News & Event
The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area’s (CFHZ’s) Line of Credit (LOC) Guarantee Program allows nonprofit organizations that are tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, are serving a charitable purpose in the greater Holland/Zeeland area, and had a 2019 operating budget in excess of $500,000 to apply to have a CFHZ guaranteed line of credit established through West Michigan Community Bank.
CFHZ’s Line of Credit Guarantee Program has a total cap of $2 million, so we anticipate being able to partner with 10-15 nonprofits through this program. Please note – as with CFHZ’s competitive grantmaking program, religious organizations that advocate specific religious doctrines through their programs, or do not serve the broader community, are not eligible.
Those nonprofit organizations accepted into this program by CFHZ will then be connected to West Michigan Community Bank (WMCB) to establish their line of credit account. Since CFHZ is guaranteeing this line of credit, the nonprofit will not have to put forward any collateral, nor will the nonprofit go through a traditional underwriting process.
In addition to guaranteeing the LOC, CFHZ will provide reimbursement to the nonprofit for all interest that the nonprofit has paid on the LOC during the first 2 years, up to 4% per year. During the third year that the LOC is open (third year is open for repayment only), CFHZ will not be reimbursing interest costs paid by the nonprofit. Here are some additional details on how the interest reimbursement will work:
CFHZ has been listening to our partners as they describe the significant cash flow challenges being experienced so suddenly due to loss of revenue and increased demand for services during this pandemic crisis. We have heard that significant decisions need to be made quickly, and without a lot of clarity as to what the next 3-12 months are going to look like.
In response, we are launching this new program as a way to further leverage our Community’s Endowment assets to support some of our mid-to-large nonprofit partners and preserve critical community capacity in this time of extraordinary need.
Here is what we hope the program will accomplish:
We understand that this is likely not going to prevent nonprofits from having to make tough choices down the road, as this isn’t grant money, but it will hopefully provide nonprofits the gift of time to make those choices and the option of choosing to spread the difficult decisions out over a multi-year period.
We also acknowledge that by only allowing nonprofit organizations with budgets over $500,000 to apply for this program that this tool is for a limited portion of our nonprofit sector. We recognize that many of our smaller nonprofit organizations are doing very important and critical work as well and want to be clear that this particular program is only one tool in our toolbox.
In addition to this LOC guarantee program, we are utilizing the Emergency Human Needs Fund to deploy capital over a six-week period to organizations providing emergency basic needs services, and we will be re-working our competitive grantmaking strategy for the remainder of 2020. We anticipate our new competitive grantmaking framework and process to be announced in June when we have a better sense of how the federal stimulus funds have supported our community members in need and our nonprofit partners.
Please note – participating in this Line of Credit Guarantee program does not preclude an organization from receiving a grant from CFHZ. This is an entirely different process and tool.
Applications will be reviewed by a joint taskforce of CFHZ Distribution Committee and Program Related Investment (PRI) Committee members with support from CFHZ staff. The review committee will be choosing organizations based on the following priorities:
Step 1: Submit your CFHZ line of credit guarantee program application via the following link by April 24, 2020:
You can use this PDF as a worksheet to view all questions in preparation for submitting the application form online.
The PDF worksheet shows you the “word count” limits for each question, but you do not need to use all the words, and lists are fine. In addition to the PDF worksheet that shows the “open ended” questions in the application, you will also be asked to submit attachments as follows:
LOC GUARANTEE PROGRAM APPLICATION
Step 2: CFHZ will reach out to the contact listed for your organization as close to May 4 as possible with our final decision as to whether your nonprofit has been accepted into the program. We may reach out to you ahead of this date if additional information is needed alongside your application.
Step 3: If your nonprofit is approved to be included in this program, CFHZ will provide your organization it’s Line of Credit dollar approval limit, and will connect you to West Michigan Community Bank in order to establish your line of credit account via a separate application (which will NOT involve collateral or underwriting).
