Wanting to donate your time and/or money to a Hawaiian charity, but not sure where to start? There are hundreds of worthy Hawaiian charities and non-profits to donate to that will use your time, talents and cash for good!
Below is a list of the top 8 charities to donate to in Hawaii. Their focusses range from helping sick kids fulfill wishes, helping adults enter addiction treatments, aiding food banks and even native plants and animals! No matter the cause, any of the following charities are worthy organizations in which to donate!
Donation information for those impacted by the West Maui wildfires in August 2023, can be found here.
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Waterkeepers Hawaiian Islands
One of the most important ways to preserve the beautiful Hawaiian islands, their ecosystems and all its oceanic creatures is by supporting Waterkeepers Hawaiian Islands. This charity aids in improving water quality in over 90 bodies of water which have been deemed by the State of Hawaii as ‘impaired.’
This non-profit was started in 2017. Their mission is to protect all Hawaii’s water so that it might remain safe for swimming, drinking, or housing sea creatures/wildlife. You can volunteer your time with one of their many community outreach and activity programs or you can donate funds to help support Waterkeepers in their active attempt to protect Hawaiian waters.
One of the most successful charities in Hawaii, which helps women and families across various communities is YWCA Oahu. This non-profit was formed in the early 1900s and has always served as a helpful community resource to families. The YWCA Oahu’s mission is to create opportunity, advocate for equity, and encourage diversity in Hawaiian society by and large.
Through various YWCA Oahu community programs, women are taught leadership skills and embrace their power as they envision brighter futures that include dignity, freedom and justice for all. The YWCA is very passionate about eliminating racism wherever it exits, by any means necessary. Your donations will directly feed into their community programs. You can also volunteer your time! Check out their website for more details.
Hawaii Food Bank
The Hawaii Food Bank is an excellent source of community assistance as they not only feed the hungry but they provide emergency relief as well. In 2020, torrential storms and flash floods impacted many communities across Hawaii. Hawaii Food Bank is one of the non-profits that steps in during such disasters.
This charity believes all people in Hawaii should be seen as family (Ohana). Hawaii Food Bank wants to see that our Hawaiian family does not go hungry. Donations can be monetary as well as food/drinks that meet donation criteria.
Hawaii Food Bank performs from two separate locations: a warehouse in Oahu and a warehouse in Kauai. Most of the food banks donations are received from growers, food retailers, wholesalers or federal food sources. The food bank will always need donations to regularly feed the houseless and to meet demands with emergencies arise.
One of the more popular charities to donate to is Make-a-Wish Hawaii. Following the same model as all Make-A-Wish chapters, the Make-A-Wish Hawaii foundation helps local keiki (children) in their time of need. Help grant a local Hawaiian child a life-changing wish. A single or repeated donation can help transform lives of not just the children whose wishes are granted, but their families as well.
While you can donate in the form of cash/card online, you can also host fundraising events in your local Hawaiian community to support Make-A-Wish Hawaii. Many people participate in fundraising birthday parties, rallies, car washes and even lemonade stands. Make-A-Wish Hawaii can also use volunteers, as your unique talent might help aid in wishes come true!
In the event that you feel unlikely to spend your airline miles, consider donating their dollar amount to Make-A-Wish.
The Nature Conservatory Hawaii
Protecting Hawaii’s splendor of wildlife and flora is the mission of The Nature Conservatory Hawaii. This conservation focused non-profit aims to preserve, protect and maintain the diversity of life on every Hawaiian island. You can help protect native plants and animal species by donating a single or repeat monetary donation.
When you donate to The Nature Conservatory Hawaii, you are helping to advance science, educate communities on climate change, make a global impact on conservationism, and safeguard nature!
The Nature Conservatory Hawaiia helps regrow coral reefs, actively find new and progressive solutions to climate change and establish environmentally friendly practices for all Hawaiian communities. Monetary donations will go toward helping conserve ecologically vital oceans, lakes, rivers, and natural biodiversity.
Like a good perk? The Nature Conservatory Hawaii will give you 1 year free of the Nature Conservatory Magazine with a membership donation!
Women’s Fund Hawaii
Another very popular charity is Women’s Fund Hawaii. The Women’s Fund focusses their energies and efforts into guiding vulnerable women and girls toward their greater potential by educating in finances and promoting leadership skills. This non-profit is eager to find out what obstacles and factors stand in the way of a woman’s success in the Hawaiian community, and how to bypass these obstacles through community support and education.
The Women’s Fund Hawaii has been gifted large grants, like $1,000,000 in 2005, which helped support over 140 community based organizations throughout the islands. In 2016, it was gifted a grant of $100,000 which helped improve the lives of women and girls all across the state of Hawaii. Any donations you make to The Women’s Fund will go directly toward programs and community outreach. You can also consider donating your time and talents as well.
Kahea – the Hawaiian Environmental Alliance
Another outstanding conservation and eco focused charity is Kahea – the Hawaiian Environmental Alliance. This community based organization strives to protect Hawaii’s natural resources and preserve its unique history and culture. Kahea aids in stewardship of said culture, history and natural resources by promoting education, cultural understanding, and advocating for environmental justice and reform!
When you donate to KAHEA, your money and time will go toward: educating the community on cultural rights and the 'āina (land), promoting environmental activism, teaching cultural history, and preserving culture (like language, dance, customs, chants, healing practices, and fashion.)
KAHEA is located on all the Hawaiian islands and seeks to protect all things native to Hawaii, including its people. This is a worthy and topical cause worth donating you money and time to.
Ku Aloha Ola Mua
Lastly, the charity Ku Aloha Ola Mua helps communities to overcome addiction. Ku Aloha Ola Mua is truly one of the Island’s best Medically Assisted Treatment organizations available. It is a non-profit agency that works actively to promote education and awareness about addiction, as well as providing opportunity for peoples to enter and maintain a state of recovery.
Ku Aloha Ola Mau is at the forefront of integrating new political policies and works with only the best doctors and councilors Hawaii has to offer to help people transition from addiction to recovery. Addiction affects not only those using drugs or alcohol, but the families of these individuals as well. This organization helps thousands of people to find hope and a better future every year.
Ku Aloha Ola Mua offers free treatment screenings too, so if you or someone you know might qualify for receiving professional treatment, an assessment will come at no cost. It is easy to donate to this treatment organization as well as donate your time as a volunteer.
The Key Take Away
There are a myriad charities and non-profit organizations for which to donate your time and money to. Figure out what you are passionate about. Is it children? Women? Social Equality? The environment? Addiction recovery? Whatever issue connects with you, you can guarantee there is a trustworthy and helpful charity that you can give your money to in order to help a good cause.
Start by giving a one-time donation. Then, become a monthly contributor. More than just donating your money, try becoming a volunteer and engage more with your community. Donating money is extremely helpful, but so is being on the frontline of change!