2021 was a year full of surprises and challenges. It was easy to hope, as 2020 came to an end, that the next year would be a chapter of recovery and healing for Hawaiʻi, a return to some kind of normalcy. Some things did get better over time but, as we now know, the pandemic kept going strong, month after month, and relief efforts that had begun as short term, emergency solutions turned into long-term programs with no end in sight. At this point, COVID-19 has had enduring effects on the economy, on the wellbeing of our Island communities, permanently changing the ways in which we work in these communities.

In 2021, there were uncomfortable spaces we needed to step into for the benefit of our community. It meant evolving, and finding new ways to serve and support. We’ve learned and grown in ways that are going to carry forward into 2022 and beyond.

It was a big year, just from a sheer numbers perspective. In 2021, HCF distributed $100 million in grants to the community from funds at HCF and on behalf of private foundation and other clients.

These are exciting, record figures that reflect the growth we’ve seen in recent years. But they’re not how we judge our success at Hawaiʻi Community Foundation. Ultimately our mission is not about money, it’s about impact. Our value lies in doing everything we can to make a meaningful difference in the lives of as many people as possible, and finding new ways to reform the systems driving inequities across the state.

To that end, in 2021 we continued to roll out the CHANGE Framework, using sustainable data sets to identify and address six essential sectors, or areas, that affect the overall well-being of these islands and people. More and more of our partners are adopting this framework as a way to focus and organize their own efforts, and HCF used the framework as the basis for the CHANGE Grants program, distributing $7 million in unrestricted grants using the practices of trust-based philanthropy.

Our House Maui Initiative, in partnership with Hawaiian Community Assets and Maui County, set an ambitious goal of helping more than 1,000 people in the first year of the initiative—and more than met it, with 1,153 people enrolling in the Financial Opportunity Center in 2021.

In 2021, HCF worked with local nonprofits Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi to build capacity to distribute federal CARES Act funding to Oʻahu families in need of emergency housing relief. The effort was so successful, the U.S. Treasury reported that Honolulu City and County was first in the nation in the amount of rental and utility assistance funds disbursed to a city’s residents.

We also made important strides in 2021 to improve early childhood behavioral health in Hawai‘i through the Promising Minds Initiative, broadened our impact in specific communities throughout the state with our Strong Funds, and helped support the work being done to protect and grow Hawaiʻi’s fresh water resources with the Fresh Water Initiative.

HCF even took steps in 2021 toward new responsibilities in land management, thanks to 2,400 acres of Kohala land and assets in the process of being generously gifted to HCF from the New Moon Foundation and the Kohala Institute.

2021 was a challenging, transformative year, and in this annual report, we have much to share about the ways in which the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation collaborated with partners to find new ways to make a difference throughout Hawaiʻi. Please join us in celebrating the successes and acknowledging the work that remains to be done. The only way we can accomplish our goal of a better, more equitable Hawaiʻi is to do this work together.

  • Finding New Ways Forward
    2021 Annual Report

  • Welcome

    Welcome to the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s 2021 Annual Report. So much happened in 2021, and we’re excited to share the work and progress we’ve made over the course of the year.

    In addition to the financial reporting you expect from a report like this, we also wanted to bring you inspiring stories of generosity from donors across the state and abroad, meaningful updates on the amazing work being done by our nonprofit partners and grantees, and a look at upcoming projects on the HCF horizon.

  • Everyone Counts

    Every member of the HCF ‘ohana brings diverse expertise and a shared commitment to our vision of creating a better Hawai‘i.

  • Achieving Equity by Extending Trust

    A new trust-based approach to philanthropy is aiming to rebalance the relationships between community foundations and nonprofits. Find out more about how HCF is building this approach into our CHANGE Grants program.

  • Finding New Ways to Make a Difference with Social Impact Investing

    After more than 105 years of grantmaking, we’re exploring new ways to make a difference in Hawai‘i, through social impact investments.

    By investing in local community development financial institutions, or CDFIs, we’re demonstrating the value of a renewable form of philanthropic capital and the possibilities of larger investments beyond grant funding to increase economic, social and environmental impact.

