Hawaii’s Giving is Growing

Jun 5, 2015

Credit Malone & Company Photography / Flickr

Non-profits need solid market research as much as any business. New data on giving patterns are providing just that. Pacific Business News Editor in Chief A. Kam Napier has more. 

The Hawaii Community Foundation has just released the 2015 edition of its “Hawaii Giving Study” and the results should be eye-opening for non-profit executives and the business leaders who sit on boards of directors.

Hawaii is a generous place. Nearly 66% of households statewide donate money to non-profits, while 93% give something, whether its money, donated goods or their time as volunteers.

In fact, volunteering is at an all-time high in the study, which HCF performs roughly every 6 years. Kauai residents shine with the highest rate of volunteerism at 71%.

There was one big surprise in the study: the percentage of donations from Hawaii residents to causes outside of the islands has nearly doubled since 2008, from 16% to 30%.  In 2004 we gave $179 million to outside charities. This shift is so pronounced that HCF intends to immediately do more research to find out why this is. The stakes could be high: total giving in Hawaii grew 35% from 2008 to 2004, but so much went out of the state that local giving, the amount that stayed here, grew just 2%.

An early guess, is that the explosion of social media in recent years has made it easier for kama’aina to hear about, and give to causes and issues all around the world and not just at home.  Like every other facet of the economy, charitable giving have become globalized.