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Native Hawaiian Philanthropy

Native Hawaiian Philanthropy Executive Director Kuʻuleinani Maunupau is working with Makalika Naholowaʻa, Executive Director of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp and President of the National Native American Bar Association and consultant Pualani Enos, Owner of Kaulia Creates LLC. 

Vice-President Lohelani Furtado-Gaspar and Maunupau attended the  "Power in Solidarity" Conference hosted by Native Americans in Philanthropy and Asian American and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.  They were able to connect with other native Hawaiian leaders and organizations interested in establishing a philanthropy model in Hawaii.  After returning home to Maui, discussions and research began into philanthropy and its impacts and connections with native Hawaiian communities and nonprofits.  Our team has been networking with Hawaiiʻs philanthropy sector and native Hawaiian community leaders to understand the current needs, programs, processes and approaches in supporting native Hawaiian communities.


After much due diligence, Native Hawaiian Philanthropy reports a lack of Hawaiian-led and culturally grounded foundations in Hawaii that provide long-term funding opportunities.  The team has been developing an innovative, forward-thinking approach to self-sufficiency and stability for native Hawaiian organizations and businesses.  Our methodology to native Hawaiian philanthropy will offer an on-going support system that assures fiscal accountability.   Planning for Seven Generations requires a unique indigenous approach to financial stability for nonprofits, Executive Directors and the staff serving our lāhui, our nation.

Three women standing next to each other.  Makalika Naholowaʻa, Kuʻuleinani Maunupau, Pualani Enos
logo of Mixer. Drawing of 3 taro leaves with brown on the bottom center and left representing Āina (land) and blue green on the bottom center and right representing the ocean and freshw water.

Grassroots & Community-Based

Native Hawaiian Philanthropy was inspired by the Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy and Native Americans in Philanthropy.  AAPIP and NAP provide opportunities to help bridge philanthropists and funders with communities.    It is our goal to help bridge philanthropic organizations,  approaches and systems to support NHOʻs that serve our lāhui (nation).  The programs perpetuate the Hawaiian culture and provide support services to our lāhui.  We have partnered with 14 Native Hawaiian nonprofit organizations that implement culturally-grounded projects and programs that are fiscally accountable and successful in communities State-wide.  

Picture of three women standing next to each other with the red Public Market Center Sign centered above them.  From left to right Kuʻuleinani Maunupau, Lohelani Furtado-Gaspar, Makalika Naholowaʻa
Kuʻuleinani Maunupau, Lohelani Furtado-Gaspar & Makalika Naholowaʻa in Seattle attending the 2022 Power in Solidarity 30th Anniversary conference hosted by Native Americans in Philanthropy & Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.
NHOʻs Services & Support
  • Hawaiian Language, Culture & History

  • Farmers & Farming

  • Women & Children

  • Food Security & Sustainability

  • Ahupuaʻa Environmental Stewardship

  • Native Flora & Fauna

  • Hawaiian Education

  • Hawaiian Homestead & Housing

  • Hawaiian Storytelling

  • Fiscal Grant Management

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Kuleana Land Rights

  • Inherent Sovereign Rights

NHO Partners & Projects

Picture of the green Keanae Peninsula extending to the large green Haleakala Mountain.  Surrounded by the ocean with white waves crashing into the peninsula and shoreline

Na Mahiʻai o Keanae

Sustainable Native & Local Food Production for Maui Farmers

Na Mahiʻai o Keanae has been working with Keanae farmers to provide resources and funding to support Keanae farms. The program has expanded to help native farmers and farms in Keanae and throughout Maui.

EA Ecoversity

Culture-based Education and Career Exploration Training

Logo of EA Ecoversity.  Digital image of taro leave with EA Ecoversity Name and Education with Aloha below the name

EA Ecoversity is an indigenous Higher Education and Career Training Institute whose foundational Laeʻula program invites native Hawaiians ages 15-30 on an incentivized, culturally-grounded, personalized learning journey that helps them transition from ʻōpio to kanaka makua, or mature, educated kanaka.  In addition, EA Ecoversity allows learners to earn micro-credentials in a career in Kanaka Culinary Arts.

Ku-A-Kanaka LLC

Native Hawaiian Language & Culture

KŪ-A-KANAKA is a Native Hawaiian owned and operated social enterprise with a commitment to revitalize Hawaiian language, culture and traditions and re-establish Hawaiian control over Hawaiian affairs.  We believe in education for Hawaiians, by Hawaiians, using Hawaiian ways of teaching, including learning in and from the environment, as well as traditional performance-based assessment.  In 2022, Kū-A-Kanakaʻs EA E-Learning program provided nearly 4000 learners of all ages with culture-based asynchronous education, training and professional development.

