Grants and Scholarships For Community Causes and Students

Hawaiʻi Community Foundation
Our Response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic

Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and Pierre and Pam Omidyar have joined together to create the Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund to rapidly deploy resources and encourage community giving to address the COVID-19 Pandemic

Our Kuleana for Hawaiʻi

As of March 31, just two weeks after the fund was announced, 177 donors have committed over $4.2 million to address the COVID-19 outbreak. HCF has responded by rapidly deploying $2.5 million to date to nonprofits and health care organizations working on the front lines—with new grant reviews happening daily.

Please see our Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund grantees to date here

Our approach to grantmaking is prioritized through a four-phase approach to community resilience through the CHANGE Framework, which has a specific focus on our most vulnerable island residents. The first phase prioritizes risk reduction, in which grantees are taking action to increase screening and reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect front-line health care workers, respond to an increased demand for food, and support vulnerable populations with home health-care visits while sheltering in place.

The second phase supports rapid relief and response. Here, the focus is to support ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) families, kūpuna, homeless and other vulnerable populations who are disproportionately impacted by the economic consequences of the virus.

We anticipate being in the third phase, recovery and stabilization, and the fourth phase, rebuilding resilience, over the long-term and are already planning our strategies accordingly.

Grants will be provided to specific nonprofits currently working in appropriate spaces. In an effort to move resources swiftly and to reduce the burden on organizations serving on the frontlines, HCF is forgoing a formal application process at this time. As fundraising continues to address the outbreak and the future recovery phases of the crisis, additional funding will be awarded on a rolling basis, making it possible to quickly adapt to evolving needs.

For those who want to give during this critical time, the newly-established Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund provides community members with the ability to respond to the growing needs across our state.

If you would like to make a gift to the Fund, credit card gifts are preferred and may be made here. For a check, please write “Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund” in the memo and send to:
Hawaiʻi Community Foundation
827 Fort Street Mall
Honolulu, HI 96813


Will I be able to contribute to the Fund using my Donor Advised Fund?
Yes. Fund advisors may reach us as usual by email or phone during regular working hours, 8 am – 5 pm. To request a grant from your fund, email Kevin Rapp at or login to My Giving Gateway.

Can my gift be designated to a specific island or program?
To ensure we move resources as efficiently as possible and respond to needs of communities most impacted, we are not considering restricted donations to this fund. Strong Funds are available for each island which you may support here using “Strong” as the search word.

Can I use other assets to make a gift to the Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund?
Yes. For more information, please contact Eric La‘a at

Is there a fee to contribute?
No. With a focus on getting resources out to the community in this critical time, there is no administrative fee for participating in the Fund. 100% of donations will go to community groups and leaders on the ground, except for a 2.6% credit card fee for online donations.

How will the Fund shift gears if needed?
The Fund priorities may evolve as our region adapts to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continue to prioritize communities most impacted, recognizing historic inequities that are likely to be magnified in times of crisis. We are committed to assisting nonprofits across Hawaiʻi who are tending to issues of food security for low-income families, housing and rental assistance, mental health, legal services and so much more. As additional funding becomes available, we plan to rollout more efforts soon and will post information on our website.

My organization is interested in resources from this fund. Can we be considered?
In order to move resources quickly we are forgoing a formal application process for the Fund. Please email to alert us of your needs and we will consider your request in the granting process.

Does the CARES Act provide any tax changes for charitable giving?
Yes, while you should always check with your own advisor, here is a summary of relevant changes affecting charitable giving in 2020.

Our Kuleana for Staff

To do our part to help prevent the spread of the disease and protect our staff, our HCF facility on Fort Street Mall, as well as our neighbor island offices, have shifted to a “work from home” model that went into effect on March 16, 2020 until further notice. Although our buildings are closed, we are confident in our ability to continue serving our donors and community partners while working remotely. When possible, meetings with external partners will be held on virtual platforms or by phone. Our operational decisions took into consideration the immediate needs that our community will require of HCF in the coming weeks. We are prepared to engage and perform.

