The Eau Claire Community Foundation is a bridge connecting donors with charities in order to improve quality of life in the Eau Claire area. People do not give TO the Eau Claire Community Foundation; they give THROUGH it.
As a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the Eau Claire community, the ECCF establishes endowments that are invested to provide long-term support for charitable purposes. When the endowment principals earn interest and dividends over time, the earnings are distributed to local non-profit organizations. Since it is a 501(c)(3) organization, the ECCF enables donors to take the maximum deduction for charitable contributions under IRS rules.
Anyone interested in donating can explore the ECCF’s numerous options for contributing to existing funds or creating new ones. Please review the “Powerful Giving” tab for more information.
We strengthen our community by offering donors opportunities to establish charitable legacies, by making grants, and by serving as a catalyst to address community needs.
Eau Claire Community Foundation will be widely recognized in the area as the leading community resource promoting philanthropy, collaboration and innovation, and building endowments.
For several years, members of the Eau Claire community had discussed the need for a foundation to provide financial planning on behalf of charitable donors and recipients. They envisioned an organization that would support existing non-profit organizations without competing with them financially. Two key events finally helped make their vision into a reality:
The Hobbs Foundation - Over a 35 year period, the Hobbs Foundation had given more than $5 million to local organizations. In 1995, the Hobbs Foundation made its final donation. The community members wanted to fill the void left by its loss.
An Eau Claire couple offered to make a significant gift if a community foundation was created. The couple, aware of the value of foundations, wanted to maximize the impact of their gift.
As a result, the first Board of Trustees meeting was held in January 1997. The Trustees established a goal of finding 25 Society of Founders members by December 31, 1998. These members were required to give a $10,000 (or more) unrestricted contribution, payable over five years, without reducing their prior community support. It seemed like a lot to ask, but the Eau Claire community rose to the challenge: sixty-four Society members made total pledges of over one million dollars, and the Eau Claire Community Foundation became a reality.
In just over 15 years, the Eau Claire Community Foundation has been shaped by innovative Board of Trustee leadership and staff administration. The dream of the Society of Founders is still what guides the Foundation as it works to connect donors with non-profit organizations and meet the ever-changing needs of the Eau Claire community.