CFHZ awards $150,000 in operating grants to help nonprofits thrive

As part of an effort to help local nonprofit organizations thrive, the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area (CFHZ) recently distributed $150,000 in operating grants to 23 area nonprofits. 

These one-time operating grants were targeted to partners that CFHZ had previously invested in through the Community’s Endowment, but that have not received significant funding through other grantmaking strategies in 2020.

“In this unique and challenging year, the CFHZ Board of Trustees elected to pivot our planned strategy for the Community’s Endowment in order to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on the community,” Director of Community Impact Yah-Hanna Jenkins Leys said. “Historically, however, CFHZ has been committed to funding across a broad range of community issues.” 

The 2020 operating grants reflect a continuation of that commitment, as CFHZ invests in organizations whose core services might not be focused on the impacts of the pandemic but are integral for the community’s ability to thrive long-term.

The 23 organizations that received operating funding have all been impacted by a loss of, or significant changes to, fundraising events and fee-for-service revenue generation. They also have not benefited from the increase in support CFHZ has provided to so many other nonprofits through the Emergency Human Needs Fund or Community Stabilization Fund. 

23 grants

Operating funding grants to these organizations were made possible by the generous gifts of people who contributed over the past 70 years to the Community’s Endowment, providing capacity and flexibility for CFHZ to respond to the wide-ranging needs of the Holland/Zeeland area.

Ten organizations received $10,000 in operating funding: 70x7 Life Recovery; Benjamin’s Hope; Compassionate Heart Ministries; Evergreen Commons; Goodwill Industries of Michigan; Holland Area Arts Council; Holland Historical Trust (also known as The Holland Museum); Ladder Homes; Lakeshore Habitat for Humanity; and Latin Americans United for Progress.
The Holland Museum
Seven organizations received $5,000 in operating funding: Camp Sunshine; Critter Barn; Disability Network Lakeshore; Hospice of Holland; Jubilee Ministries; Pioneer Resources; and Zeeland Historical Society.

Six neighborhood-based organizations received $2,500 in operating funding: 3Sixty; Heights of
Hope; Neighbors Plus; Washington School Neighbors; Westcore Neighbors; and Zeeland Neighborhood Connections.

“The primary focus of this year, and rightfully so, was on the well-being of our residents,” said Ricki Levine, Executive Director of the Holland Historical Trust. “That said, cultural organizations are facing tremendous challenges. It is our responsibility to remain a resource to the community. We believe that, when we come out on the other side of the pandemic, the community will want cultural organizations to be healthy and able to provide the programs, entertainment, and education that they rely on. The generous operating grant from CFHZ will make a difference in the work we are doing to stay healthy and relevant for our community, both now and in the future. I am so delighted that CFHZ has chosen to acknowledge our value.”

Elizabeth Kidd, CFHZ Vice President of Community Impact, said, “As a foundation focused not only on today and tomorrow, but also forever, we want to invest in the ability of organizations like Holland Historical Trust to navigate a challenging year and keep their capacity strong. From housing to the arts to supportive services for seniors and people with special needs, the services they provide are vital to the fabric of our community. It’s crucial that we support our nonprofit partners through this difficult season so the important work they do can continue, now and in the future.”

Read more articles by Shandra Martinez.