Are you looking for ways to help your community, both in this time of increased need and well into the future? Our communities thrive because of individuals coming together for the greater good. But it’s not always easy, and it can be difficult to know how to make the greatest impact.
That’s where we come in.
For almost fifty years, the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation has partnered with individuals, families, organizations, and corporations to help them realize their philanthropic intent. Whether you have a local cause you’re passionate about, you want to help the next generation further their education, or you want to assist an organization whose mission is to help others—we’re here to help you realize those goals.
Our mission remains to inspire philanthropy and support for-impact organizations so together we can care for our community. It’s people like you—people who want to make a difference—who make this possible. We’re funded by parents and students, business owners and employees, artists and musicians, nurses and doctors, manufacturing and trades, people from all walks of life who are united in their desire to make an impactful change in their community.
2020 has been a challenge for us all, but we’ve been able to continue with our mission thanks to the generosity of our community. In the spring, we were part of a community coalition that granted over $900,000 to area organizations for basic needs of keeping people fed, housed and healthy, this summer we raised an additional $650,000 in Northern Ottawa County, and we will continue raising money to help our community recover and rebuild from COVID-19. This has been made possible by broad donor support, which has come in the form of donations of all sizes and has been an inspiring example of community coming together around a common cause to care for one another.
One of the benefits of a community foundation is that our funds stay in our community, and we help support the most pressing causes in our area. So, a donation to your local community foundation truly helps your community.
“In a world that has recently been sent askew in the eyes of our younger students, combined with the already existing need to support kids in the realm of social/emotional learning, the grant from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation could not have come at a better time for Spring Lake Public Schools,” said Scott Ely, Curriculum Director for Spring Lake Public Schools. “The Community Relief and Recovery grant will allow Spring Lake Public Schools to fully staff one social worker at each of our elementary schools next year, which allows us to dramatically expand our capacity to support students.”
Diversity, equity, and inclusion
There have been moments in our forty-nine-year history that we couldn’t have predicted, and no year has proven that like 2020. In addition to assisting local organizations with COVID-19 relief, we’ve partnered with organizations like Lakeshore Ethnic Diversity Alliance (LEDA), the Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance, and Ottawa County to expand our work with diversity, equity, and inclusion. Together, we’re working to address systemic racism and the effects it has both individually and structurally on our community, while lifting up those who are most vulnerable to this injustice.
We’re also working internally. Our board and staff have done various diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings, including implicit bias, with the team at LEDA.
Looking to the future
While a lot has changed this year, the core of who we are as an organization have remained the same. We continue to work towards a future that is equitable for all, especially for the next generation. In 2020, we awarded over $620,000 in scholarships to 220 students, 32 of whom will be the first in their families to earn a post-secondary degree.
“As a first-generation immigrant, going to school without relying on financial aid or scholarships would have been nearly impossible,” said Len Tran, a scholarship recipient attending Grand Valley State University. “I am so eternally grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to be able to pursue an education that my parents were never able to themselves.”
We’re proud of our work in Northwest Ottawa County, and we look forward to the next fifty years. We invite you to join us.
Every gift, every person, can make a difference. To learn more, or to discuss a plan that makes the most sense for you, call Chris Riker, Vice President of Advancement and Donor Services, at 616-842-6378, or email [email protected]. For more information, visit ghacf.org.