Community Foundation Holland/Zeeland



News & Events

News & Event

2018 Year in review – A letter from our President/CEO

Over the last few years, we have talked extensively about how the Community Foundation’s work is divided into two parts: building our Community’s Endowment and providing Donor Services. 

Dear Friends of the Foundation,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to a great year ahead.

I write to you today filled with gratitude and excitement. Over the last few years, you have heard me talk extensively about how the Community Foundation’s work is divided into two parts: building our Community’s Endowment and providing Donor Services. 

From 2015–2017, we prioritized the Community’s Endowment side of our work as we engaged in our Today. Tomorrow. Forever. Campaign for our Community’s Endowment. With the momentum of some very generous matching donations, we spent a significant amount of time and energy elevating the important role that our Community’s Endowment plays in the long-term vitality of the Holland/Zeeland area. You all responded in amazingly generous ways that grew our Community’s Endowment by $5 million “Today” and our pipeline of “Tomorrow” estate gift commitments by more than $30 million. 

With the campaign wrapped up and with the new Federal income tax law changes taking effect, in 2018 we prioritized the Donor Service side of our work. We spent time with companies, families and professional advisors highlighting the various tools we have to make giving as efficient and effective as possible. We were astounded and humbled by the deep generosity of many in our community as we received close to $20 million in contributions to Donor Service funds here at CFHZ. These gifts ranged in size from $25 to $7 million, and combined with nearly $1 million in gifts to our Community’s Endowment, led to CFHZ’s 2018 contributions totaling close to $21 million. That is more than double our previous high of $9.7 million!

These resources will impact many individuals and nonprofits in the Holland/Zeeland area, and we are honored that many of you chose to partner with CFHZ to help you best achieve your charitable goals.

For me, this record year says two things:
1. Our community is deeply generous and is committed to making a difference in the lives of others and
2. The hard work of so many staff and board members over the last 65 years has made the Community Foundation a trusted partner for many local families and companies. 

Nothing inspires me more than having witnessed and felt these two things in profound ways over the last few months. It is a privilege to serve this organization and work with you all!

In addition to this exciting news, here is a list of 2018 highlights:


Strategic Planning:

  • Became a strategic partner with the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship program providing side by side services to scholarship recipients and helping raise awareness and funds to support more students
  • Launched a pilot Philanthropic Consulting program helping companies and families with their giving strategy beyond fund management

Community Impact:

  • Competitive Grantmaking process awarded 12 new grants totaling $550,200 (full list here) and paid $138,500 in second and third-year payments for previous multi-year grants (list here)
  • Distributed $100,000 in support for Strengthening the Nonprofit Sector initiatives includingLakeshore Nonprofit Alliance, United Way’s Community Assessment and Nonprofit Executive Director transitions
  • Continued our leadership role supporting Housing Next’s efforts to improve the affordability of housing in Ottawa County


  • Annual Luncheon = maximum capacity crowd of 350
  • Fall Event = record crowd of 670


There was much more that happened during the year, but the above list aggregates some of the highlights from my perspective.

It was an inspiring year here at CFHZ and I want to thank each of you for all that you have done, and continue to do, to partner with the Community Foundation to ensure that the Holland/Zeeland area thrives Today, Tomorrow and Forever.


With deep gratitude,



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85 East 8th Street, Suite 110, Holland, MI 49423   (616) 396-6590   Email us