CDP Hawaii Wildfires Recovery Fund

Support this Fund

The week of Aug. 6, 2023, a series of wildfires, driven by Hurricane Dora’s winds, swept across Maui and the Big Island, bringing widespread devastation, especially in the town of Lahaina on Maui.

The Lahaina Fire was the worst natural hazard disaster in Hawaii’s history and one of the top five deadliest wildfires in the U.S. in recorded history, with 100 people confirmed dead. As damage assessments continue, it is clear that recovery from these catastrophic wildfires will take years.

CDP’s Hawaii Wildfires Recovery Fund supports equitable recovery for wildfire-affected families and communities who face unique challenges in the aftermath of disasters that can prolong recovery. Click To Tweet

(Photo: Fire and smoke fill the sky at the intersection at Hokiokio Place and Lahaina Bypass in Maui, Hawaii on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. County of Maui photo by Zeke Kalua

CDP works to identify gaps in recovery funding to help direct financial and technical support where it is most needed. We do this with an eye toward intersectional racial equity and a focus on medium- to long-term recovery. CDP prioritizes collaboration with local partners who truly understand the needs of wildfire-affected communities on Hawaii’s islands.

The programmatic expertise of CDP’s board, advisory council and staff, along with the expertise of the community-based organizations and the survivors themselves, informs our grantmaking strategy.

This fund supports this disaster:

Priority funding focus areas

As with all the CDP domestic funds, the Hawaii Wildfires Recovery Fund will focus on the issues addressed in the overarching domestic vision above. However, we plan to direct our grantmaking to specific focus areas:

  • Addressing the needs of local and native Hawaii populations affected by these fires, especially those affected by long-term policies and systems that have made them more vulnerable to the effects of disaster on their community.
  • Supporting environmental restoration and protecting the environment to prevent dire effects of future hazards on the community.
  • Building capacity for gaps in long-term recovery, specifically funding local, place-based and culturally-focused grassroots organizations.
  • Building capacity and providing support for organizations advocating for equitable recovery, workers’ rights and organizing to support oppressed communities.
  • Supporting local, nonprofit journalism to amplify the needs and root causes of inequity and hold leadership to account for the recovery process.
  • Building local sustainability and resilience by mitigating the effects of the oppressive root causes that resulted in the devastating impact of the disaster to prevent additional devastation on the islands.
Island recovery

The nature of recovery on an island is especially challenging. Supplies brought onto, and trash or debris removed from an island must be shipped, increasing costs.

The realities of wildfire recovery exacerbate these challenges. After a fire, soil must be remediated from toxins before rebuilding can begin. This process, already lengthy, is protracted by an island’s geography. Learn more about wildfires and wildfire recovery in our Issue Insight.

Flexible funding

Support for flexible funding is crucial for equitable recovery from wildfires and island recovery from disasters. Because the needs are unique, recovery programming is most effective when it is led locally with support from national partners.


Even before the wildfires, housing in Hawaii was already expensive and in short supply. Hawaii’s ongoing affordable housing crisis is the reason the state sees the highest rates of homelessness in the U.S. Support for affordable housing will be crucial to help displaced households recover.

Economic recovery

Many of the areas affected by these fires are the major economic drivers of the community and will need support for their long-term sustainability and recovery.

With support from our Hawaii Wildfires Recovery Fund, our grantee partners are addressing the needs of wildfire-affected families and communities.

Meet our grantee partners

Thank you to the following donors for their generous support of CDP Hawaii Wildfires Recovery Fund.

Wallace Foundation
Nike Foundation logo
  • Hellman Foundation
  • Shanahan Family Foundation
  • Mellam Family Foundation
  • Michael Lebowitz
  • Dustin Arrington
  • On Point Hospitality | Cactus Restaurants
  • Gaines Family Charitable Fund
  • DeRoy Testamentary Foundation
  • The Baupost Group
  • Grace Bennett
  • Hallman Foundation Fund
  • Michael and Anne Hochberg
  • The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation

Show more

Your support will have a direct and significant impact on our efforts to help communities in Hawaii recover equitably from wildfires.

Support this Fund

Connect with us

For more information on the situation and to learn about available resources, contact Sally Ray, Director, Domestic Funds.

To make a gift or learn more about the Fund, please contact our Development Team.

(Photo: The Hawaii National Guard performs water bucket drops on the Island of Maui to help fight fires there, Aug. 9, 2023. Source: US Army via Twitter)

Fund updates

See them all


See them all