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Intro Text

Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 1998 as a result of the shared vision and collaboration of a group of business and community leaders to provide support for local not-for-profit programs that serve and benefit Hawaii’s women, children, elderly, and impoverished. Each year The Friends raise $1.2 million for Hawaii charities through the Sony Open in Hawaii.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • What type of organization is Friends of Hawaii Charities?

    Friends of Hawaii Charities, Inc. is a tax-exempt Federal 501(c)(3) public charity organization that was founded in 1998. Its primary purpose is to generate funding for programs administered by Hawaii's not-for-profit organizations that benefit women, children, elderly, and community groups with basic life needs.

  • How are funds generated for Friends of Hawaii Charities? How is money raised for its grants program?

    Friends of Hawaii Charities generates funding primarily through corporate sponsorship sales related to community fundraising events. The organization’s flagship fundraising event is the Sony Open in Hawaii PGA TOUR golf tournament held each January at Waialae Country Club. Additional funding sources include independent charity donations and funds raised through The Friends Club.

  • How is the Friends of Hawaii Charities affiliated with the Sony Open in Hawaii PGA TOUR golf tournament?

    The Friends of Hawaii Charities forged an agreement with the PGA TOUR to serve as host organization and produce the Sony Open in Hawaii with the shared goal of channeling tournament proceeds to charity. Both the PGA TOUR, a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers, and The Friends consider charitable giving a fundamental priority. As sponsor of record with the PGA TOUR for the Sony Open in Hawaii, The Friends organization manages and produces the tournament specifically to benefit Hawaii-based charities. This responsibility includes mobilizing a corps of 1,000 volunteers. Sony Group Corporation is the event title sponsor and vital to the production and success of the charity endeavor.

  • What type of grants are funded by Friends of Hawai‘i Charities?

    Beginning in 2023, Friends of Hawai‘i Charities is directing funds raised annually via the Sony Open in Hawaii to the ALICE Initiative Cohort,* to the Kūpuna Aging in Place program, and to the Promising Minds Initiative. The ALICE Initiative is managed by Friends of Hawaii Charities partner, Hawai’I Community Foundation (HCF), which matches The Friends’ funds directed to these programs. The Kūpuna Aging in Place program supports organizations providing a wide range of community-based support services, adult day care and adult day health, and caregiver support services for low-to moderate-income kūpuna (seniors age 65 and older) and their caregivers so that kūpuna in Hawai‘i are able to age in place. More information about the Kūpuna Aging in Place program can be found here. The Promising Minds Initiative focuses on increasing the healthy development of under-resourced children ages 0-5, building resilience in those who have already experienced the negative effects of trauma in their young lives. The Initiative instills the foundation for positive early childhood behavioral health, resulting in long-term benefits to individual children and their families. It also serves to ensure that these at-risk children are tracking with social, emotional, and academic readiness for kindergarten. More information about Promising Minds can be found here.

    *The ALICE Initiative cohort supports 17 Hawai‘i-based nonprofits. The ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Initiative focuses on improving systemic social inequalities in Hawai’i. The ALICE Initiative Cohort is focused on helping Hawai‘i families out of poverty through financial literacy, workforce development and career coaching, assistance with housing, and more. A list of ALICE Initiative Cohort awardees can be found here.

  • How do I apply for a grant?

    The new strategic focus of charitable giving by Friends of Hawaii Charities curtails acceptance of grant requests and distribution of funds to individual nonprofit organizations. Hawai‘i non-profit organizations may apply for grant funding opportunities through Hawai’i Community Foundation (HCF) here and sign up for the HCF newsletter here that provides alerts for upcoming funding opportunities. See the 2023 grant-making and scholarship submission deadlines here.