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Friday, April 18, 2014         

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Foundation picks first 5 beneficiaries of Omidyar fund

The nonprofit groups, selected from among 180 submissions, will share $461,199

By Andrew Gomes

POSTED:


Diabetes treatment, forestry protection and reducing food waste are among three efforts that will share in the first distribution from an innovation fund established by the Hawaii Community Foundation for Hawaii nonprofit organizations.

Five proposals from local nonprofits were awarded a combined $461,199 from the Hawaii Community Foundation's new Island Innovation Fund.

The fund, which is one initiative made possible by a $50 million pledge to the foundation from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam, is slated to distribute $2.5 million through three annual competitive awards.

Hawaii Community Foundation will begin accepting proposals for the second round of grants July 1. Details are available at islandinnovation.org and hawaiicommunity- foundation.org online.

The five nonprofits receiving the first award were picked from 11 finalists culled from roughly 180 proposals. Kina Mahi, senior program officer at the foundation in charge of the fund, said it was a daunting task to select grantees. "It has been exciting to see the creativity and resourcefulness from within our island community," she said.

The five nonprofits, their awards and initiatives are:

» Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, which is receiving $100,000 to develop an accessible electronic registry of medical records for diabetes patients to help medical providers deliver better and more proactive care for people with the disease. The center is collaborating with Bay Clinic in Hilo and Waimanalo Health Center on the project that is in part aimed to improve diabetes treatment in rural communities.

» The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, which is receiving $78,784 to create a centralized database of information about conservation efforts and tools for protecting Hawaii's endangered native forests.

» North Kohala Community Resource Center, which is receiving $82,415 to organize community efforts to provide food for the needy by collecting, processing and preserving food that would otherwise go to waste, including food on farms needing harvesting.

» Kanu Hawaii, which is receiving $100,000 to develop a program for consumers to engage in group-buying from socially responsible businesses.

» Hawaii Agricultural Foundation, which is receiving $100,000 to launch a mobile application telling consumers where to find locally sourced food items.






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