In October 2018, Hui Aloha (HA) supported Pu‘uhonua O Wai‘anae (POW) in a new fundraising campaign to raise $1.5 million to purchase land for a permanent home for the village. By March 2020, the group celebrated reaching -- and then exceeding -- this ambitious goal.
Sharing how we achieved this goal will help you understand the groundswell of support for community building.
Hui Aloha began the fundraising initiative with a new fundraising website AlohaLivesHere.org. The POW and HA teams reached out to their personal networks to promote the campaign.
In person connections played a major role. A fundraising team led by Twinkle Borge, James Pakele, and James Koshiba gave dozens of presentations to prospective donors, including corporate CEOs, executives at local foundations and charitable trusts, civic clubs, government leaders, community organizations, and various informal huis. Twinkle traveled to Wilmington, Delaware for the Millennial Summit to share the vision of POW to an audience including many national foundations and philanthropists.
We had planned a fundraising event, “Black Tie & Slippahs” as a final push to get us to the $1.5 million goal. However, an influx of donations, including a large foundation gift, pushed us past the finish line. “Black Tie & Slippahs” became a celebration to thank donors, deepen our relationship with supporters, and officially launch Phase 2, with a new fundraising target of $3 million to cover the cost of housing, communal structures, and related infrastructure.
“Black Tie & Slippahs” was designed to bring together houseless community members and housed donors and beneficiaries for a night of gratitude, relationship-building, and fun. Many attendees remarked that it was unlike any other fundraising event that they’d been to. Housed attendees were grateful for the chance to connect with houseless residents of Pu‘uhonua O Wai‘anae, and unhoused POW residents marveled at how open and genuine everyone was. As one POW resident put it, they were surprised and grateful that “there were no stereotypes.”
All told, HA helped POW raise $1,559,914 from more than 200 individual, corporate and foundation donors for Phase 1. In March, POW used the funds to purchase 20 acres of land in Wai‘anae Valley that will become the community’s permanent home.
Grateful for community support
Black Tie & Slippahs fundraiser
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