  • Growing Strong Together on Hawai‘i Island

    To address urgent issues on Hawai‘i Island, international grantmaking group Oak Foundation turned to HCF to amplify its generous funding efforts. HCF has helped Oak Foundation find local pathways to impact lives, including increasing affordable housing, protecting the environment, and supporting education.

  • Working Together Makes All the Difference

    After Federal CARES Act relief funding was approved, the City and County of Honolulu asked local nonprofits to help distribute hundreds of millions of dollars to O‘ahu residents in danger of being evicted. Here’s how the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and Catholic Charities Hawai‘i stepped up to the challenge.

  • Improving Healthcare Access for COFA Residents

    Under the Compact of Free Association, citizens of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau are legally entitled to healthcare in the U.S., but due to language barriers, bureaucracy, and rule changes, many haven’t enrolled. HCF’s Fund for Health Equity is working to change that, and improve access to healthcare for this community.

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    How One Local Company is Adopting CHANGE

    Matt Beall and his real estate team at Hawai‘i Life partnered with HCF to incorporate the CHANGE Framework into its philanthropic efforts. In 2021, they were able to give generous grants to 10 local nonprofits, focusing on natural environment and land conservation.

  • The Road to Recovery in Puna

    After the devastation of the 2018 Kīlauea eruptions, Puna was in need of help, not only to recover, but to prepare for future disasters. The Puna Strong grants program has taken a trust-based philanthropic approach to identify how best to work with Puna grassroots organizations to heal the community from the ground up.

  • Protecting Hawai‘i’s Near-Shore Waters through Partnerships

    Marine 30x30 is a sustainability initiative with an ambitious goal: to establish 30 percent of Hawai‘i’s nearshore waters as marine management areas by 2030. A project of this scale requires cooperation from a range of stakeholders, both public and private.

    Here’s how Marine 30x30’s collaborations are going so far.

  • Bringing Affordable Housing to Maui Residents

    In one of the least affordable housing markets in the nation, the House Maui Initiative is working to bring home ownership within the reach of Island families. The program uses a three-pronged approach that includes financial coaching, working with local developers and creating new equitable housing policies with county government.

  • Mahalo to our Donors

    Without the continued generosity of donors across Hawai‘i and the world, HCF couldn’t accomplish even a fraction of the important work that needs to be done every day in our Island communities.

    Whether it’s a business that has built philanthropy into its corporate culture or an individual doing their part to make Hawai‘i a better place, we are continually grateful for these acts of kindness and generosity.

  • Financials

    In 2021, HCF managed approximately $1 billion in assets and distributed $100 million in grants to the community from funds at HCF, contracts, and private foundations.

  • Our Collective Impact through the CHANGE Framework

    HCF represents the vision and desire of a community where everyone has the opportunity to 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 2021, $85,416,727 in grants were awarded from HCF.

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

    Community & Economy - $21,245,640

    • Supporting pathways to resilient, sustainable communities
    • Building capacity for disaster relief and recovery
    • Housing houseless individuals and youth and helping them meet their basic needs
    • Helping local families achieve their financial goals
    • Investing in Hawai‘i-based nonprofits and social ventures with a social or environmental return
    • Providing emergency assistance for rent and utility payments

    Health & Wellness - $26,300,158

    • Spreading awareness against tobacco consumption
    • Connecting those in need 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
    • Delivering fresh produce and food to vulnerable people

    Arts & Culture - $5,541,901

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

    Natural Environment - $11,694,391

    • Coordinated outreach and capacity building to ensure clean, fresh water is in our future
    • Conserving our most precious and unique natural resources
    • Expanding conservation education
    • Supporting nonprofits working to restore our oceans
    • Protecting watershed areas and forests

    Government & Civics - $5,878,623

    • Increasing civic engagement
    • Improving access to financial services

    Education - $14,756,014

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

    To learn more about the CHANGE Framework visit hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/change.

  • What’s on the Horizon for Hawai‘i Community Foundation in 2022 and Beyond?

    Our vision for an equitable and vibrant Hawai‘i requires us to look at the world around us—while looking ahead to what needs to happen next.

  • 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 in order to make a difference, or just want to explore some of the many different initiatives and funds that HCF supports—we’d love to share more information with you!

    You can also find us on social media: 

    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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