FAQ

Why is Punahou having this campaign?

To fulfill its aspirations to offer the greatest education and preparation for our students to pursue lives of inspiration, purpose and success.

A comprehensive campaign will securely position the School for the future with resources that can support a set of strategic priorities identified by Punahou’s leadership. These priorities represent essential elements of a Punahou experience for students, faculty and staff in the years to come, at a time when the field of education is going through significant changes.

Without philanthropy, the ability to meet these priorities would either not exist, or exist in a much more modest form. By supporting its strategic growth with philanthropy, the School is freed from depending on tuition dollars to accomplish its goals. Punahou’s ability to pursue its priorities with non-tuition dollars is one of the elements that sets our institution apart, allowing us to innovate and “dream big.”

The strategic priorities addressed by this campaign include:

By the time Punahou celebrates its bicentennial in 2041, we anticipate that the priorities established through this campaign will have significantly shaped the experience of our future students and faculty.

What is a “comprehensive campaign?” How is it different from campaigns in the past?

A comprehensive campaign strategy includes multiple institutional priorities and recognizes gifts to all those priorities. All gifts from July 1, 2013 until the end of the campaign are included.

Unlike Punahou’s previous capital campaigns, this campaign’s core priorities require both short-term investments in the form of gifts for immediate use, and long-term, sustainable support for the School’s endowment, which provides a predictable source of revenue in perpetuity.

A strong endowment helps provide financial stability in the near and far future and allows the School to undertake the innovative educational programming that is so important to our mission. Punahou’s endowment currently provides 8 percent of our annual operating budget – less than many of the country’s highest-ranked independent K – 12 schools, and its endowment-per-student also lags significantly behind these schools.

What will the campaign accomplish?

The campaign will allow Punahou to pursue its long-term, strategic goals, which are summarized by the campaign priorities. Broadly speaking, they support three areas of focus: people (a philosophy of student admission and the professional growth of our faculty), place (facilities and learning environments) and purpose (educational program). Together, they support the innovative, student-centered educational philosophy that is a hallmark of Punahou School.

The campaign will build our endowment to a level more closely commensurate with our peers and provide the resources necessary for the School’s leadership to plan for and meet its strategic goals. This includes establishing long-term funds restricted to specific uses, such as student financial aid, faculty support and educational programs, so that Punahou’s ability to carry out its priorities is not affected by changes in the financial landscape or completely dependent on tuition dollars.

In addition to funding key institutional priorities, the campaign has a number of outcomes not tied specifically to its dollar goals. These include:

  • enhancing Punahou’s visibility and profile nationally and globally as a leader and innovator in education;
  • enhancing alumni engagement;
  • increasing alumni and parent participation in philanthropy;
  • strengthening the culture of philanthropy and volunteerism at Punahou and engaging a new generation of donors;
  • sharing the School’s core values and aspirations for the next decade and beyond.

Hawai‘i has many worthy charities. Isn’t Punahou competing with other organizations

This campaign will strengthen Punahou’s capacity to collaborate with other educational and community organizations, leveraging philanthropy across many important sectors of our society.

Over the past 175 years, Punahou has made a significant impact on the evolution and delivery of education in Hawai‘i and abroad. Through its alumni, it has contributed leaders and innovators to the world in nearly every field. Supporting Punahou is a sure way to support educational innovation by helping to position Honolulu and Hawai‘i as a leading center of educational theory and practice, enriching the field for public and private partners in Hawai‘i and globally.

What’s the difference between the campaign and the School’s regular fundraising?

During the lifetime of the campaign, each gift will count toward the campaign’s overall goal, including existing annual giving and reunion efforts. Unrestricted gifts to the Punahou Fund are an important part of the campaign and one of its priorities, helping to sustain the School broadly and support its ongoing strategic growth. Other priorities make it possible for donors to target other specific areas of institutional growth if they so choose.

What is the dollar goal of our campaign?

The Punahou Board of Trustees have approved a goal of $175 million. This is split between our five key priorities:

Cash, Pledges and Planned Gifts by Priority
The Art of Teaching$15 million
A Diverse Learning Community$45 million
Reimagining Learning Environments$85 million
Inspiring Purpose$15 million
Sustaining the Promise of Punahou$15 million
TOTAL$175 million

Who is this campaign aimed at?

This campaign welcomes support from all Punahou constituents, including trustees and former trustees, alumni, parents, parents of alumni, and current and former faculty and staff. Foundations and other friends of the School will also participate over the lifetime of the campaign.

These audiences are also valuable advocates and spokespeople for the campaign priorities. They should have a clear sense of what the campaign is and why we are in it.

What is the start and end date for the campaign?

The campaign’s leadership phase began on July 1, 2013 and extends until the public launch on February 13, 2016. The end date is usually determined by when the dollar goal has been reached, but we are hoping to complete the campaign by the spring of 2020 (this means that all reunioning classes will be able to participate in the campaign).

What is the connection between the campaign and the 175th anniversary?

The 175th anniversary would have occurred regardless of whether Punahou launched a campaign, but the timing of the campaign launch during the 175th year is intentional, because the anniversary brings our global community together to celebrate this occasion. This creates a captive audience for the campaign launch as an additional layer to this important year and a point of inflection that shifts focus toward the future.

The 175th celebrates our history by looking back, while the campaign allows us to celebrate our future by looking forward. The launch of the campaign close to Carnival intentionally connects one of our most iconic fundraising activities (that includes significant student, parent and alumni participation) with the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the School’s history.

What is the role of our alumni during the campaign?

Alumni are a key audience for the campaign and right now we are better poised than ever to leverage a campaign of national and international scope. In addition to our strong alumni base in Hawai‘i, our regional and international chapters play a crucial role as communication nodes through which the aspirations of the campaign can reach our global Punahou community.

Local and regional alumni events leading up to and following the launch, such as the worldwide toast in June 2016, are important platforms for reinforcing the campaign priorities and generating excitement and support. Reunion giving is also a great way to channel diverse alumni interests into a variety of giving opportunities.

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