UH Center on the Family Partners with Hawaii Community Foundation and Hawaiian Islands Ministries to Provide Support to Hawaii's Community Service Organizat

The Compassion Capital-Hawaii Moving Forward project will assist faith-based and small community-based organizations servicing Hawaii's low-income and under-res

University of Hawaiʻi
Ivette Rodriguez Stern, (808) 956-4132
UH Center on the Family
Paul Edwards, (808) 988-9777
Hawaiian Islands Ministries
Posted: Feb 27, 2003

The University of Hawaiʻi‘s Center on the Family has joined forces with the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation and Hawaiian Islands Ministries to form the Compassion Capital—Hawaiʻi Moving Forward project, a multi-year institutional partnership dedicated to improving the skills and performance of faith-based and community-based organizations as they meet the needs of low income and under-resourced people in the state of Hawaiʻi.

The Compassion Capital—Hawaiʻi Moving Forward project will be launched at a free one-day conference to be held on Thursday, March 6, 2003, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center. Faith and community-based organizations from across the state are invited to learn about the capacity building and grant program, and to attend skills-building seminars that will be offered on that day.

Over the next three years, Compassion Capital—Hawaiʻi Moving Forward will make grant funds, training workshops, technical assistance, and organizational development available to faith and community-based organizations. Part of the federally-funded Faith-Based and Community Initiative, the project is based on the initiative‘s guiding principle that faith-based and small community-based organizations provide critical care and services to some of the neediest members of the community, which for this project includes Hawaiʻi‘s homeless, families of those incarcerated, and individuals transitioning from welfare to work.

"Our project recognizes the important services that faith and community based organizations are presently offering to the most vulnerable members of our community. We‘re pleased to be able to support that work through technical assistance and grants, which will strengthen the organizations‘ capacity to serve," said Sylvia Yuen, director of the UH Center on the Family.

Chris Van Bergeijk, vice president of programs at the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation adds, "This program represents a wonderful opportunity for the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation to assist a different type of organization. We‘re excited about the potential that lies within the faith-based community and in those small community-based organizations. The Compassion Capital program will bring much needed attention and resources to help these groups deliver effective services to the community."

Presenters at the March conference will provide a preview of the capacity building and technical assistance program offered by the Compassion Capital—Hawaiʻi Moving Forward project and announce the availability of grant funds. In addition, representatives from various federal agencies will present information on grant funding opportunities open to faith and community-based organizations. The conference will also offer participants various seminars aimed at helping them to improve the effectiveness of their organizations, and will provide information on topics such as financial controls, tax and legal issues faced by small faith and community-based organizations, conflict management in the non-profits, and financial assistance for single parents.

The Compassion Capital—Hawaiʻi Moving Forward project is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services through the Compassion Capital Fund, which is a $30 million fund targeted to assist small, grassroots faith-based and community organizations, and is a key part of President George W. Bush‘s Faith-Based and Community Initiative. Under the Compassion Capital Fund, about $25 million in demonstration program funds have been awarded to "intermediary organizations." Hawaiʻi is one of 21 initiatives selected to participate in this demonstration project aimed at providing training and funds to traditional as well as faith-based organizations in an effort to build administrative and management capabilities and to strengthen the organizations‘ social service delivery.

"Compassion Capital opens a door for greater collaboration between government funders and faith-based and community service providers," explains Paul Edwards of Hawaiian Islands Ministries. "The value to Hawaiʻi is enormous. Faith based and community organizations benefit by improving their effectiveness and receiving grants. The community benefits as churches, temples, synagogues and other non-profits do a better job of serving the needy in Hawaiʻi."

The federal grant awarded in Hawaiʻi, which will be administered by UH‘s Center on the Family, is for $600,000. The Hawaiʻi Community Foundation is matching half of the federal funds for a total of $600,000 earmarked for grant-making. Grant funds will be awarded to qualifying faith and small community-based service providers. The Hawaiian Islands Ministries will assist in linking these service providers to the project and in organizing conferences and training sessions.