100 years

Hawai‘i Community Foundation
CHANGE Framework Grants

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Hawai‘i Community Foundation is focused on rewiring the systems that are driving inequities across the state. That’s why we created the CHANGE Framework. 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.

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.

2022 CHANGE Grants

The CHANGE Grants program will not have a funding opportunity in 2022. Grantees of the 2021 CHANGE Grants program will receive extensions for their grants in 2022. This is to allow space for HCF to engage community and seek input on the long-term vision and goals for the CHANGE Framework. This spring, HCF is starting with virtual community convenings. Learn more here.

In the future, the CHANGE Grants program aims to make deep investments in the opportunities that have been uncovered through community convenings across the sectors, and by progress of the work on the ground.

2021 CHANGE Grants

In 2021, $7M of funding for the first-year of CHANGE grants included $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.)

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

Grantee Criteria

The 2021 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

In 2021, 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.

Evaluation of CHANGE Sectors & Grant

CHANGE Community Convenings Summary
The following summary shares key results from three virtual meetings held in mid-2022 to gather input from nonprofit organizations and community leaders across the state about the six sectors of the CHANGE Framework.

CHANGE Grants 2021 – Overview of Themes and Trends
This report shares the learnings from the 2021 CHANGE Grants program gathered from nonprofit applicants across all six CHANGE sectors.

Evaluation of 2021 CHANGE Grants Program
In the spirit of learning from our partners and community, HCF contracted Groundswell Services Inc. to conduct a formative evaluation of the CHANGE Grants program. Groundswell reviewed grant materials, examined community feedback from an online survey, and held interviews with nonprofit community leaders and HCF staff. The key takeaways from the evaluation will be used to enhance HCF’s future CHANGE Framework grantmaking.

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