KOLOA — Darcie Yukimura’s title changed, even though her duties remained the same.
Yukimura, a fourth-generation resident of Koloa and a Kaua‘i High School Red Raider alumni, was named as the new vice president of philanthropy at Hawai‘i Community Foundation.
She started working in her new role on July 1.
Yukimura said she is grateful for her new duties.
“I’m humbled to have the opportunity to serve our community, our donors and the nonprofit sector in such a time as this,” Yukimura said.
“In the face of a global pandemic, national unrest and severe impacts on our local economy, I know this is the time to step forward and do the hard work to help our communities recover, hopefully, with more equity and sustainability than before.”
Yukimura has worked for HCF for over 12 years, and was promoted in January 2020 to director of neighbor island philanthropy and initiatives, a statewide role that supports the HCF offices on Kaua‘i, Maui and Hawai‘i Island, as well as assisting with each island’s collective action initiative.
“Prior to the statewide role, I have been serving the Kaua‘i office for the past 10 years,” Yukimura said. “Today, Uri Martos and Robin Pratt are doing a great job leading HCF’s work on Kaua‘i.”
Hawai‘i Community Foundation CEO and President Micah Kane shared his excitement in Yukimura’s promotion.
“During her longstanding tenure at HCF, Darcie has cultivated a deep understanding of our mission and the needs of the communities we serve on all islands,” Kane said.
“Her experience developing and implementing a broad range of programs will be instrumental as we work alongside our partners and donors to address the sharp rise in community need during the pandemic.”
Yukimura’s primary responsibilities in this new role are to support those who want to make charitable gifts in order to make the greatest impact on the community.
“My role is to lead our fundraising efforts to bring resources to the greatest needs across the state,” Yukimura said.
“Our teams on the neighbor islands work within (the) community to identify and focus funds needed to address our most critical issues. Our Development and Donor Relations Department facilities charitable contributions, grants, planned and estate gifts and neighbor island community-initiative work.
“The devastating floods in April of 2018 and the effort to recover is an experience that taught me so much about the value of the nonprofit sector,” Yukimura said.
“Especially in rural areas, many times the nonprofits and grassroots community leaders are a critical lifeline to bring and advocate for those in need.”
Yukimura said that, in the aftermath of the flood, Kaua‘i demonstrated the strength and unity needed to overcome the hardships.
“Thanks to the leadership and responsiveness of the leaders in government, business and nonprofit organizations and community, great strides were made on the path to recovery. And these efforts were made possible by the generous donors who gave to the Kaua‘i Relief and Recovery Fund,” Yukimura said.
Yukimura said she has learned a lot over the past 12 years. “Through my time at HCF, the greatest lesson I’ve learned is the importance of community, that feeling that we are accountable to each other and that we each have a role to play in our collective success,” Yukimura said.
“When you know your neighbors, your community farmers, fishers, hunters, builders, etc., you will be all right. It’s the idea that everyone has value, our youth, our kupuna, our men and women — we each have something to bring to the table so that the larger community can thrive.”
Yukimura credits her parents for her upbringing, and her children who inspire her daily.
“My parents set the standard for me in terms of integrity in business and community service,” Yukimura said. “I’ve been fortunate to have mentors through all stages of my life and career. My kids inspire me to think differently and try to make a better future for them and their peers.”
HCF has over 100 years of community service, and is the leading philanthropic institution in the state. HCF is a steward of more than 950 funds, including more than 280 scholarship funds, created by donors who desire to transform lives and improve communities, said Yukimura.
In 2019, the foundation distributed more than $63 million in grants and contracts statewide, including more than $7 million in scholarships. HCF also serves as a resource on community issues and trends in the nonprofit sector.
To learn more about HCF’s response during the coronavirus pandemic, see hawaiicommunityfoundation.org/coronavirus.
Stephanie Shinno, features, education, business and community reporter can be reached at 245-0424 or email@example.com.