HOLLAND — The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area surpassed its all-time record in fundraising in 2018, receiving close to $21 million in contributions.
Despite having to do more to educate donors last year about the effect of the federal tax cuts, the Community Foundation’s fundraising efforts more than doubled the $9.7 million it received in 2017, its previous record.
“We’ve raised the amount of capital that we have to be strategic and respond to the things that we’re seeing in the community,” Mike Goorhouse, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, told MiBiz. “This last year, we significantly increased the amount of partnerships we have facilitating giving on behalf of donors.”
After the passing of federal tax reform in 2017, tax law changes effectively raised the level of charitable giving individuals needed to qualify for a standard deduction. In response, the Community Foundation adapted its fundraising strategies.
“We really made an effort to get into the community and educate our CPA partners, our donors, and our community in general that there was a solution,” said Colleen Hill, vice president of development and donor services. “Through donor service funds we could help them continue to meet their charitable goals.”
Donor service funds include scholarship funds and donor-advised funds. These types of charitable giving allow an individual, family or business to donate large sums or assets in one year that will be released slowly throughout years to come, thus allowing the entity to claim the entire sum as one-year’s charitable deduction.
“These are not individuals who are putting six-figure gifts with us,” Hill said. “They’re individuals who are using a donor-advised fund to fund all of their donations into one year so that they can just get over that standard deduction, continue to claim those, but also continue to support those nonprofits in the way they always have.”
The Foundation does not require a minimum amount to be given or maintained in donor-advised funds, according to Hill, and gifts ranged in size from $25 to $7 million.
“We want more giving happening in our community, plain and simple,” Goorhouse said. “As laws change, and as other things happen, we want more giving to happen because more giving is good for everybody.”
The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area held more than $71 million in total assets at the end of 2017, according to the latest filing with the Internal Revenue Service.
“Those $20 million dollars in donor-service funds will all go to nonprofit organizations. We may be a stop on the chain, but those dollars can’t go anywhere but nonprofits,” Goorhouse said. “The good news for folks in this town is there is another $20 million that is headed their way.”