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Nonprofits, Capital Campaigns and Competition

Kim / Flickr
Kim / Flickr

With a strengthening local economy, local nonprofits are embarking on ambitious capital campaigns for new facilities. But is there enough money to go around? Pacific Business News Editor in Chief A. Kam Napier has more.

Nearly 20 capitol campaigns are underway right now, as Hawaiian nonprofits seek to upgrade or replace their facilities.  These projects range from a new roof for Arc Hilo, at $120,000, to a headquarters for PBS Hawaii, A $30-Million project now under construction.  Hospitals in Hawaii are non-profits too, and Kapiolani Medical Center needs $30-Million for a new intensive care building.

All told, these non-profits are seeking $182-Million dollars – and collectively, they’ve raised a little over half that amount.  The question is – is there enough money in the islands to fund them all?  Hawaii community foundation CEO Kelvin Taketa says “It’s going to be really difficult.  Capitol campaigns requite larger multi-year gifts fro businesses, foundations and individuals, and so the capacity of those kinds of givers to support all of the capital needs in Hawaii is probability limited.”

The non-profits are coping with this in a couple of different ways.  Many such as Diamond Head Theater, have brought in consultants who specialize in capitol campaigns.  DTH Executive Director Deena Dray explains that consultants don’t do the asking, instead advise on who to approach and how.

At least one is looking for funding on the mainland.  The Pacific Aviation Museum in Pearl Harbor has a $3.5-Million local funding goal, but a $47-Million national campaign goal.  It has brought in the big guns too, recently naming General Motors executive Robert Lutz as chair of it’s national leadership committee. 

A. Kam Napier is the editor-in-chief of Pacific Business News.
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