NEWS RELEASE: Grassroot Institute of Hawaii receives CHANGE Grant award

Photo by Mark Coleman

The following is a news release issued by the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii on Aug. 11, 2021.

The $30,000 gift from one of Hawaii’s most important foundations marks an “exciting development” in the history of the institute

HONOLULU, Aug. 12, 2021 >> The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $30,000 CHANGE Grant from the Hawai’i Resilience Fund of the Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF).

Institute President and CEO Keli‘i Akina said he was extremely grateful for the grant, calling it an “exciting development” in the history of the institute.

“The award was made following a virtual interview during which our staff leaders shared details about our vision, goals, plans and operations.” he said. “Not only will this generous grant help us in our mission of fostering a Hawaii in which all residents can thrive and prosper, it also recognizes the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii as worthy of mainstream funding for the advancement of our community.”

The Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, founded in 2001, is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational institution devoted to promoting individual liberty, economic freedom and limited, accountable government. Its goal is to improve the quality of life in Hawaii by lowering the cost of living and expanding opportunities for all.

In this first year of the CHANGE Grants program, a total of $7 million was awarded to 194 nonprofit organizations statewide. In a true collective effort, 665 donors contributed to the program, including $5 million from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott’s gift to HCF in 2020, HCF said in an announcement.

It added: “Our organization is focused on rewiring the systems that are driving long-term systemic inequities across the state — and these contributions, large or small, will help us get there.”

Grant recipients represented “six interconnected sectors of the CHANGE network”: Community & Economy, Health & Wellness, Arts & Culture, Natural Environment, Government & Civics and Education.

The Grassroot Institute was among the five groups in the “Government & Civics” section, along with Common Cause Hawaii, Faith Action for Community Equity, Girl Scouts Hawaii and the Hawaii Institute for Public Affairs.

As HCF wrote in its letter to Akina presenting the award:

“The CHANGE Grants program was created to provide funding to nonprofit organizations working in alignment with the CHANGE Framework to solve some of Hawai‘i’s greatest challenges. We believe in your organization’s work to move the needle on the CHANGE Framework sub‐sectors and indicators.

“We appreciate your organization’s focus on advancing equity and addressing the greatest disparities in our community. We also support your efforts toward recovery, stabilization and resilience for our community in light of the current pandemic. Congratulations on your good work and the positive impact you are making in our community!”

In related news, the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii has also just been awarded “Gold Seal” status from GuideStar for its financial transparency. Guidestar is the world’s largest source of information about nonprofit organizations and is regularly consulted by philanthropists and foundations when vetting nonprofit charities.

“We are grateful for these expressions of confidence,” Akina said. “and we will continue to do our utmost for the betterment of Hawaii.”

For more information about the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, or to arrange an interview with Keli’i Akina, please contact info@grassrootinstitute.org.

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