(L to R) Founding members Rebecca Transue, Virginia Isbell, Gloria Blum, and Bill Wong with advisory committee members Kawehi Inaba, Alison Leong, Darl Gleed, Barbara Kildow, Georgine Busch, and Ikaika Hauanio.

This fund is truly by the people, for the people of West Hawaii.

Founders of the West Hawaii Fund and members of the fund’s advisory committee enjoy a quiet moment on the Makaeo Park walking path; it is one of many grants made over the last 25 years from a group of donors who want the best for West Hawaii.

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The West Hawaii Fund at HCF was initiated in 1990 by a small group of donors who wanted to create a permanent charitable resource for communities in the region. Twenty-five years later, Bill Hastings believes “the mission of the West Hawaii Fund holds strong for all the same reasons initial donors were attracted.”

Among those reasons is the fact that a rotating group of local community leaders serve on the fund’s advisory committee and work with HCF to recommend where grants should go.

Having a finger on the pulse is one of the features that appealed to Craig Pickett, managing member of the firm that recently acquired Hokulia. He, along with investors Rob Walton and Bill Pope, created the Hokulia Community Fund, the newest fund to partner with the West Hawaii Fund. “We like that a committee of local leaders, led by the pros at HCF, is administering grants for us,” said Pickett. Within two months of establishing their fund, 10 grants of $3,000-$15,000 went to high-performing organizations serving West Hawaii.

“Our geography and small population require a slightly different model of service,” notes former committee member Georgine Busch, “and grants that provide unrestricted funding work especially well when needs change.”

Hawaii Island estate planning attorney Darl Gleed appreciates the fact that he can point his clients to the West Hawaii Fund. “If they have specific charities in mind but don’t want to manage the effort, or if they care about certain causes but don’t know which organizations to support, HCF can help,” says Gleed. “And my clients know that if something happens to this or that nonprofit, HCF will repurpose their gift to a cause they originally intended,” he adds.

Thankfully, the West Hawaii Fund’s endowment has grown over the last 25 years, because while the needs of the community have changed, the need for help has not.

HCF geographic funds like the West Hawaii Fund enable multiple donors to pool their contributions to benefit a specific location that is meaningful to them.