Doing Good: Our Guide to Giving Back


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photo: courtesy of hawaiian humane society / kathy boast

A good board is one that engages its members, she says. Strong, organized boards encourage their members to attend all general board meetings and participate in board committees.

Finance plays a big role for board members, and Boland says that, while the Society’s board looks at the organization’s budget and expenses, it often takes a big-picture approach to the nonprofit’s overall direction, not its day-to-day operations. That’s why boards hire good executive directors.  

HCF runs an annual board leadership conference to offer traning to potential and current nonprofit board members. Visit

The Anatomy of a Nonprofit

For every issue, there is a nonprofit working hard to raise money, inspire volunteers and change the community. They come in all shapes and sizes, from all-volunteer, grassroots nonprofits, to local chapters of powerful national organizations. Here’s a breakdown of three Oahu nonprofits.

The Hawaiian Humane Society

Mission: The Society’s mantra is “strengthening the human, animal bond.” It does so through its 30 programs on education, animal adoption and support services, rescue operations and fighting for better animal- and pet-related laws.

Paid staff members:  70

Volunteers: Approximately 700; 67 percent of the society’s volunteers have been active for one to two years.

Annual operating budget: $6.3 million

Signature events: Pictures with Santa Paws, Tuxes and Tails and Petwalk, all of which raise about $650,000 per year.

Biggest needs right now: Donations—both money and goods—and responsible pet ownership, says executive director Pam Burns.

How the community can give: Adopt or foster a pet, or volunteer at the shelter.

Related links:
30 Volunteer Ideas in Hawaii
Service Learning at Heeia Fishpond

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