CUH’s Fund Struggles to Raise Money


Michelle Cisneros

Clarence T.C. Ching Hall, Chaminade University of Honolulu

[Editor’s note: This story has been corrected. Please see below for more information on the corrections.]

Chaminade University of Honolulu has 2,300 to 2,700 students enrolled at any given time every semester. The Fund for Chaminade supports Chaminade and its many scholarships. With 97 percent of students receiving some financial aid and scholarships, the Fund for Chaminade is bound to give a helping hand. Unfortunately, the Fund for Chaminade has struggled in the past to raise enough funds, not reaching their goal of $400,000 last year.

“Chaminade fiscal year begins July 1, so just a little over the first quarter and Chaminade had reached a little over $100,000, but there is still a long way to go before we can say we reached our goal,” said Gerry Mead Allen, director of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving. “The Fund for Chaminade’s goal this year is to reach $400,000.”

Although Allen has only been working at Chaminade since Oct. 16, she is no stranger to raising funds or to Chaminade. She received her master’s in business at Chaminade. Before Chaminade, Allen worked at Ballet Hawaii for eight and a half years where she was the director of development and oversaw sponsorships, annual giving, grants and various ways to find and give funds.

“Chaminade’s greatest need is for support for our Fund for Chaminade,” Allen said. “It’s the most immediate and tangible way to participate in the life of college and ensure its future.”

A common misconception Allen is dealing with assumptions that donors have to give significant amounts, something she said is just not true.

“You can give anywhere from a dollar to 5 million dollars,” Allen said.

Allen suggested if you can give anything even a small amount will help. For example, a dollar a week can amount to over $50 at the end of the year. Giving $5 a week can amount to over $260, all of which is accepted at Chaminade since it is a nonprofit school.

The Fund for Chaminade is unrestricted, which means it is available for Chaminade to use where it is most essential. This causes another problem Allen mentioned, as some donors fear their money will be misused or don’t understand what the fund is.

Margaret L. Friedman, who works at Chaminade as an associate professor of Business Marketing, has given to the Fund for Chaminade in some years since her arrival in 2001. But she has narrowed her donations to Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Chaminade chorus-in-residence.

“For me, rather than give to this general fund, I like to target my giving to programs that I’m more personally aware of or involved in,” she said.

Allen understands most donors instead give to specific departments like how Friedman does and if that’s the case, then that money will be used entirely for that request.

Still, Allen openly clarified Chaminade has a process to ensure the Funds for Chaminade are used only for university needs. The most important is for Chaminade’s five scholarships: merit-based scholarships, religious scholarships, Native Hawaiian scholarships, athletic scholarships, and donor-sponsored scholarships, all of which have had assistance by the Fund for Chaminade.

Day Shakau, a 19-year-old sophomore who is majoring in Education, received the Parish Scholarship. This scholarship helps pay for half her tuition if requirements are met yearly, which include keeping a 3.0 GPA and meeting the requirement of 20 volunteering hours.

“Knowing that you don’t have to pay the full tuition is more of a comfort,” Shakau said. “I still need to buy my textbooks, so it doesn’t solve all my problems, but I worry a little less than my friends at the start of the semester.”

The Fund for Chaminade has also been used for research opportunities, academic facilities and equipment, faculty development and course development. Some funds are going to help with the new athletic building right in front of the mauka side of McCabe Gym.

Each year the alumni, faculty, students, parents and friends choose to support this Fund for Chaminade. Campus employees can donate by having any amount arranged to be deducted from the paycheck. Other ways to give is by going online and clicking on the give tab and click on Fund for Chaminade. Calling the advancement office or mailing a check to the advancement office are other ways to send help.

[Correction: Gerry Mead Allan’s last name was originally misspelled Allan. Due to a writer’s error, a quote inaccurately stated the fiscal year started June 1. It started July 1. This story has corrected these errors, and we apologize for the mistake.]