New fund-matching group, including Jack Johnson’s foundations

December 31, 2014
A new team of philanthropic supporters called the WEfficiency Hui has been established to provide matching funds for local nonprofits' energy efficiency fundraising campaigns. The Blue Planet Foundation's WEfficiency program uses an online crowdfunding tool to help nonprofits garner funds to afford energy-saving makeovers.
Among the new WEfficiency Hui contributors are The Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, and sustainability advocate and community leader Randy Ching. Through the WEfficiency program, nonprofits are able to pay back donors with the savings from lowered electricity bills. The "loanators" can then choose to reinvest their money in another nonprofit's campaign.
Local musician Jack Johnson and his wife Kim founded the Kokua Hawaii Foundation in 2003 to support environmental education, and then the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation in 2008."We're excited about WEfficiency because it provides a platform for the community to come together in support of nonprofits and their efforts toward energy conservation and efficiency in Hawaii," the Johnsons said in a statement.
Last year, through the WEfficiency program, the YWCA, Hawaii Public Radio, and Damien Memorial School raised $40,000 combined for energy efficient installations, such as lighting projects. The three organizations combined are expected to save $19,000 in energy costs annually, according to David Aquino, WEfficiency program manager. By the end of this year, the Boys and Girls Club of Hawaii's WEfficiency campaign is aiming to raise $60,000 for high efficiency LED lighting in three of its Oahu clubhouses.