Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area provides philanthropic resources today, tomorrow and forever

Community Foundation Outdoor Education
Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland Area-funded outdoor education, Holland

By David Hoekman

Mike Goorhouse
Mike Goorhouse

The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) recently announced a successful campaign for the Community’s Endowment.

But Mike Goorhouse, president and CEO of the foundation, continues to encourage civic-minded people to donate to the Community’s Endowment.

The reason?

No one can predict the future.

“Building our Community’s Endowment ensures that Holland-Zeeland will always have philanthropic resources available to meet future community needs,” Goorhouse said. “That’s at the heart of what this work is. It’s about taking the long-run view.”

Anyone can contribute any amount to the Community’s Endowment. Since 1951, thousands of people have given gifts ranging from $2 to $2 million. Those gifts, pooled together, realize greater impact today and make philanthropic grants possible for future generations.

The “Today. Tomorrow. Forever. A Campaign for our Community’s Endowment” raised $5 million in “Today” gifts, boosting the Community’s Endowment to $20 million. Plus, a pipeline of 100 “Tomorrow” gifts was secured, representing about $30 million that will be donated in the next 10 to 30 years.

According to Goorhouse, the goal is for many people to give for the long-term health and vitality of the community.

A portion of the funds in the Community’s Endowment is distributed each year to a broad range of nonprofit organizations and to meet emergency needs.

For example, after the 2008 financial crisis, CFHZ funded local home foreclosure prevention programs, food pantries, health clinics and job retraining.

“The idea is to be ready to respond,” Goorhouse said.

Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland Area
85 E. Eighth St., Suite 100

Community Foundation Health Clinic
Community Foundation Health Clinic

The next big thing

The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area is partnering with the Grand Haven Area Foundation (GHAF) in an affordable housing initiative called Housing Next.

“Philosophically, the board of trustees and the staff believe financial stability for families is critical,” Goorhouse said.

For 35 percent of Ottawa County families, expenses exceed income.

Goorhouse said the foundations chose affordable housing because housing is the biggest share of expense for people.

“We are happy to be a partner in Housing Next and help take the good work that has been started by the Greater Ottawa County United Way to the next level,” said Holly Johnson, president of the GHAF. “The need is great and our goals are lofty. We are excited to be investing and ensuring that working families have access to housing that they can afford. This work will require new partnerships and new ways of doing things, but we are all committed to working toward common goals that will allow families to thrive in our communities.”