The Hogan/American Savings Bank Nonprofit Business Plan Competition announced the winners of its seventh competition at Chaminade University on Wednesday, April 27.

Nonprofit Purple Mai‘a Foundation received first-place honors and a cash prize of $14,000 for their High School Coding Project that aims to bring computer science education to schools on the Waianae coast. (See above photo).

We Are Oceania (WAO) received first runner-up honors, Ōlelo Community Media took second, and The Georgia E. Morikawa (GEM) Center took third.

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L-R Chaminade President Bro. Bernard Ploeger, SM, Chaminade Governors Lynn, Ed and Gary Hogan, and American Savings Bank President & CEO Rich Wacker

The four remaining finalists were The Bee Team, Hawaii Nature Center,Ho‘okumu Foundation, and P.A.R.E.N.T.S. Inc.

Held every two years, Chaminade’s Hogan Entrepreneurs Nonprofit Business Plan Competition has received more than 300 entrants, given cash awards to more than 50 finalists, and awarded nearly a quarter of a million dollars to local nonprofit organizations since 2003.

This year, the winning nonprofit organization received $14,000, followed by $10,000 for second place, $5,000 for third, $3,000 for fourth, and $1,000 went to each of the four runners-up.

“We look for projects that address a clearly defined need and will deliver a tangible social return,” Dr. John Webster, Hogan Entrepreneurs Program Director at Chaminade University said. “We’re also looking for projects with heart. Projects that do well appeal both to the heart and the head. It’s a challenge.”

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L-R Chaminade President Bro. Bernard Ploeger, SM, Chaminade Vice-president Institutional Advancement Diane Peters-Nguyen, American Savings Bank President & CEO Rich Wacker, Hogan Entrepreneurs Program Director John Webster hold ASB donation check for the Competition

“American Savings Bank recognizes the vital role nonprofits play in finding solutions to some of our community’s most pressing needs. We applaud all the competition’s applicants for their innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit,” American Savings Bank President & CEO Rich Wacker said. “It’s an honor to once again support the Hogan Nonprofit Business Plan Competition and to provide Hawai‘i’s nonprofits with the resources they need to succeed.”

Below are project descriptions of the winning nonprofit organizations for the 2016 Business Plan Competition:


Winner: $14,000

Purple Mai`a Foundation:

High School Coding Project


This project is designed to bring Computer Science education to schools on the Wai`anae coast to give the youth of the predominantly Hawaiian communities there access to tech industry jobs. Starting salaries for coders and web/mobile developers are in the region of $50K, representing a chance to begin climbing out of poverty while contributing to an important industry. None of the DOE high schools on the Wai`anae coast offer AP Computer Science.  This project will create and run a culturally responsive computer science professional development course for DOE teachers by late July 2017.  By the start of the 2017/2018 school year, it will establish a coding studio where students will have access to computers while providing self-paced instruction and mentorship after school, with the goal of doubling student participation through the 2018/2019 school year. The project’s immediate goal is to deliver training to a first batch of 20 teachers and deliver world-class, self-paced instruction and mentorship to 90 students in a safe and inspiring environment.


First Runner-Up: $10,000


We Are Oceania (WAO) and the Partners in Development Foundation (PIDF): Cultural Wares


The Compact of Free Association (COFA) is an international agreement giving the citizens of three Pacific island nations–Micronesia, the Marshall Islands and Palau—the right to live and work in the United States in return for the United States military’s continuing use of these islands. Estranged from their traditional farming and fishing activities because of the damage caused by bombing, Micronesians have come to Hawai`i in search of a better life for their families and healthcare to address the diseases caused by the dramatic changes to their homelands. Cultural Wares is a manufacturing and distribution venture that will help Micronesians develop new paths to an improved quality of life by capitalizing on their creative skills. At the core of the venture is the empowerment of Micronesian women who are known to be expert seamstresses. This venture will establish partnerships with agencies such as Hawai`i Fashion Incubator, producing goods such as dresses, jewelry, wood carvings and woven items and bringing them to local markets. It will open doors for others to follow. Cultural Wares is an economic empowerment project that adds a new model to the range of no-cost services PIDF brings to over 10,000 at-risk families each year in Hawai`i. The project needs seed money to purchase sewing, embroidery, and overlock machines, as well as supplies to begin production.


Second Runner-Up: $5,000


Ōlelo Community Media:

Building Bridges Back to Society


In keeping with its mission of strengthening island voices and advancing community engagement, Ōlelo Community Media has embarked on a partnership with the Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) through the Hawai`i State Department of Public Safety Corrections Division. Ōlelo has been helping to train incarcerated women to help them acquire production skills while helping to meet the media needs of O`ahu’s diverse communities. WCCC inmates have been learning how to videotape public meetings. They have served as crew, operating cameras and at times even directing multi-camera live productions. Ōlelo staff have provided training on site at the correctional center, as well as at Ōlelo’s Windward and Mapunapuna media centers. In order to take the training to the next level, Ōlelo plans to equip the first phase of a media center within the correctional center. This will increase the opportunities for training, access to equipment and the ability to take advantage of more mentoring and volunteer activities.  The more consistent on-site training will enhance skill development and foster the building of “bridges” that will help the women at WCCC to transition back into society as people who are equipped to help amplify community voices.


Third Runner-Up: $3,000


The Georgia E. Morikawa (GEM) Center: Communication Access in Senior Care Facility Programs


Established in 2015, the GEM Center is dedicated to ensuring effective communication for seniors who are deaf or hard of hearing, including those with additional disabilities in senior care facilities, until they no longer can receive information through American Sign Language (ASL) or other communication methods. The GEM Center aims to reach out to 15 assisted living facilities, over 190 adult residential care homes, over 160 community care foster family homes, 12 case management agencies, and 36 adult day care centers. Ultimately, the GEM Center hopes to establish a residential care home for the deaf or hard of hearing, and those with additional disabilities. The immediate plan is to research, monitor and develop a communication access program and service to senior care facilities.  The GEM Center hopes to market a range of communications tools including communication boards, assistive listening devices, alert alarms with strobe lights, videophones and CapTel phones that will empower and educate seniors and their families. This will help seniors actively engage in making decisions. It will slow the rate of health deterioration and mental deprivation from the heartbreaking inability to communicate with caregivers and/or family.


2016_04_27 Competion winners (missing Olelo) (1)Nonprofit Organizations in Hawai‘i

In the islands, more than 6,500 nonprofits are in operation and of that figure, 501(c)(3) charitable organizations make up the majority share with approximately 5,000. Human services (31%), education (18%), and arts, culture, and humanities (15%), make up the top three types of Hawai‘i nonprofits in terms of total number in operation.

Nonprofit Organizations Nationwide

Even with the aid of the web, social media, and web analytics—technologies that help to target outreach efforts and apply consistent, omnipresent messaging—nonprofits are having difficulty securing the resources needed to respond to changes or pursue new opportunities. A 2014 study by Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO) noted that the biggest challenge facing nonprofits is raising money. Compounding those financial challenges is a growing need in communities for services that government organizations traditionally handled but no longer do, the Nonprofit Finance Fund’s 2014 State of the Sector found.

About the Hogan Entrepreneurs Program at Chaminade University     

Funded by generous contributions from The Hogan Family Foundation, Chaminade University’s Hogan Entrepreneurs Program provides in-depth learning through contact with Hawaii’s entrepreneurs. The Foundation operates education, humanitarian, and civic-minded programs that encourage the entrepreneurial spirit.