Community Action House
Turning Possibility into Prosperity
When Mark Tucker, Executive Director of Community Action House (CAH) talks about his dream for the community, he sums it up in one word: prosperity.
Prosperity is defined as “the ability of all community members to have access to basic needs, community abundance, opportunity, positive development, and hope.”
CAH has been working tirelessly to provide households with food, clothing, shelter and the opportunity to build the skills necessary to live a stable and prosperous life in Holland/Zeeland since 1969. CAH carries out its mission through a three component continuum of care: basic services, skill building programs and prosperity classes. Basic services are designed to stabilize households. The skill building programs are intended to help families obtain skills to become self-sufficient while the prosperity classes are to educate households on how to obtain assets.
The organization offers a wide range of services through the continuum including the Community Kitchen, two food pantries, community garden, counseling for homelessness and foreclosure prevention and financial education classes. They also manage a number of partnership programs that focus on specific areas of need.
CAH established the Community Action House Founding Fund at the Community Foundation in the early 1990’s with surplus funds that were raised from building their 14th Street offices. The Founding Fund grows when CAH donates additional funding that is not designated to support their daily operations or when donors who are looking for a different way to make an impact contribute to the Founding Fund through CAH. The Foundation invests the funds for growth which allows staff and volunteers to concentrate on the CAH mission. A Founding Fund allows nonprofits access to the principle, and they can use those resources when they are needed for special projects by gaining approval from the nonprofit and the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
Having the Founding Fund allowed CAH to be the lead organization to invest in the formation of the Macatawa Resource Center, a multi-agency resource center developed in the late 1990s. It also allowed them to purchase a new roof, paint, and upgrade heating on their 14th Street offices 10 years later. In 2010, CAH used money from the fund to do the initial renovation needed to open their new General Store on Michigan Avenue. All of this has been done without having to dip into their operating funds.
In addition to having the Founding Fund, individual supporters of CAH have established the Community Action House Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund allows individual donors to support the CAH mission in perpetuity.
Mark Tucker noted that “it’s good for nonprofits to have income from multiple sources, and an endowment fund is great to have. We receive about $10,000 out of our fund each year to help support our programming. It’s important to have this option for donors to give to.”
Donors like the consistency and safety of the Endowment Fund. “If CAH were ever to disappear, the Community Foundation will redirect the funds to maintain other causes supported by the Foundation. This allows donors to be sure that their investment will always exist at the Foundation and continue to support the mission and the community.”
“Having a Founding and an Endowment Fund with the Community Foundation is essential in our efforts to carry out our mission,” said Mark Tucker.
Originally featured in the Community Foundation’s 2012 Annual Report. While this was written by CFHZ’s Communications Manager Nicole Paquette in 2013, we believe that stories of generosity are timeless and always relevant.
Nonprofit Endowment Funds are created for the benefit of a select nonprofit by providing ongoing support. If the fund is established by a donor, they specify how the endowed funds are to be used, and the Community Foundation provides ongoing stewardship and oversight to ensure the donor’s intentions are fulfilled.
Nonprofit Endowment Funds can also be established by a nonprofit organization to benefit themselves. The Foundation handles investment management and administrative responsibilities related to the endowment allowing the organization’s staff and volunteer hours to be concentrated on accomplishing their mission. Learn more at cfhz.org.