The Honolulu-based Hawaii Community Foundation has announced a six-year, $50 million commitment from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam, to support a number of community initiatives and establish the Omidyar Ohana Fund, which will support the Omidyars' ongoing philanthropic interests in the state.
To date, $16 million of the $50 million has been allocated to various initiatives, including a $6 million matching grant to the Punahou School to construct and operate the Omidyar Kindergarten-First Grade Neighborhood complex. Omidyar attended the school as an eighth- and ninth-grader before leaving the state. In addition, $6 million will be used to support the launch of the Omidyar Innovation Fund, a competitive grant program designed to spur innovation in Hawaii's social sector, while $4 million in matching funds from the Ohana Fund will be used to launch the Community Stabilization Initiative, a six-year, $8 million effort to help families in the state weather the recession.
Since returning to Hawaii several years ago, the Omidyars have supported many local causes and organizations. Most recently, the couple launched the Ulupono Initiative, a social investment organization that makes nonprofit grants and for-profit investments in organizations working to address issues critical to Hawaii's sustainable future.
"Pam and I are privileged to call Hawaii home," said Pierre Omidyar. "Given the economic crisis and hardships throughout the state, we felt it was especially important at this time to expand our philanthropy in the islands. We are delighted to have the support and counsel of the Hawaii Community Foundation to help us identify where we can have the most impact. We are humbled and inspired by the many people and organizations dedicated to transforming lives in our community. We look forward to being part of the collective effort to improve the quality of life for people throughout Hawaii."