Step 4: At that point, any ongoing communication and reporting requirements will be between the nonprofit organization and their assigned contact at West Michigan Community Bank, with CFHZ being involved only in reimbursing interest every 12 months for the first two years.
Unlike our competitive grant program, you do not need to contact CFHZ prior to completing this Line of Credit Guarantee application. However, if you do have additional questions about the program or application, please contact Mike Goorhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 616-994-8855.
The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area is pleased to announce the awarding of 17 grants totaling $568,604 from the Community’s Endowment in 2019.
We are pleased to announce the first and second round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. Our efforts are designed to act swiftly, be flexible as new information emerges, and take into account the range of other supports that have come into our community from both public and private sources. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education. To date, $950,000 has been committed to the fund! This includes a $200,000 investment from the Community’s Endowment combined with generous gifts from local donors.
The first round of grant distributions, made in June, focused on the priority area of financial stability. A total of $115,000 was invested to launch the Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program. This effort provides $500 emergency unrestricted cash relief to eligible local individuals who have lost their jobs or are experiencing significantly reduced hours of paid work due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Since the start of the pandemic, various federal stimulus bills have transferred funds to people who have lost their jobs, and to lower/middle income families in general; but there are individuals and families in our community who haven't yet received those funds, or may not be eligible to receive them. These friends and neighbors are struggling to meet their basic day-to-day needs.
CFHZ and some of our generous donors, alongside key community organizations who serve these populations, explored a variety of options to assist those who are falling through the cracks of our existing support systems. Collectively, we identified a direct-cash assistance program, partnering with a national organization called Family Independence Initiative (FII), as a key strategy to serve our vulnerable community members. We granted $100,000 to FII to establish the program, and an additional $5,000 each to our core partner agencies for administrative support to implement the program. We're delighted to share that generous local donors contributed an additional $500,000 for a total cash assistance funding pool of $600,000!
We have partnered with three local organizations who will identify those individuals who quality for the program: Community Action House, Good Samaritan Ministries, and Movement West Michigan. Each of these partners has further engaged their network of partner churches, grassroots organizations, and neighborhood community organizations to extend their reach to as many families as possible.
To be eligible for the Greater Holland/Zeeland Area Direct Cash Assistance Program, individuals must:
To date, the Direct Cash Assistance Program has directly impacted 600 individuals. We're deeply thankful to the generous local donors who have contributed towards these efforts.
Good Samaritan Ministries recently received funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to launch a six-month Eviction Diversion Program which will use a collaborative court process model, bringing together the courts, Legal Aid, mediation, tenants and landlords to provide lump sum payments to landlords in exchange for allowing tenants to remain in their homes. The Community Stabilization Fund grant will support GSM’s efforts to scale up capacity and ensure robust program delivery and services to divert hundreds of families from potential homelessness and provide a path back towards thriving in our community.
This grant will support ODC Network’s partnership with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District and Holland/Zeeland area districts to provide schools and teachers with support, resources, and training on activating outdoor spaces and utilizing outdoor learning as a means to lower school building population density and increase social distancing while providing safe, meaningful, and engaging learning experiences for students. This effort will increase the chances of more children being able to safely attend school in person, which is beneficial for all children’s learning, but especially for those children who were already struggling in school and who likely experienced even greater learning loss due to the remote learning transition last spring followed by summer break.
Ready for School, in partnership with area schools, rapidly adapted their highly successful kindergarten readiness program to offer the four-week experience in a modified format this summer. Given the unique challenges facing this year’s incoming kindergartners and their families, this grant will support continuing the program into the fall to complement and enhance whatever format in which schools are able to provide kindergarten. How well this critical first year of school goes for these students will have a long-lasting impact on the trajectory of their learning and this investment will help ensure they have the strongest kindergarten experience possible in an inherently difficult environment.
CASA provides elementary school students who are struggling academically with a structured educational support program to achieve their learning goals. CASA pivoted quickly this summer to continue providing students robust learning opportunities in an effective and meaningful way despite new constraints. This grant will invest in the follow-up effort to re-imagine what Fall CASA programming looks like, particularly as the organization works to incorporate Hope College Education Department students who typically serve as one-on-one tutors during the school year in a new format.
