The Haitian Fund for Innovation (HFI)
About the Fund
Created in the wake of Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake—a natural disaster of unparalleled proportion that claimed more than 300,000 lives, injured hundreds of thousands, left more than a million homeless and caused billions of dollars of damage—the Haitian Fund for Innovation (HFI) exists to help Haitians take the lead in the development of their own country. The fund will be a facilitator for resources, knowledge and connection.
The Haitian Fund for Innovation is a special project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and aims to leverage the collective capacity of Haitians to build a formal base of philanthropy. It is led by Johnny Celestin, a Haitian-American with many of years of experience in philanthropy and the private sector. He is supported by a US and Haiti-based Advisory Board that reflects many sectors of the Haitian community.
Through a program of grant-making and operations designed to foster stronger collaboration among non-governmental organizations active in Haiti, HFIR seeks to provide a vehicle through which donors and investors can be certain that investments are channeled in a sustainable and democratic rebuilding effort, and are maximized through strategic collaboration and strong partnerships with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. These efforts have for objective the promotion of sustainable development in Haiti.
As a mission-driven organization, HFI adheres to its core values by engaging Haitians in the change process. Its four guiding principles are: social and economic justice, respect and caring for every individual, a passion for innovation, and excellence and integrity in all that it does. HFI also understands the profound value of working with the public sector and supporting grassroots organizations – Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). As such, we embrace and support programs that: (a) promote innovation; (b) create economic opportunities, and (c) engage the Diaspora and the academic community as partners in broadening the philanthropic circle.
The goal of the Haitian Fund for Innovation’s efforts in Haiti is focused on the following priorities: improving the management practices and capacity of indigenous Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Social Enterprises; engaging the Haitian Diaspora, estimated at nearly 2 million persons; promoting innovations; and, encouraging Haitian-American philanthropy in Haiti.
Our approach is to focus on synergistic opportunities between grantmaking, innovation and services that will positively impact the local population. The Haitian Fund for Innovation’s program strategy has two components:
- To facilitate the launch and implementation of innovative solutions by identifying projects where our capabilities and funds can be the tipping point for implementation or expansion.
- To create a space in Haiti — via the Center for Innovation and Management— that can serve as a bridge between local experience and external knowledge to accelerate the much-needed transfer of skills and technology.
The strategy of the Center for Innovation is organized around three outcomes for creating enduring social change and greater equity in Haiti:
1) Increased capacity for social impact by increasing the number of organizations that are stronger, more effective;
2) Improved capacity of local organizations for service delivery in the NGO and social entrepreneurship sectors to respond to local demand;
3) Improved the sustainability of the sector by expanding philanthropy and social entrepreneurship in Haiti; and
4) Increased of resource flows to organizations that are effectively addressing social problems.
To learn more about the Haitian Fund for Innovation, please contact Johnny Celestin at firstname.lastname@example.org.