Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation

Challenge:

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation — one of the largest private foundations in the US and one of Hawai‘i’s largest charities, contributing $10M annually in the islands – is undergoing key changes requiring strategic, nuanced communications with a myriad of Hawai‘i stakeholders.  A new approach to how the Foundation manages its vast land holdings in the state – coupled with an important leadership change, with Alvin Awaya stepping down after 44 years of service and respected community leader Corbett Kalama taking over the Hawai‘i operations – necessitated rearticulating the values that inform its mission and the depth of the Weinberg Foundation’s commitment to Hawai‘i. Further, while the Weinberg Foundation has been quietly working with little to no recognition for almost 60 years to empower the poorest and most vulnerable in Hawai‘i, the time had come to increase the organization’s visibility and recognition of its vital work, while strongly positioning the foundation for future success.

Strategy:

  • Strongly position the Weinberg Foundation under Corbett Kalama’s new leadership, underscoring the organization’s commitment to Hawai‘i.
  • Build community support for the Foundation’s shift in its real estate asset management.
  • Seek proactive storytelling opportunities to shine a light on the Weinberg Foundation’s generosity, while inspiring others to give.
  • Position Corbett Kalama as the new “face” of Weinberg Foundation in Hawai‘i.
  • Show how its evolving land asset management strategy is helping to continue to positively change lives in our community.

Results:

  • A recent $3M gift from Weinberg Foundation to Kahauiki Village garnered significant media statewide earned media coverage in all major outlets, signaling to the media and the broader community that Weinberg is a more transparent and engaged nonprofit leader today.
  • Refreshed media materials and protocols have created a healthier and more dynamic relationship with reporters and editors in-market.
  • Proactive planning and early engagement on communications strategy is ensuring opportunities are fully maximized.
  • Strategic speaking engagement and community involvement planning for Corbett Kalama, combined with highly-customized message preparation, is causing key influencers in Hawai‘i to think differently about the Weinberg Foundation and its vital role in Hawai‘i.