This grant will allow Family Hope Foundation to expand their therapy scholarship program for Holland/Zeeland area children with special needs and learning disabilities to help them regain progress and milestones lost due to recent interruptions to schooling and support services. The program works collaboratively with a broad network of providers to find customized supports that will best serve each individual student’s needs.
We are pleased to announce the fifth round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund. An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education.
This month we re-visited and and completed our final round of funding for our Education strategy.
In preparation for this month’s grant round, our community impact staff met with a number of youth serving nonprofits as well as local school districts and the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD). The Community Stabilization Fund awarded $150,000 to six organizations.
to increase support for remote learners
Amount awarded: $35,000
With three sites that together serve both the Holland and West Ottawa districts, BGC reaches the greatest number of students outside of the schools themselves and serves elementary, middle, and high school students. Their staff have strong existing relationships with students and parents and close partnerships with educators in the two districts in which they work. This funding will allow BGC to add staff capacity to expand their Power Hour program, where students come every day after school to receive academic support, to include daytime hours for youth who are attending school virtually. All three locations have expanded hours for in person 1:1 or small group tutoring.
The Bridge is focused on serving Zeeland students and like BGC, has strong existing relationships with students and parents and works closely with Zeeland Public Schools. They also facilitate the alternative suspension program for Zeeland students who have been suspended or expelled. This funding will enable The Bridge to expand their Bridge to Excellence mentoring program to accommodate a larger cross section of our educational community and serve home schoolers and online learners. The Bridge will increase staffing to provide consistent mentors for students to help them attain their goals academically, behaviorally, and socially.
Escape has a track record of earning trust and building relationships with some of our community’s most vulnerable youth who are at high risk of disengaging with school entirely. Holland and West Ottawa districts partner with Escape on their alternative suspension program which provides intensive support to students who are suspended or expelled. This funding will be used to expand staff hours and hire additional staff to support their Alternative Suspension Accountability Program (ASAP) and After School Tutoring program enabling them to expand hours and serve more students.
to launch a virtual 1:1 bilingual tutoring program
Amount awarded: $20,000
Another key demographic group that we heard from local educators needs targeted outreach and support are our English Language Learners (ELL students). To meet the unique needs of remote ELL students, Hope College in partnership with the OAISD will launch a virtual 1:1 bilingual tutoring program for students in Holland, Zeeland, and West Ottawa school districts. The joint effort will leverage the OAISD’s ability to work with schools to identify the students in greatest need of this service and match them with a Hope College student tutor who speaks their home language. This funding will help seed the initial launch of this new innovative program.
to adapt programming to virtual format
Amount awarded: $15,000
Step Up provides 1:1 academic mentoring to local middle school students. The program provides need-based instruction in math and reading to close the achievement gap. As of fall 2020, 100% of Step Up participants are underrepresented or come from economically disadvantaged households. Step Up is pivoting to a virtual format this semester while still seeking to deliver high quality tutoring and mentoring to the 45 students they serve. This funding will support Step Up’s ability to adapt their programming for virtual delivery.
to expand programming to meet demand
Amount awarded: $10,000
In our first grant round for education, we awarded Ready for School $40,000 to expand their Start School Ready pre-kindergarten preparation programming in partnership with area schools. Their initial grant award was based on the program serving up to 80 students. Ready for School has exceeded that with over 100 students signed up to participate in the program. Ready for School has been flexible to meet the preferred program delivery methods of different districts. This additional funding will cover the increased costs of materials and staffing needed to serve 25% more students than projected at the outset.
We are pleased to announce the first two rounds of grants from the Community Stabilization Fund in 2021. The decision was made to continue the Community Stabilization Fund for at least the first six months of this year in response to feedback from nonprofit partners, community leaders, and individuals being directly impacted. The CFHZ Board of Trustees approved an additional $225,000 from our Community’s Endowment resources to be allocated through the Community Stabilization Fund. In addition, generous donors have continued to make contributions to the fund, allowing us to grow our impact. Grants made from the Community Stabilization Fund continue to focus on the three areas of impact from 2020: financial stability, health, and education, and a fourth area of impact added in 2021: public health.
