It started with $5...

One day, a starving young artist didn't have enough money for lunch. He was short by $5. Out of her endless generosity, a charming young woman stepped in and paid for him. When the artist went to repay the debt, the woman declined, letting the newly minted $5 bill twist in the wind. Never one to waste, the artist chased down that $5 bill and wisely invested it the next daygradually parlaying it into a substantial endowment. The artist's name was Justin and the woman was Janice Shon.

The Justin & Janice Shon Foundation aims to help create a better world by supporting creative people and institutions in what we believe is a microcosm of the world and harbinger of future societies—Hawai'i. In short, the present-day societal problems of Hawai'i are the future societal problems of the world... and potentially worlds beyond. We believe this can best be achieved by focusing on three core areas—Education, Conservation, and Culture. The Shon Foundation feels that significant progress is possible on some of Hawai'i's most pressing challenges, including transportation, homelessness, and infrastructure. We are a young foundation and typically do not fund unsolicited proposals, but are always willing to listen to the next big idea.

Organizations we've invested in


  • ʻAhahui Koa Ānuenue

  • Hawaiʻi Justice Foundation

  • University of Hawaiʻi School of Architecture Alumni Association


  • The Friends of ʻIolani Palace

  • Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation


  • 69th Cherry Blossom Festival Hawaiʻi

  • Hawaiʻi Public Radio

  • Kumu Kahua Theatre