Hawaii Community Foundation celebrates 100 years of philanthropy

Hawai'i Community Foundation celebrates 100 years of philanthropy
Updated: Nov. 15, 2016 at 11:07 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Over the past 100 years, the Hawai'i Community Foundation (HCF) has been a catalyst for positive change by bringing a century of experience, new insights and collaborative networks of partners to a shared goal of creating a better Hawai'i. To celebrate the organization's centennial anniversary in 2016, HCF will launch a series of initiatives to highlight the impact philanthropy has made in Hawai'i and to inspire people to give more for the benefit of the state now and in the future.

"As one of the largest and oldest community foundations in the nation, HCF has had the privilege to work with many philanthropists, all with a common passion for strengthening our island communities," said Kelvin Taketa, CEO of HCF. "Hawai'i has a long-standing history and tradition of giving and we have been part of the positive impact it has made across the state. One of the goals during our centennial year is to increase philanthropy to create a better future for Hawai'i."

The theme for its centennial year, "Philanthropy. It's All About You," highlights the fact that each person throughout their lifetime has benefited from someone's generosity and they now have the opportunity to pay it forward. Building on this theme, HCF will implement numerous activities to both highlight and encourage philanthropy in Hawai'i, including the launch of the Hawai'i Legacy Giving Campaign, a partnership with nonprofit organizations to help perpetuate and increase philanthropy across the state; a statewide media campaign to share stories of generous givers and the positive impact made in our communities; and the establishment of the Catalyst Fund to commission, analyze and share new knowledge about pressing social issues affecting our island communities, and to design partnerships with public, private and nonprofit entities to find potential solutions to address them.

HCF has started the Hawai'i Legacy Giving Campaign, a partnership with local nonprofits across the state, focused on encouraging legacy gifts that will impact Hawai'i's communities for the next 100 years.  The partnering nonprofits will receive resources, training and technical assistance to enable them to pursue legacy giving commitments.  "Over the years, HCF has conducted several studies on the giving landscape in Hawai'i and results showed that there's great potential in legacy giving," said Paul Keenan, vice president of development and donor relations at HCF. "If people left just 10 percent to charitable purposes in their will or trust, it would equal to upwards of $6 billion of incremental funding to nonprofits. Think about what that would mean for the future of Hawai'i."

In addition, HCF will be sharing the stories of its donors and recipients whose lives have been touched and enriched by giving and philanthropy. Through a statewide media campaign, stories in print, television and on radio will highlight the impact and importance of giving within each community. The campaign will underscore the integral role philanthropy has played in shaping Hawai'i's island communities. It will also share the many contributions of time, talent, and treasure by individuals, businesses, and organizations and the lasting difference that was made across the state.

"HCF's hundred year history has established the organization as a trusted, vital resource for Hawai'i's donors and nonprofits," said Deborah Berger, chair of the HCF board. "By sharing the stories of our donors and recipients, we hope to spur others to give back and help us build on our legacy."

To create meaningful change for the community, HCF will also establish the Catalyst Fund, meant to leverage the century of knowledge that HCF has built up over the years. The Fund will allow HCF to commission research, create strategies, and build networks across the private and public sector to address challenging issues in our community.

First established in 1916 as the Hawaiian Foundation and funded through unclaimed assets left in local banks by individuals who passed away without a will, the Foundation eventually grew into a repository for people who wanted to leave behind their resources for public purpose. Through the decades, HCF has grown to help numerous individuals create legacies for the benefit of the community, including Robert E. Black, Jack and Marie Lord and Maude Woods Wodehouse.

"The history of giving in Hawai'i dates back to the 19th century, when the Ali'i (rulers or chiefs) had the foresight to understand the importance of creating a legacy and providing for future generations. Through their gifts, generations of Hawai'i residents have been provided access to healthcare, education and other services. The Ali'i's legacy continues through long standing community institutions, including The Queen's Medical Center, Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children, Kamehameha Schools, Bishop Museum, Queen Lili'uokalani Children Center and the Lunalilo Home," said Taketa.  "As Hawai'i grew, so did its history of giving. From the missionaries to the migrant plantation laborers from China, Japan and Philippines, they all found ways to help and support their new community. This has evolved into modern-day legacy giving that includes individuals from all facets of the community."

Over the past hundred years, HCF has established itself as a trusted, vital resource to bring people and organizations together to help solve critical issues facing our state. HCF delivers the greatest community impact by collaborating with philanthropists, community leaders, government, and nonprofits to create long-term, positive change for the people of Hawai'i.

Currently, HCF works with more than 1,000 donors, partners, and organizations that translates into $606 million in assets built over time. In 2015, more than $45 million was distributed to the community with over 1,350 college students receiving $4.5 million in scholarship funds.

With more than 750 charitable funds, HCF helps people to amplify the power of their giving. The Kosasa family, who founded and built up the successful company ABC Stores, have a long-history of giving in Hawai'i. In addition to a family foundation, the Kosasas have established seven funds at HCF to benefit many nonprofits and causes in Hawai'i.

"I look to HCF for help in identifying the highest priorities for the community and in leveraging every dollar that goes out. They have helped me understand the real value of giving and measure the outcomes of my gifts," said Paul Kosasa, president of ABC Stores.

Through these activities in its 100th year, HCF is hoping to ensure that philanthropy in Hawai'i will continue for another 100 years and make lasting differences in the community.

"Let's get together to have a larger impact than any one of us could have on our own so that we can build a better Hawai'i for the next century," added Taketa.

For more information, please visit www.hawaiicoummunityfoundation.org

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