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The Hawaiʻi Community Foundation is your trusted partner in philanthropy. We have the expertise and resources to create a personalized vehicle to make your giving convenient to manage, cost effective and tax-advantaged.

HCF also provides you the assurance that your gift will offer effective aid in a manner that honors your intent well into the future.

What are your options for managed giving with HCF?


Create a Donor Advised Fund

A donor advised fund at the Hawai‘i Community Foundation is an extremely popular philanthropic vehicle that is simple to create, convenient to manage, and flexible enough to offer you as much hands-on involvement as you would like.

You contribute to the fund when it is financially most suitable, receive a tax benefit, and then make grants to qualifying charities from the fund you set up—without the administrative burden and expense of a private foundation. Every donor advised fund is named by its creators. Contributions to donor advised funds at HCF are deductible as gifts to a public charity, and you won’t be liable for capital gains tax when the fund sells appreciated assets.

How does it work?

  1. Set up your fund
    You make a gift of cash or other assets to establish your fund at HCF. You choose the name for your fund and select a fund advisor—that can be you, or another one or two individuals whom you name.
  2. Receive a tax deduction
    You receive a tax deduction in the year contributions are made.
  3. Fund growth
    Your funds are invested with the intention to protect principal, generate income, and ensure capital growth to benefit your charitable purpose.
  4. Recommend grants
    You recommend grants from your donor advised fund to support local or national charitable organizations. After our review and approval, we make the grants in your fund’s name.

What are the benefits of creating my donor advised fund at HCF?

A philanthropic advisor will be your personal guide. We will research charitable organizations and answer your questions to help tailor your giving plan and support your grantmaking.  Online tools allow you to manage your fund 24/7, if you choose.

With offices across the state, we know the community. We know firsthand the changing needs of each island community, which nonprofits are effectively addressing those needs, and how you can maximize the impact of your giving.

Philanthropic regulations can get complicated—you don’t have to go it alone. Our experience ensuring federal and state compliance, relieving you of administrative burdens, and our scale enables us to service your fund at a very reasonable cost.

You’re in good company. You will join a large network of individuals, families, and businesses who are deeply committed to Hawai‘i. You can be acknowledged for our philanthropy in our publications and invited to donor events.

How much input do I have?

Once the fund is established, you recommend grants to charities of your choice.  These charities are then vetted by HCF to ensure they meet the legal requirements.  You can also choose to give alongside other donors through existing HCF initiatives and pooled funding opportunities that further leverage your grants.

When you establish your donor advised fund – or at a later point – you might consider making a bequest to your fund or to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation. That way, your gift will benefit charitable organizations during and after your lifetime. It’s up to you.

The basics of a donor advised fund

HCF donor advised funds are established with a minimum gift of $10,000 and additional resources can be added to the fund at any point. The minimum grant amount is $250 and you can recommend grants at any time. If the fund balance drops below $5,000, we ask that you plan to add to the fund or spend out the fund within 12 months.  If you hope to have multiple donors support the fund, talk with us about potential structures and restrictions.

The annual fee for a donor advised fund—covering the administrative costs and support services such as donor consulting, workshops, and community work—is 1% with a minimum fee of $250. Additions to non-endowed (non-permanent) funds are subject to a one-time 2% fee on the contribution.*

How do I get started?

Contact us at (808) 566-5560 or donorservices@hcf-hawaii.org.  A philanthropy advisor can help you with your philanthropic plans and establishing a donor advised fund.

* Fees are subject to change without prior notice.


Create a Signature Fund

A signature fund at Hawai‘i Community Foundation offers a convenient, highly customized alternative to a private foundation. Family members and corporate managers frequently find burdensome the numerous requirements, compliance regulations, and administrative costs of a private foundation. They want an easier way that results in more effective philanthropy.

Your HCF signature fund is simple to create and flexible enough to offer you as much hands-on involvement as you would like.

What premium services and support do I receive?

  • HCF senior staff will support all aspects of your signature fund. Our experienced staff becomes your dedicated philanthropic team—consulting with you on grantmaking strategies, developing your signature fund communication tools, efficiently processing and evaluating grant proposals, and serving as your professional community liaison. We can also help engage your extended family or corporate team and assess the impact of grantees.
  • Brand your signature fund with your philanthropic goals. You choose the name of your signature fund to reflect your motivations and aspirations. Our staff helps create the materials and tools with your unique identity that can include individualized printed materials, website, and annual report with your distinctive logo and message.
  • You gain an instant network of foundation and philanthropic peers for learning, interaction, and collaboration. We provide exclusive opportunities to connect with other donors as well as philanthropic thought leaders from around the world. With offices across the state, we know firsthand the changing needs of the community—so you will too.
  • Your legacy will be perpetuated through grantmaking. You can focus on the parts of charitable giving that bring you the most value while we do the administrative work.  With expert facilitation, consistent record keeping, and communication support, your grantmaking will chart the course for generations to come.

How does it work?

  1. Make a gift
    You contribute cash or other assets to establish your HCF signature fund and maintain a minimum balance of $1 million.
  2. Receive a deduction
    You receive a tax deduction in the year contributions are made and may also be able to carry over contributions to future years.
  3. Grow
    Your funds are invested with the intention to protect principal, generate current income, and ensure capital growth.
  4. Sustain
    HCF staff supports your signature fund with grant management services and you, or your appointed advisor, recommends grants to support local or national charitable organizations.

How much input do I have?

Your name, your grants, your legacy—it’s your fund.  Grantmaking can be accomplished by your recommendation or by the recommendation of advisors you have identified. It can also be managed much like a foundation with an advisory committee that engages family or friends with support provided from our staff.

With a signature fund, donors can continue to receive investment management expertise from advisors they have built relationships with while enjoying HCF’s philanthropic services. The HCF investment committee and staff qualifies recommended advisors after reviewing g the advisor’s credentials, proposal for investments approach, and fees.

How does a signature fund compare to a private foundation?

  • An easier start-up since our signature fund is established by a simple agreement. There is no need to incorporate or create a trust, and that significantly reduces associated costs.
  • There may be significant tax advantages to a signature fund.  Ask us.
  • You will avoid possible tax penalties given that our signature fund eliminates your burden of tax filings.
  • Private foundations can be converted.  We will work with your tax and legal advisors to find the best solutions for you.

The basics of a signature fund

HCF signature funds are established by a simple agreement and maintain a minimum balance of $1 million. Your grantmaking strategy may be for perpetuity or for a specific period of time.  The IRS does not require a minimum distribution, unlike a private foundation that must distribute at least 5% of net assets annually.  Should you wish, names of signature fund donors can be confidential, and grants can be made anonymously.

The fee for a signature fund—covering administration and support services customized for your goals—ranges from 1% to 2%.*

Malia Peters

Interested in learning more about the benefits to establish a signature fund?

Contact Malia Peters, Senior Director of Philanthropy at 808.566.5520 or mpeters@hcf-hawaii.org


Create a Scholarship Fund

A scholarship fund at Hawai‘i Community Foundation can change a student’s life for the better by helping make education a reality. Choose the name you would like for your fund and HCF staff will guide you in creating scholarship criteria that helps those with the greatest challenges further their education and build better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. Email us for more information at donorservices@hcf-hawaii.org.