$50,000 to continue the Eviction Diversion Program
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will assist GSM in adding staffing capacity and appropriate workspace to ensure they can provide holistic support during intake and aftercare for new clients in the Eviction Diversion Program. Last year, GSM leveraged $150,000 from the Stabilization Fund to unlock $1.5M in federal dollars for an Eviction Diversion Program which allowed them to empower 487 families to remain in their homes. In 2021, they have an opportunity to receive an additional $9M to continue this work and keep over 2,000 families in their homes.
$15,000 to increase the amount of food secured through ‘food rescue’
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will help CAH procure the required equipment to increase their food rescue efforts by an estimated 17,500 pounds of food every month. Having healthy, high quality food available to members of our community is a need CAH has prioritized, especially as demand for food assistance has increased exponentially since last year. Food “rescued” from local grocery stores (items tagged by the store to be disposed of that are not expired/damaged) is a highly efficient way to include produce and other perishables in to-go meals and boxed food assistance.
$10,000 for outreach and application assistance for the Employee Assistance Program
The EAP provided financial assistance to people whose employment was negatively impacted by the closure of restaurants for indoor dining, gyms, theaters, and other businesses that occurred in the last several months of 2020. With a short window of time for eligible individuals to apply for this support, this grant provided resources to launch local communications and publicity efforts including a local website, translate materials about the program into Spanish and other languages as needed, and provide in- person support in completing the application from trained staff at our local libraries for those who did not have access to internet or a computer elsewhere.
$40,000 to ODC Network to launch Project 180 in partnership with the OAISD and our local school districts (Holland, West Ottawa and Zeeland)
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will assist in the launch of Project 180, a new nature-based summer education program that will directly target access and opportunity for families that have been disproportionally affected by the major changes to schooling because of COVID-19. The target populations for this program often face several barriers to participation in summer learning opportunities including costs, transportation and relationships with host entities. ODC recognizes these barriers and is committed to working closely with districts to provide transportation for programming offered. Project 180 will serve Pre-K through 5th grade students, their caregivers, and school partners in Ottawa and Allegan Counties primarily located in the Holland/Zeeland area, applying a multi-pronged approach to engaging families.
$19,080 for increasing Power Hour Capacity and student transportation
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will increase capacity for Power Hour, a program that provides daily homework help for children from 1st to 12th grade. It will also help BGC to continue providing the transportation that is critical for students in need of this support to access the program.
$17,800 to launch the Summer Bridge program and provide in-house Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will help launch the Summer Bridge program, a new 6-week course for rising 9th graders whose grades, behavior, attendance, and/or social/emotional skills leave them vulnerable to 9th grade class failure. This program walks alongside students in a deeper way, meeting their needs with additional support and attention. Funds will also help provide in-house Mental Health and Substance Use Counseling to ensure earlier, more consistent, and more accessible mental health services. The program’s “Life Coach” already has established relationships with students served, will begin working on a regular basis with Escape this spring through the summer, offering continued supports while creating space for Escape to envision the best ways to integrate mental health care into all aspects of Escape programming.
Immigrant Relief Fund and Grand Rapids Asian Pacific Festival
Ensuring equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines
Funds from the Community Stabilization Fund will support strategic efforts to reach residents of the Holland/Zeeland area who were disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and experience barriers to access vaccines, thus most at risk of having a disproportionately low vaccination rate—specifically Seniors and Black, Indigenous, and community members of color. Multiple conversations with community partners leading these efforts have highlighted several barriers to accessing the vaccine: technology, language, and trust in the location of vaccine distribution. Partners receiving funding have been actively engaged in outreach and education, often going above and beyond their scope of work to reach out to community members, answer questions, get them scheduled for an appointment, and call with reminders and additional appointment details.
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