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HCF Conference Addresses Budget Cuts for Nonprofits

August 28, 2017, 10:00 AM HST
* Updated August 29, 8:49 AM
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The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) held its Advancing Nonprofit Excellence conference on Aug. 25 to give local nonprofits insight and advice on the potential impacts that looming federal budget cuts could have on their services.

With proposed cutbacks under the Trump administration, Hawai‘iʻs nonprofit organizations are bracing for big hits to budget revenues as early as the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years.

“With proposed changes in federal policy, many nonprofits are feeling a bit anxious about how they may be impacted,” said Micah Kāne, CEO and president of HCF. “Health care services, programs that benefit the Native Hawaiians, homeless, arts and the environment will be affected with the proposed federal budget cuts. And unfortunately, philanthropy alone will not be able to fill that gap. While this uncertainty is daunting, we are also presented with an opportunity to come together as a sector for the benefit of our island communities. Today’s conference helped to provide resources and tools to nonprofits so that they are better equipped to collaborate and advocate not only for their missions but also for Hawai‘i.”

Nearly 300 nonprofit executives and board members attended the event. Speakers at the event included:

  • Nick Johnson, senior vice president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, discussed the effects of the proposed changes to the federal budget in the 2018 fiscal year to the nonprofit sector across the nation and in Hawai‘i;
  • Kim Klein, a national expert on nonprofit fundraising encouraged Hawai‘i nonprofits to be more aware of tax policy in order to more effectively fundraise during these challenging times;
  • Nona Randois, the Alliance for Justice’s California Director of Bolder Advocacy discussed how nonprofits can legally and effectively lobby;
  • Tyler Manley of Catchafire, a nonprofit that connects volunteers with a cause or organization, shared how skilled volunteers can help nonprofits advocate for their organizations;
  • Jennifer Cornish Creed, director of member and professional development at HANO (Hawai‘i Alliance of Nonprofit Organizations), discussed the importance of board members advocating for the organization; and
  • Gavin Thornton of Hawai‘i Appleseed shared how Hawai‘i can prepare for reviewing and communicating the many budget and policy proposals that will need to address these changes.
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A panel of Hawai‘i lawmakers attending the conference, including U.S. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, Hawai‘i State Senate President Ron Kouchi and Speaker of the House Scott Saiki. Discussions among them were facilitated by HCF’s president and CEO Kāne, focusing on the importance of Hawai‘i nonprofits to the community and the ways in which Hawai‘i lawmakers can support the nonprofit sector.

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