100 years

Hawai‘i Community Foundation
2021 CHANGE Framework Grants

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Hawai‘i Community Foundation is focused on rewiring the systems that are driving inequities across the state. Each of the six letters of the CHANGE Framework represents a sector, or area, that we believe affects the overall well-being of our community and its ability to thrive—from the health of our economy to access to education. Under each sector, HCF has assembled a curated set of indicators to track progress on where disparities exist.

Funding for the first-year of grants include $2M from 665 donors statewide and $5M from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. In 2020, Scott gifted a total $10 million to HCF. (Read more in our press release.)

Our aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the issues of what’s happening in each sector, including issues that might need more support, or pinpointing where momentum is taking place and more investment is needed.

The grant funding can be used for general operating and program expenses, giving nonprofits the flexibility to meet their organization’s needs.

In the future, the CHANGE Grants program aims to make deep investments in the opportunities that have been uncovered by the conversations and the progress of the work on the ground. Along with grantmaking, HCF supports systems change through shared data, partnerships and collective action.

Grantee Criteria

The CHANGE Grants program supports nonprofit organizations that align with the following criteria:

  • Program(s) align with one or more of the CHANGE subsectors.
  • Gathers data that tracks impact and progress on one or more of the subsectors and/or indicators.
  • Committed to advancing equity in Hawai‘i and addressing the greatest disparities in our community.
  • Collaborates to better fulfill their mission or leads/participates in a network of partners to foster systems change.
  • Addresses community needs in response to COVID-19 and is working toward recovery, stabilization, and resilience for our community.

Trust-Based Philanthropy and the Application Process

HCF introduced a new application process that incorporated principles of Trust-Based Philanthropy. Applicants completed a short narrative application and attended a virtual meeting with HCF staff, which allowed HCF the opportunity to learn more about the organization’s work, and for the applicant to ask questions.

HCF staff spent more than 340 hours with over 450 nonprofits across the state to listen and assess where the foundation’s resources can make the most impact.

Overview of Themes and Trends

The CHANGE Grants 2021 – Overview of Themes and Trends shares the learnings from the 2021 CHANGE Grants program including the major themes and trends gathered from nonprofit applicants across all six CHANGE sectors. HCF staff continues to digest and analyze information gathered from the 2021 CHANGE Grants program to inform the future of our CHANGE work.

2021 CHANGE Grant Awardees (Listed by Sector):

Total distributed: $7,055,027
Grants awarded: 194

Award funding can be used for general operating and program expenses, giving nonprofits the flexibility to meet their organization's needs.

Community & Economy

$900,000 Total Awarded

Health & Wellness

$2,029,000 Total Awarded

Arts & Culture

$1,068,560 Total Awarded

Natural Environment

$1,255,667 Total Awarded

Government & Civics

$300,000 Total Awarded


$1,501,800 Total Awarded