We have also suspended all HCF events and any work-related travel to neighbor islands, domestic, or international locations.

Our Kuleana for Grantee Partners

For our grantee partners, we realize you may be facing an inability to meet reporting requirements or objectives in 2020. Our relationship with you and the work you do is most important to us. If your organization is affected, we want to hear about your challenges so we can help. All grant payments will be disbursed as scheduled. We are committed to working closely with our grantees to be flexible to best meet organization and community needs. Please reach out to the point of contact for your grant(s) to request an extension or modification in program budgets/deliverables if needed. If you do not know who the best point of contact is, please contact our help desk at and we will get back to you shortly.


The following information provides helpful resources on COVID-19. This list will be updated regularly.

Health Information and Immediate Supports
Hawaiʻi State Department of Health – Up-to-date information about local COVID-19 screening sites, recommendations for you and your family, and access to food stamps.
Hawaiʻi State Department of Health COVID-19 website – Track current cases and other real-time data
211 Hotline/Website Aloha United Way – Phones answered 7 days/week from 7AM-10PM, just dial 211. This service will connect you with food, shelter, clothing, crisis intervention and emergency relief.
Hawaiʻi Data Collaborative - Hawaiʻi data about COVID-19 – See the latest information about open cases and Hawaiʻi’s medical capacity
Queen’s Medical Center, Queens West O‘ahu, Queen’s North Hawaiʻi and Moloka‘i General Hospital in need of personal protective equipment for hospital workers – donate supplies: Drop off information: Drop off information
Star-Advertiser coronavirus Facebook Live program, Daily from 10-10:20AM sharing local focus, information and ways you can help – Information, ways to volunteer, support local businesses and more

Businesses and Employees
Hawaiʻi State Department of Labor – Updates for employers, information about filing for unemployment
Hawaiian Electric – Information about keeping your energy services connected during financial hardship
Spectrum offers free internet service for 60 days – KITV4
Small Business Administration – Providing disaster assistance loans to small businesses impacted by Coronavirus Press Release Handout
Education resources for teachers, parents, students – includes technology tools, distance learning ideas/suggestions and links to other guides from the American Federation of Teachers, CDC and more.
Hilo Medial Center is recruiting emergency hires for nurse aids, laundry, food service, maintenance and more
The contagion we can control, Harvard Business Review

Nonprofit Organizations
Hawaiʻi Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations (HANO) – Resources for nonprofits that includes best practices for communicating with the populations you serve, webinars and free or discounted services to help your teams work remotely and more.
How to support your community with clear “asks” for donors – Chronicle of Philanthropy

Comic for kids to explain coronavirus – From the folks at NPR - (English and Chinese)
The Big Sickness (Google Slides) – Explaining COVID-19 to little kids.
NYTimes – Tips for parents during coronavirus social-distancing.
Poynter – Tips for working from home with your kids around.

Other Resources
E Ola Mau: Hawai'i Community Response to COVID-19 – Facebook group for community members to ask for and offer assistance
Grocery stores offer special hours for seniors – Hawaiʻi News Now
Fifteen minute guided meditations by Open Space Yoga – 6AM daily
Community Resilience Hui – A facebook group to share stories of connection.

If you have a suggestion for this list, please send to Cat Howland:

Related News

  • April 6 – Bank of Hawaiʻi Foundation Donates $3 Million to Hawaiʻi Community Foundation in the Fight Against COVID-19 – Bank of Hawaiʻi Press Release
  • March 27 – Mayor Caldwell’s office mobilizes public, private, and nonprofit support to provide COVID-19 testing and quarantine services for O‘ahu’s homeless community – Mayor’s Press Release
  • March 18 – Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Omidyar ‘Ohana Create Hawaiʻi Resilience Fund To Address The (Covid-19) Pandemic – HCF Press Release