Grants and Scholarships For Community Causes and Students

Grants & Scholarships
Open Applications

Hawai‘i Community Foundation invests charitable funds in communities across the State primarily through nonprofit organizations. Our core programs are designed to support a stronger nonprofit sector as we believe that these organizations are one cornerstone of a vibrant civic society.

We administer a number of grantmaking programs with targeted purposes or an island-based focus. Hawai‘i Community Foundation also assists several private foundations in delivering their grantmaking programs according to their specific strategies.

Our Competitive Grants

Each competitive grant program has its own funding priorities and proposal requirements. To find the funding sources that are most appropriate for your work, choose from one of the options below to begin your search.

Currently Accepting Applications

Artists in Residence – Laila Twigg-Smith Art Fund
The Laila Twigg-Smith Art Fund (LAF) aims to nurture and promote Hawai‘i as a global center for the exchange of contemporary arts and artists. The LAF Artists in Residence program supports organization's innovative programs that provide an opportunity for recognized, outstanding artists, including visual artists, writers and musicians, to be in Hawai‘i for long-term residencies that actively involve Hawai‘i-based artists and the community.

COFA Health Outreach Grant Program
The goals of the COFA Health Outreach program are to increase the enrollment of eligible COFA migrants in either Medicaid or other health insurance coverage; to build and strengthen the capacity of the COFA community to facilitate greater access to effective, culturally-aligned health and well-being programs; and to strengthen the organizational sustainability of COFA-led and COFA-serving nonprofit organizations. This Funding Opportunity will invest in organizations that can demonstrate an understanding of, and have a track record for, delivering outreach services to the COFA community. Grants will be awarded for a 3-year period, contingent on availability of funds. Typical grant awards will not exceed $50,000 per year. The deadline to apply through HCF's Grants Portal is Friday, June 21, 2024, at 4:00 p.m. HST.

Community Grants
The Community Grants program provides project or program-based funding to nonprofit organizations benefitting the communities and people of Hawai‘i. We believe that those working closest to the people they serve are best informed of the needs and opportunities that exist through the connections and relationships that they build every day.

The Richard Smart Fund
The Richard Smart Fund is supported by funding from the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust for the benefit of the Waimea community on Hawai‘i Island. In 2023, HCF initiated a process to elevate community voices and engage a diverse cross-section of Waimea’s residents to better understand the current interests, challenges, and opportunities of their community. In response to what the community identified as critical for a thriving Waimea, grants from the Richard Smart Fund will be used to support nonprofit organizations based in Waimea (96743 zipcode) that can describe what their kuleana is for Waimea’s future, how their work addresses critical opportunities for Waimea’s future, contributes to strengthening caring relationships, and involves and engages with the community’s diverse people, organizations and ‘āina.

Private Foundations

Applications for these private foundations along with application processes and deadlines can be found on the individual private foundation's websites listed below.

Atherton Family Foundation
The Atherton Family Foundation supports a broad spectrum of programs and projects that benefit the people of Hawai‘i.

Cooke Foundation, Limited
The Cooke Foundation supports endeavors in the community that the family believes will make a significant difference in the betterment and welfare of the people of Hawai‘i.

Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation
The Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation supports projects that benefit the people of Maui County.

Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation
Hawai‘i Community Foundation also administers several grantmaking programs for the Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation. The information regarding their application processes and deadlines can be found below:

Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation - Capacity Building
Supports projects to increase the capacity of organizations and programs to deliver and grow quality services to foster children and their families.

Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation - Enhancements
The purpose of the Foundation's Enhancements for Foster Children program is to enhance the lives of foster children by providing items and services that allow them to enjoy a quality of life similar to that of their peers.

Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation - Supporting Foster Children and their Caregivers
Supports foster children and their families.

Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation - Supporting Transitioning Foster Youth
The Foundation supports the Hawai‘i Youth Opportunities Initiative, a Co-Investment site with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative.

Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation - Family Strengthening and Prevention Programs
Through this program, the Foundation would like to fund organizations leading initiatives and services that aim to prevent families and young people from entering the foster care system. These programs often operate with family strengthening strategies and prevention-focused initiatives that strategically address some of the key reasons Hawai‘i children are entering care.

For more information regarding private foundations and their available grantmaking please call (808) 566-5540 or email us at foundations@hcf-hawaii.org

Grant Applications Currently Closed

These grant applications are currently closed. Please check back periodically for updates on when they will be available.

2022 Youth Program - Building Resilience
Supported by the Rev. Takie Okumura Family Fund, this grant program is focused on building resilience for Hawaiʻi’s youth, particularly those at risk for Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) between the ages of 6 and 20.

Career Connected Learning
Grants to organizations serving Hawai‘i Island to provide access to STEM learning that is tied to actual career opportunities in local communities.

CHANGE Grants
The CHANGE Framework acknowledges the interconnected nature of community issues and focuses on six essential areas that constitute the overall well-being of these islands and people. Grants will be awarded to organizations who are working in alignment of one or more of the CHANGE Framework sectors in their programming.

Specific geographic funds established at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation support this program and are conducted in three different grant rounds throughout the year. Each grant round will have different fund priorities.

Community Restoration Partnership (CRP)
This multi-year grant program provides support for on-the-ground lower watershed and coastal restoration projects in Hawai'i that involve community stewardship activities and focus on sustainable impacts and nearshore marine areas.

ESD Youth Prevention Program
For community-based non-profit organizations to help prevent the initiation and use of Electronic Smoking Devices by Hawai'i youth under age 18.

