Dear Friend of the Community Foundation,

 

2020 was a year that none of us will ever forget. CFHZ dug deep into every part of our mission by deploying Community’s Endowment resources to help the Holland/Zeeland area thrive, helping donors best achieve their charitable goals, and growing our efforts to lead and partner in community-level initiatives.

This past year further deepened our belief that having a robust Community Endowment matters for the long-term health and vitality of the Holland/Zeeland area. Every moment mattered; and timing, responsiveness, and access to resources were key. We are proud to have demonstrated the value of the Community’s Endowment as a resource to respond to unforeseen needs and challenges as they arise. We pushed ourselves to be innovative, efficient, and collaborative as we deployed those resources. We spent more than our traditional endowment spending policy and adapted our grantmaking in response to the unique challenges of the year. We moved funds quickly on a trust-built basis, knowing that our nonprofit partners needed access to funds immediately to serve the growing numbers of participants in their programs while reinventing how they delivered services. We were also able to continue our investments in the Holland/Zeeland Promise Scholarship and in strengthening the nonprofit sector—a reflection of their significant value to the community.

Our donor service work was another area in which trust-built relationships mattered more than ever. We were able to serve as a connector between generous individuals, families, and companies, helping them identify the ways to best invest their resources to ensure the stability and health of our community. We are truly thankful to the many donors who walked alongside us this year, and the past donors who made gifts to the Community’s Endowment believing that while we can’t predict the future, we can prepare for it.

Leading and partnering in community-level initiatives has always been a tool in our toolbox, but we increased the volume of that work in 2020. The Care Ottawa County Coalition, the Direct Cash Assistance program, our involvement with community racial equity efforts, and our work with Housing Next were just a few of many spaces in which CFHZ stepped forward to lead and/or serve as a connection point in 2020. Our staff was intentional about listening and incorporating feedback from a diverse range of perspectives to help guide their work in this space.

We are also proud to share that in late 2020, CFHZ crossed the $100M asset mark for the first time. This was a result of generous supporters and wise investment stewardship, all while giving out more than we ever had in grants to respond to the pandemic. We share this to honor those who had the early vision for the importance of a robust local Community Foundation and to celebrate that with additional resources we have increased our impact in the community. Thank you for the trust that you—our donors, partners, and supporters — place in our ability to help this community thrive today, tomorrow, and forever.

In gratitude,
Mike Goorhouse and Jim Bishop