Kū-A-Kanaka LLC logo.  Maroon color with two petroglyphs on the left.  The name Kū-A-Kanaka LLC and below the name says When Natives Thrive Everyone Benefits.

KAʻEHU is a Native-Hawaiian and women-led nonprofit organization managing 64-acres of coastal wetlands in the district of Wailuku on the island of Maui, Hawaii.  Our  goal is to restore the land and perpetuate traditional Hawaiian culture using a community-based, inclusive, family-oriented approach to environmental stewardship and sustainable agriculture. 

1)Promote the conservation, restoration, and sustainable management of the land area and natural resources at Kaʻehu Bay
2)Utilize the land and natural resources, in conjunction with other agencies and cultural organizations to promote, preserve and perpetuate traditional Hawaiian cultural activities.

We coordinate workshops in Hawaiian culture and practices, the Ahupuaʻa Stewardship wisdom, natural resource management, archaeology and more.

Hōʻola Āina o Kula

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Food Security & Native Plant Restoration and Farming

Hōʻola ʻĀina o Kula (HAK) aims to support and educate the community on subsistence farming and food security.  HAK works with native Hawaiian community organizations, hālau, immersion schools and individuals to teach about native gourd plants, taro, and local food farming.

Offers Decolonization & Health and Healing workshops


Hawaiian Storytelling through Screenplay Writing & Media Production

This project is a partnership between Maui Mixer, Project Kuleana, Mana Maoli, EA Ecoversity & Entertainment Executive Michael Palmieri.  This program provides screenwriting and media production opportunities to native Hawaiian youth and adults.

Image of film negatives with a blue background.  Negatives have pics of sunset with long grass in front, a bird flying, a sunset with clouds and birds flying, a sunset with trees, and a sunset with coconut trees.
Clear skies from Haleakala.  Looking down into Central Maui and West Maui Mountains.  Blue skies with Lanaʻi and Molokaʻi in the background.

Paʻupena Community Development Corporation

Hawaiian Homesteader Support

Paʻupena was established in Waiohuli-Keokea Homesteads and itsʻ mission is to provide resources and training to empower fellow Hawaiian Home Lands Trust beneficiaries to build homes and self-sufficient communities.

Mana Maoli

Culture-Based Music & Video Production Program

Mana Maoli is a Hawaiian nonprofit organization that founded Hālau Kū Māna New Century Public Charter School, Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy, and the Mana Mele Project. The Mana Mele Project consists of 3 primary components:

  1. a 4-in-1 solar-powered mobile studio named Meleana, that can provide both studio and live event services in audio and video production.

  2. a Music & Multimedia Academy - currently at over 70 year-long classes across 20 schools on 3 islands that focus on Mana Maoliʻs ABCʻs - Academics, Business and Culture through music and/or video production. Additional services include short-term mentorships and internships, artist school visits, collaborative music videos and more.

  3. the Mana Maoli Collective: over 200 Creative Industries Professionals, both musical and digital storytellers, who have committed to sharing their time and talents with thousands of youth each year, in order to bring our mobile studio and Music & Multimedia Academy to life!

Mana Maolo Logo.  Mana Maoli name in bold print with white inside and symbol of canoe paddles and kahili to the left of the name.  Centered in Black and White.

Project Kuleana

Historical Research, Songwriting & Music Video Production 

Project Kuleana Logo.  Project in black to the right side of the logo.  Kuleana is centered and in blue.  Music for the Well-Being of our Lāhui is in smaller black lettering centered below Kuleana.  Background pic is of guitar strings

Project KULEANA was created by three Native Hawaiian men who share the perspective that KULEANA is what makes music Hawaiian. Project KULEANA aspires to increase the innate value of Hawaiian music and the performance of it to inspire people to reflect on one's own KULEANA. Project KULEANA seeks to encourage people to re-discover, re-connect and re-instill what Hawaiian music and performers of Hawaiian music represent.

ʻŌlelo Noʻeau (Hawaiian Proverb):
Ko koā uka, Ko koā kai.

Those of the upland, those of the shore.
Traditionally, relatives and friends exchanged products.  The upland dwellers brought, poi, taro, and other foods to the shore to give to kinsmen there.  The shore dweller gave fish and other seafoods,  Visitors were never empty-handed but always with something from oneʻs home to give.
Native Americans in Philanthropy
Member Education Sessions
Panel Discussing Philanthropy in Hawaii as it relates to Native Hawaiians

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clear skies Haleakala.jpg
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