Thank You to Our Outgoing Board Members

Each spring, our Governance Committee identifies and invites community members to serve on our Board of Trustees. It also means we must say farewell to those who have completed their service. This year, Sandy Huber and Mark Kleist have reached the end of their terms.

Why We Give: Ken and Mary Terpstra

For Ken and Mary Terpstra, teaching their children to give back to the community has been something they’ve always strived to do.

Grant Helps Pave Way for Housing for All

We are pleased to announce five first-round grant awards, totaling $262,500, in support of Northwest Ottawa County. This includes a $12,500 grant to the City of Grand Haven for an updated zoning ordinance that would allow residential housing and mixed-use structures to be more easily developed within the Grand Haven community.

Grant Recipient: Ottawa Sands

“Ottawa Sands is the “missing puzzle piece” that creates a 2,000-acre corridor of public green space, stretching from P.J. Hoffmaster State Park all the way to the Grand River,” said Marie Orttenburger, Communications Specialist at the Land Conservancy of West Michigan (LCWM). “Without protection, it would be lost to development or continued sand mining.”

Board Feature: Randy Hansen

Randy Hansen first joined the GHACF board in 2013 and took over as Chair in 2018. He’s served on the Investment and Executive Committees, putting his financial skills to work for the foundation. Most recently, he adeptly guided the foundation through the search for our new president. His presence during the interim, both in the boardroom and the office, and his unwavering support for the team were invaluable.

Looking Forward

As the new leader of the GHACF, I’m honored to kick off the new year at your community foundation. We’re getting ready to launch our new strategic plan—a plan the Board and team have worked on for the past two years. While our mission won’t change, our...

You Make an Impact in Our Community

Your contribution makes a difference – right here in Northwest Ottawa County. As our community’s needs evolve, we remain committed to improving the quality of life for all because we all benefit from a healthy and vibrant community.

Support the Greatest Needs Fund on Giving Tuesday

Will you give to the Greatest Needs Fund today? Every contribution makes a difference – right here in Northwest Ottawa County.

Your generous contribution to the Greatest Needs Fund today allows us to invest in our community in a flexible and impactful way that addresses a broad range of critical needs, including future needs that cannot be anticipated.

Giving Thanks

During this time of Thanksgiving, we’d like to pause and thank you. (Yes, you.) We don’t do anything alone, and whether you gave time, talent, or treasure this year, we want you to know how much we value you and your generosity. 

Announcing Our Final Grants of the Year

We’re excited to announce that our board, together with the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), has awarded seven third-round grant awards, totaling $539,339, to support the Northwest Ottawa County community, including a $40,000 grant to the Land Conservancy of West Michigan (LCWM) for Ottawa Sands, the newest park in Ottawa County.

Youth Are Creative: Arts Showcase

Our Youth Advisory Council seeks to create platforms and various avenues for our youth to express their thoughts, ideas, and opinions in meaningful and engaged ways, and they developed a Youth Arts Showcase to highlight the creative side of many of the high school students in our community.   

Community Foundation Week

Community foundations represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. Every state in the United States is home to at least one community foundation—large and small, urban and rural—working to advance solutions on a wide range of social issues. They build and strengthen communities in a multitude of ways, including providing the means for a wide range of donors to create permanent funds to positively impact lives

Honoring Our Past and Present Trustees

As a nonprofit organization, our Board of Trustees serves as our governing body and provides invaluable guidance and vision for all areas of our work. When they complete their commitment, they are given the title Trustee Emeritus, defined as a past board member. While no longer voting members, our Trustees Emeritus continue to act as ambassadors for the community foundation throughout the region.

FAFSA: More Than Just Financial Aid

FAFSA is the federal form that college students complete to determine their eligibility for federal grants, scholarships, work-study opportunities, and loans. Living in Northwest Ottawa County, when I talk with families about completing the FAFSA, I often hear, “We won’t get any assistance so we aren’t completing the FAFSA.”

It doesn’t matter what your income is—completing the FAFSA is imperative for many reasons.

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