A First Foundation Blog

Focus on Philanthropy – Habitat for Humanity of the Coachella Valley 2022

2 minute read

First Foundation Bank has never believed that our relationships with our communities and local non-profit organizations that serve them ends at cutting a check. We understand the tremendous need for support for these organizations that provide vital services to the communities we serve. Habitat for Humanity of Coachella Valley (HFHCV) is a non-profit based in Palm Desert, CA that is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing through construction, rehabilitation services and preservation of homes throughout Coachella Valley. The organization manages multiple programs including their “A Brush with Kindness” program that is focused on home restoration offering painting, landscaping and minor repair service for low-income homeowners and home builds to give families a fresh start and a safe place to raise their children.

First Foundation Bank was first introduced to Habitat of Humanity of Coachella Valley in 2011 when Valerie Van Winkle, Portfolio Manager, joined our banking team in Indian Wells. Valerie has been a member of the organization’s board since 2009, serving as Board Secretary during most of her tenure, as well as currently serving as the Chair of the Family Selection Committee. First Foundation recognized Valerie’s commitment to this remarkable organization as well as the overwhelming need within that community. We began to build a strong multi-faceted partnership with HFHCV in 2016 that started with a Supporting Our Communities grant and an offer of consulting services without charge. Since that time, HFHCV has been a recipient of two additional Community Development Grants in 2021 and 2022, which supported the construction of two homes and the obtaining of mortgages for two low-income families.

In conjunction with the grant funding, our Director of Philanthropy Services, Marty Dutch began offering pro bono support services for the organization’s board beginning in 2016. Throughout the last six years, Marty has continued to facilitate board retreats, as well as training their board on governance and strategic planning. The skills taught through the training Marty has provided will help HFHCV to increase their fundraising skills, improve their business strategy, and provide greater impact within the community.  

In 2019, First Foundation stepped in to assist the organization during a time of critical need. The bank initiated an offer to purchase and/or service 15 loans owned by HFHCV after the organization was notified that their existing loan servicing company was closing their business. First Foundation purchased nine loans from HFHCV and agreed to service pro bono the additional six loans that were owned by HFHCV, in which now all but one of those loans is paid in full.

Acknowledging the impact of the partnership, Dave Thornton, Executive Director remarked, “First Foundation Bank has provided HFHCV not only with financial support, but their staff is personally involved in fostering Habitat’s mission and vision. Together, we have been able to provide affordable housing opportunities to low-income families as well as many low-income seniors that are in frail health and in dire need of home repairs. Their offer to purchase and service our loans at no cost has been a game changer for our organization.”

We were so pleased to continue working collaboratively with Habitat of Humanity of Coachella Valley and help them as they continue to impact families needing safe and affordable housing in their community.

At First Foundation, we are proud to build long term partnerships with non-profit organizations to assist and support their team in delivering their mission and making a bigger impact. We believe these partnerships reinforce our commitment to create sustainable and strengthened communities.  

To learn more about First Foundation’s partnership with Habitat for Humanity of the Coachella Valley, visit: 


Philanthropy Services provided by First Foundation Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.

Heather Tice, VP, Marketing Manager, Events and Community
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Heather Tice, VP, Marketing Manager, Events and Community