Norma and Ike Vande Wege learned about the importance of giving back to their community at a young age. They both grew up in Holland and attended Maplewood Reformed Church, where their faith and family taught them the importance of tithing. In the summer of 2016, Norma and Ike established the Vande Wege Family Fund, a Donor Advised Fund at the Community Foundation, as a means of continuing their family tradition of philanthropy.
“My parents were adamant about giving back,” Ike shared. “I always knew that 10 percent went into a black leather purse that my mother kept in her drawer, and that was money set aside for the church.”
Throughout their married life, Ike and Norma have continued the tradition of tithing by donating at least 10 percent of their income every year. “There were times when tithing did not come easily,” Ike said. “When we co-founded Techno-Coat, we started with nothing. Those were the years when it was most difficult to put the 10 percent away, but we always did, and we always got by.
Techno-Coat, a local powder coating company, grew to be successful beyond their expectations. They also had ownership in a second business which also achieved significant success.
Eventually, they sold their interest in the second business to a partner. This allowed them to buy out their original partner in Techno-Coat and begin the transition to their son Ross, who is President of the company today.
Along the way they also invested in the Bank of Holland when it was just a start-up venture. When the bank was sold, the Vande Weges knew they wanted to give back to the community.
Because they were early investors in the bank, their cost basis for their stock was low. A financial adviser suggested that the Community Foundation was the perfect partner to help them meet their charitable goals in the most tax advantageous way.
By transferring stock to a Donor Advised Fund after the sale, the Vande Weges were able to reduce the amount they paid in capital gains taxes, exponentially increasing the amount that would be dedicated to charitable causes.
“We’ve been blessed way beyond what we have ever expected to be,” Norma said. “I was one of eight kids. My dad was a bus driver and school janitor. Life was simple. We are just so fortunate to live in this community, it’s only natural to give back.”
Ike and Norma have carried on the tradition of giving to the next generation by allowing each of their children to annually donate $5,000 from the Family Fund to organizations of their choice. The family’s list of nonprofits range from Camp Geneva to the Outdoor Discovery Center to Good Samaritan Ministries. The Vande Weges have also been long time supporters of our Community’s Endowment and, most recently, the Holland/ Zeeland Promise Scholarship.
“We have enjoyed supporting the Community Foundation because it allows us to give money to needs we may not be familiar with,” Norma said.
Originally featured in the Community Foundation’s 2018 Annual Report. While this was written by CFHZ’s Communications Associate Lina Pierson in 2019, we believe that stories of generosity are timeless and always relevant.
By giving through a Donor Advised Fund, you enjoy administrative convenience, cost savings, and tax advantages. Each year, you can recommend the nonprofit organizations in which you want to invest, and Community Foundation staff do all the work in administering the grants. A Donor Advised Fund offers the opportunity to create a low-cost, flexible method of charitable giving as an alternative to direct giving or creating a private foundation.