Island of givers

Kauai is one of the most giving places in the Aloha State, according to a “Hawaii Giving Study,” by the Hawaii Community Foundation.

“Year over year Kauai gives most often and volunteers the most among households throughout the state,” said Darcie Yukimura, senior philanthropic services officer with the Hawaii Community Foundation on Kauai in an interview with The Garden Island.

“We may not be the highest in the state for income but Kauai people give of what they have, support one another and are always willing to help. That speaks volumes about the aloha in our community,” she said.

According to the study, nearly 66 percent of Hawaii households made monetary contributions in 2014, which is down from 69 percent in 2009. But it also found that 93.3 percent of the state’s households donated goods and time last year.

Of “Households that gave including goods and time,” Kauai came in at 93 percent, while of “Households that gave cash,” Kauai was at 76.1 percent, ahead of Maui (70.5 percent), Hawaii, 62.8 percent and Oahu (64.8 percent).

“I’ve absolutely seen this generosity play out in our community,” Yukimura said. “Most people think that to create a charitable fund or a scholarship means you have to be a multimillionaire. But in actuality most of Kauai’s donors are folks you see every day in the grocery store.”

The foundation commissioned SMS Research to conduct a telephone survey of 900 households throughout the state on their charitable and philanthropic giving and volunteering. This research on Hawaii’s giving follows up similar surveys conducted in 2010, 2012 and 1999.

Last year in Hawaii, individuals donated more than $600 million to charities and nonprofits compared to $241 billion in the U.S.

The study found that the annual average monetary giving on Kauai by households was $1,273, compared to $2,392 on Oahu, $1,294 on Maui and $1,085 on Hawaii.

The state of Hawaii’s total annual cash giving was $2,024 in 2014, compared to the U.S. average of $2,974, the report found.

However, Kauai again led the way in percentage of households that made monetary donations in 2014 at 76 percent, above Maui at 71 percent, Oahu at 65 percent and Hawaii at 63 percent.

All that giving adds up to make a big difference, Yukimura said.

“What I see is great opportunity to come together around our central values,” she said. “With an island people who have so much heart and who take action to help one another, there is an opportunity to focus on critical needs facing our children families and environment.

When it came to volunteering, Kauai was far and away the leader in Hawaii, according to the study. It found that the amount of people volunteering on Kauai in 2014 was 71.2 percent, well up from 54 percent in 2008. The study found 61.2 percent of people on Maui volunteered, compared to 55.5 percent on Oahu and 55.4 percent on Hawaii.

Throughout the state, 57 percent reported they volunteered in 2014, up from 46 percent in 2008.

“The rate of volunteering is at the highest levels seen in these studies since 1998,” according to the report.

Other key points of the study when it comes to Hawaii giving in 2014:

w Even the lowest income households in Hawaii doubled the amount of money they gave in 2014 compared to 2008.

w More than half of all households continue to give to nonprofits they know or have a relationship with.

w Most households contribute to human services organizations.

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