December 22, 2014 | Source: PBN

Hawaii Community Foundation’s FLEX Grant Program Donated $4.2 Million to Nonprofits in 2014

The Hawaii Community Foundation’s FLEX grant program gave approximately $4.2 million to 168 nonprofit organizations statewide this year.

As its name suggests, the two-year-old FLEX program provides grants that can be spent flexibly, for expenses such as operating and program costs or salaries. Traditionally, grants and donations often come with restrictions or expiration dates.

The nonprofits selected for FLEX grants were deemed “high-performing” organizations by the foundation. Funding was given to nonprofits in good financial standing, those that demonstrated how they are meeting important community needs, and those that provided evidence of their effectiveness.

“In 2014, over half of the grantees reported that the FLEX grant helped their organization to significantly increase their responsiveness to the community and improve the effectiveness of their programs,” said Kelvin Taketa, president and CEO of the Hawaii Community Foundation. “The recognition that their organizations are high-performing based on the criteria has been a real morale boost as well.”

Last year, 176 local nonprofits shared $2.9 million during the first round of FLEX funding.

National surveys show that nonprofit organizations rate unrestricted funds as one of the most useful types of donations. Taketa told PBN that he expects the FLEX program to grant more than $4.5 million in 2015, and HCF is seeking more donors to grow the program.

Current contributors to the FLEX program include the Omidyar Ohana Fund, Group 70 Foundation, and the Ewa Beach Community Fund.

Community-based groups, fiscally sponsored projects and public or charter schools are also eligible to apply.

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