Getting Started

In early 2022, we were excited to launch Makahakama Foundation as a way to give back and have a positive impact on the communities and world that shaped our lives. Narrowing our focus to align with both our values and our experiences was our first task. We followed our hearts in selecting the areas of environment, community resilience, and entrepreneurship. These categories are interdependent on one another, as so much on this planet is; our communities cannot thrive without healthy environments, entrepreneurship can help to build resilient communities and innovation can help tackle our greatest challenges. We fundamentally believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive physically, economically and emotionally, so we apply an equity lens throughout the entire portfolio.

We are all products of our experiences and having come from a background of entrepreneurship, venture capital and innovation, we find similarities in the work of the Foundation. The leaders of nonprofits are entrepreneurs in every sense of the word:  mission-driven, expert, inspirational, open-minded, optimistic and scrappy. The characteristics that make a successful tech entrepreneur are the same for leaders of successful nonprofits. Our goal is to generate the maximum returns in the form of impact for each dollar we grant. And like many investments, we believe we can maximize impact when we catalyze change by helping to drive innovation with new models, technologies, scaling and more.

Our name derives from some of the values our family has articulated over the years:  responsibility, gratitude, love, respect, sense of humor, generosity, optimism, curiosity, passion and perseverance. Combining some of these characteristics with another love of ours, Hawai’i (where Joyce grew up), we developed an acronym of sorts using some of the related Hawaiian words of our values. The resulting word, Makahakama ( ‎), pronounced Ma⋅KA⋅ha⋅ka⋅ma, reminds us every day of our core operating values.

We are happy to be of service to those that have dedicated their lives to make the world better and look forward to learning with and supporting them along the way.