(left to right: Mark Allen, Ben Meyer (Chair), Gwen Luban, Kellen Brusveen, Gwen VanTimmeren, Rob Bristow (Treasurer), Rebecca Casler, Jim Beelen (Secretary), Hilda Wittingen. Not pictured: Kristi Roelofs (Vice-Chair)
Did you know that the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation has two affiliate community foundations, each of which serves other communities in Northern Ottawa County? Both Allendale and the Coopersville Area are home to their own foundations, and we’d like to spotlight them in a two-part blog series.
Welcome to part two of our affiliate feature. Read about the Coopersville Area Community Foundation here.
Founded in 1999, the Allendale Community Foundation was created by community leaders and visionaries who dreamed of starting a philanthropic vehicle to ensure that Allendale’s quality of life would be enhanced for today, tomorrow, and future generations. Township representatives contributed the first $2,000 to open the Allendale General Fund, which established the Allendale Community Foundation (ACF). A $10,000 challenge grant from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation (GHACF) created the momentum for the people of Allendale to raise the first $50,000, and from there, community members stepped forward to help.
Today, the ACF has over $2.5 million in assets in thirty-nine different funds, and over $385,000 has been given back to the community in competitive grants and scholarships. In 2019, the ACF awarded over $8,500 in scholarships to eight local graduates, and the grant committee awarded $6,440 in grants to area for-impact organizations.
As an affiliate, the ACF has an advisory board made up of local community members that provides invaluable leadership, guidance, and oversight. The ACF follows all policies set in place by the GHACF Board of Trustees, who also support the work of the GHACF team and the advisory board. Together, the GHACF team and ACF committees do the work, and all the funds raised in Allendale stay in Allendale.
“Ray Statema introduced me to the Allendale Community Foundation and its mission of serving the community by collecting and distributing gifts that enhance and benefit all of us. Now in my fifth year as a board member, I find it refreshing and exciting to watch community members support and invest in their community.” — Ben Meyer, Chair of the Allendale Community Foundation Advisory Board
To mark their 20th anniversary, the ACF has launched the Give $20 for 20 campaign, where they’re asking the people of Allendale—or any community—to give $20 to the ACF Greatest Needs Fund. Over the past 20 years, funds from the Greatest Needs Fund have helped organizations like the Ottawa County Parks Foundation, Allendale Public and Christian Schools, the Allendale Fire Department, and many more.
Gifts to this fund allow the ACF to invest in their community in a flexible and impactful way that addresses a broad range of critical needs, including future needs that cannot be anticipated at the time the gift is made.
“The Allendale Community Foundation has created a wonderful relationship of bringing together the financial resources and gifts from individuals, families, and businesses that make grants and gifts to local charities and nonprofit community projects possible. The foundation is a powerful and personal way to make a change “For Good For Ever” in our community.” — Ben Meyer
To learn more, visit allendale-cf.org.