Family Literacy & Hawai‘i Pizza Hut Literacy
This program seeks to improve access to and quality of literacy programs for Hawai‘i's residents. The focus of the Family Literacy Program is on families with young children (ages 0-8) to engage parents/caregivers as their child's first teacher to equip caregivers with tools, resources, and strategies to guide children's learning activities and language experiences at home.

Hawai‘i Children’s Trust Fund
The Hawai’i Children’s Trust Fund seeks to support community organizations providing programs and services focused on child abuse and neglect (CAN) prevention. The 2024 funding opportunities include a one-year opportunity for primary prevention programs across the State. There are also two funding opportunities for a two-year grant program which will focus on primary and secondary prevention services that address the priority areas of mental health, substance abuse, and resources for parental resilience and family strengthening through evidence-informed and impact-focused programming. Visit the HCF Grants Portal to read through all three funding opportunities.

The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority’s Kūkulu Ola & Aloha ʻĀina Programs
The Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority is partnering with HCF to administer its Kūkulu Ola and Aloha ʻĀina programs, which support community-based projects focused on investing in Hawaiʻi’s unique people and places. The Kūkulu Ola program supports programs and projects rooted in honoring and perpetuating the Hawaiian culture and community. The Aloha ʻĀina program supports programs and projects that respect, enhance, and perpetuate Hawaiʻi’s natural resources.

Health and Wellness Grants
The Hawaiʻi Community Foundation (HCF) believes change happens when we understand the challenges and work together to find and implement equitable solutions. The CHANGE Health and Wellness sector contributes to the overall wellbeing of Hawaiʻi and its people. Health and Wellness Grants will be awarded to organizations supporting positive changes to the ecosystem of health led by communities across Hawai‘i. The goal is to shift agency, resources, and decision making to community members closest to the solutions that will create a more resilient, equitable, and secure Hawaiʻi.

Kūpuna Aging in Place Program for Elderly Services
Formerly known as the Persons in Need (PIN) program, this multi-year grant program supports organizations that provide a range of supportive services including community-based support services, adult day care & adult day health, and caregiver support services for low-to moderate-income kūpuna (seniors) age 65 and older and their caregivers so that kūpuna in Hawai‘i are able to age in place.

Leahi Fund for Pulmonary Research - Scientific Research
A new funding opportunity is available to support a planning grant for qualified and experienced Clinical Research Investigators who are interested in conducting research related to the prevention and treatment of pulmonary conditions that are relevant to Hawai‘i and its local communities.  The overarching goal of this research opportunity is to achieve health equity by improving the care of rural and/or underserved communities disproportionately impacted by respiratory conditions in their environment.

Marine 30x30 Initiative Grants for a Community Capacity-building Cohort on Maui and Lānaʻi
We’re offering grant support and a technical assistance training program to a new cohort of community partners on Maui and Lānaʻi who are interested in working with DLNR’s Division of Aquatic Resources in the Marine 30x30 Initiative. The primary focus of this opportunity is to provide capacity support and training on a range of topics that will help to further their abilities to effectively manage marine resources in partnership with state and county agencies and other nonprofits or communities.

Medical Research
The Medical Research Program supports clinical and basic research in a variety of areas determined by the source of funding. For specific areas of research refer to the RFP.

Museum Without Walls Arts Education Initiative
In partnership with the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, HCF has a new Funding Opportunity available to individual artists and nonprofit organizations on SFCA’s Artistic Teaching Partners Roster. The grant program will award funding to support residencies focused on the fine arts targeted to reach participants and communities that experience barriers or challenges to accessing arts education.

Organizational Capacity Building - Executive Transition
The Executive Transition application is now closed and under review for 2024.

These grants support nonprofit organizations during or soon after an executive transition process.These programs are operated annually to create a long-term impact on Hawaiʻi’s people, place and culture to ensure a positive experience in Hawaiʻi for all. Each program has a unique funding opportunity with its own requirements for application. 

Oscar and Rosetta Fish Fund
Provides assistance to families who have children needing speech therapy.

Promising Minds Clinical Partnerships
Promising Minds works across early childhood environments to promote wellness in young children from birth through age 5, including the prenatal and postpartum period, by increasing the capacity of adults to support the social, emotional, and behavioral development of keiki using a variety of research-informed practices. We are expanding this work to provide access points through clinical and health care settings. The goal of the program is to demonstrate high-impact partnerships with those settings to integrate and sustain Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health (IECMH) services as a standard of care.

Promising Minds Initiative
HCF has identified the wellbeing and development of our children under age five as a critical community issue at the heart of strengthening Hawai‘i’s communities. Early childhood development is a smart investment.

Puna Strong
Puna Strong has a community-based disaster management approach that values the knowledge and capacities of residents; builds on local resources, including social capital; and aims to increase community resilience. Community resilience is the ability for the community to efficiently use available resources to respond to, withstand, and recover from adverse situations such as the Kīlauea eruption of 2018.

Tobacco Cessation Funding Opportunity
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) announces a Funding Opportunity (FO) for the Hawai‘i Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund for a Tobacco Cessation grant program to provide cessation services to priority populations on all islands. The cessation grant program aligns with federal and state goals for tobacco prevention and control to reduce tobacco use prevalence and consumption, reduce tobacco-related morbidity and mortality, and decrease tobacco related disparities.

Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund - Community Grants for Youth ESD Prevention
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) announces a funding opportunity (FO) for grants to community-based nonprofit organizations to help prevent the initiation and use of electronic smoking devices (ESD) by Hawai‘i youth under the age of 18.