Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott Donates $5M to Support Maui Recovery in the Wake of the August Wildfires
Funds will support the Maui Strong Fund and HCF operating costs
The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) today announced it has received a $5 million gift from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. A majority of the funds, 75 percent, will be designated for the Maui Strong Fund and 25 percent will be allocated for HCF’s operating costs to support the organization’s ongoing relief efforts. The gift was posted on her Yield Giving website.
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The historic, seaside town of Lahaina, Maui, is now almost all completely destroyed in the wake of the August wildfires. (Photo: Business Wire)
The Maui Strong Fund is devoted to the immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people and places affected by the devastating Maui wildfires. On August 8, the fast-moving fires destroyed nearly all of the historic, seaside town of Lahaina and is now known as the deadliest wildfire in U.S. history in more than a century, with 100 deaths. HCF is not collecting a fee for donations to the Maui Strong Fund and is putting all interest earned on the fund balance back into the fund.
Activated on August 9, the morning following the wildfires, the Maui Strong Fund has become a top focus of the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, with significant organizational efforts focused on securing donations from around the world, deploying grants to partners on the ground, and collaborating closely with federal, state and county agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community members to understand and address Maui’s evolving needs. With Scott’s gift, the Maui Strong Fund has received more than $163 million from 240,000 donors in 68 countries.
“We are honored that Ms. Scott continues to recognize and trust the Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s ability to respond to the needs of our community,” says Micah Kāne, chief executive officer and president of HCF. “Ms. Scott’s donation to the Maui Strong Fund and to Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s operations will strengthen our organization’s ability to make a positive impact on the people and places affected by the devastating Maui fires now and in the long-term.”
As of December 1, 2023, over $34 million from the Maui Strong Fund has been awarded to more than 150 partners addressing a range of needs on Maui, including baby and maternal care, direct financial assistance, food, healthcare, immigrant services, grief counseling, workforce development, and housing. The Hawaiʻi Community Foundation is committed to transparency in its grantmaking. The Maui Strong Fund webpage includes all partners that have received Maui Strong Fund grant awards, the day the grant was approved, the amount granted, and the work each partner is doing on Maui.
In 2020, Scott donated $10 million to HCF’s Hawai‘i Resilience Fund, which was created to rapidly deploy resources to community nonprofits and healthcare providers who were working on the ground to address the COVID-19 pandemic in Hawai‘i. The donation was part of a total of $4.2 billion in gifts from Scott to 384 organizations across the U.S. addressing basic needs and systemic inequities deepened by the pandemic. In 2019, Scott signed the Giving Pledge, promising to donate the majority of her wealth to philanthropy.
HCF has a unique role in disaster preparedness and response. The organization has experience in collaborating with partners, both inside and outside philanthropy, in the wake of a disaster to pull resources together quickly and efficiently to secure maximum community impact.
For nonprofit organizations seeking funding from the Maui Strong Fund, please visit the HCF website here for detailed instructions on how to apply for a grant.
For donations to the Maui Strong Fund at HCF, please visit https://www.hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/maui-strong.
For photos and b-roll of Maui, the burn areas, and Maui Strong Fund grantees, visit this Dropbox folder.
About the Hawai‘i Community Foundation and the Maui Strong Fund
The vision of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation is to create an equitable and vibrant Hawai‘i in which all our Island communities thrive. With our more-than-105-year history, our trusted expertise, and the generous support of donors, we are working to address the root causes of our state’s most difficult challenges, including expanding access to affordable housing, conserving fresh water resources, and ensuring the healthy development of Hawaiʻi’s young children. HCF works in communities across Hawaiʻi, with offices and staff located statewide. For more information about HCF, please visit hawaiicommunityfoundation.org and follow our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
The Maui Strong Fund of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation is providing financial resources to support the immediate and long-term recovery needs for the people and places affected by the Maui wildfires. HCF works in close collaboration with federal, state and county agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community members to get an understanding of the evolving priorities on the ground and deploys grants to address unmet needs. To ensure transparency, all grantees and award amounts from the Maui Strong Fund are updated regularly and can be found here. The Maui Strong Fund is designed for the long haul, using a four-phase approach that includes recovery, stabilization, risk reduction, and resiliency building. Learn more about our four-phase approach here.
Hawai‘i Community Foundation
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