Capital Project Funding the Focus of Native Hawaiian Policy Center


January 29, 2011

Honolulu, Hawaii – The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) and its Native Hawaiian Policy Center is surveying its over 100 member organizations to identify capital improvement projects of $2 million or less that are in need of funding.  A solicitation was sent out by CNHA president, Robin Puanani Danner, requesting members to share information about capital improvement projects they are working on or planning for.

“Our experience working with small community projects around the state indicates that community organizations and homestead associations have terrific projects,” Danner said.  “Most might think that the gap between bringing them to fruition is funding, but what we have found is that it’s actually knowledge about where potential funding is located, especially on projects at less than $2 million in cost estimates.”

For the last 10 years, CNHA has delivered capacity building services, which includes grant training forums to help its member organizations identify, apply for and win grant funds.  Since then, CNHA has launched a community loan fund to focus on access to capital in Hawaiian communities, by families and organizations, which in less than a year, has delivered nearly a million in funding toward solar energy improvements, another million toward construction of homes, and just over $6 million in capital improvement funds to nonprofit organizations.  The loan fund can also originate community facility loans to charter schools, health clinics and nonprofits for a variety of capital improvements and equipment purchases.

“What we know on projects that are in the $10,000 to $2 million dollar range, is that they can benefit from a multi-funding approach, versus just looking at grant funds, or just looking at loan capital or tax credits,” said Lilia Kapuniai, CNHA Vice President and Community Services Manager.  “We have organized our products and services around what the reality is on the ground in our communities, and can now help provide information on grant sources, but also loan capital, tax credits and other funding vehicles.”

The Small CIP survey is available to be completed by CNHA members all year round, which will be reviewed and distributed to potential funders that fit the project description to begin exploration of how to access existing and available funding sources that are out there.  “Completing the survey doesn’t guarantee funding,” Kapuniai said.  “but what it does is widen the field of sources that become aware of the project and can contemplate whether it fits with their funding source.  That is our goal, and taking 30 minutes to complete the survey is a great way to expand who knows about your project and helping to connect funders with community project ideas.”

To obtain a copy of the CNHA Small CIP Survey, email or call Lilia Kapuniai, CNHA Vice President at 808.596.8155.

CNHA is a national network of Native Hawaiian Organizations, providing assistance in accessing capital and technical resources, and is a policy voice on issues important to Native Hawaiian communities. Its mission is to enhance the well-being of Hawaii through the cultural, economic, and community development of Native Hawaiians.  For more information about CNHA please contact us at 808.596.8155, toll-free at 1.800.709.2642, by e-mail at, or visit our website at


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