hwy Suite 201
Kahului, HI 96732
(808) 242-6184

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