LIHUE — Through the FLEX (flexible) Grant Program at the Hawaii Community Foundation, 189 nonprofits across the state have been awarded a total of $4.4 million in unrestricted funds for calendar year 2019.
“Thanks to the FLEX grants we’ve received, KauaI does not feel like an ‘outer-island’ any longer. FLEX allowed us to bring events and training opportunities to those on Kauai who need the latest information about working with students with learning differences, ” said Elizabeth Scamahorn, board member for the Hawaii Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and local teacher on Kauai.
“FLEX funding has largely supported our events on Kauai, including Dyslexia 101, a three-month series for community members, a reading fair at the public library, and a workshop for teachers on assistive technology for students.”
Unrestricted funds allow an organization to prioritize its needs and respond to unforeseen circumstances or opportunities. FLEX Grants may be used for a variety of purposes including administrative costs, capacity building, program expenses, evaluations or salaries.
“FLEX Grants are highly valued by nonprofit leaders,” said Micah Kane, HCF president and CEO. “They have complete discretion on the best use of their award to sustain or strengthen their programs to better serve our community. And that’s our goal — to support nonprofits with the resources they need. When nonprofits are strong, we all benefit.”
HCF’s FLEX Grants Program was created in 2013 as part of the foundation’s Advancing Nonprofit Excellence Initiative, which is designed to strengthen the nonprofit sector in Hawaii through leadership development, strategic networks and other supports.
Since its inception, FLEX has distributed more than $25.8 million on behalf of more than 100 current and past donors.
“FLEX Grant announcements are always bittersweet because every high-performing organization deserves this kind of support, but resources are limited,” Kane added. “We have to make tough decisions based on the funding available.”
Some Kauai-specific nonprofits to receive 2019 FLEX Grants include Kauai Independent Food Bank, Women In Need, Kauai Planning and Acton Alliance, Hale Opio Kauai, Kauai Habitat for Humanity, Kauai Humane Society, Leadership Kauai and others.