About the Foundation The Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF) helps you support charities you care about. You can donate to its existing Funds or create your own, either now or through your estate. ECCF invests the money, and the earnings support grants to nonprofits. Your gift will benefit our community forever. As a tax-exempt public charity, 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. As a 501(c)(3) organization, ECCF provides donors the flexibility to donate cash, stocks, property, bequests and other assets in a way that qualifies for the maximum tax deduction for charitable contributions under IRS rules. Our Mission is to strengthen our community by offering donors opportunities to establish charitable legacies, by making grants, and by serving as a catalyst to address community needs. Our Vision is that ECCF will be widely recognized in the area as the leading community resource promoting philanthropy, collaboration and innovation, and building endowments. Our History For many 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. 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.