ECCF Receives $4.75 Million Legacy Gift – the Largest Gift in Foundation History!

Eau Claire Community Foundation Receives the Largest Legacy Gift to Date!

The Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF) received a legacy gift from a lifelong community member, William “Bill” A. Bingham. ECCF is honored to announce that the William A. Bingham’s estate included a $4.75 million bequest to establish an unrestricted endowment fund. “This is the single largest gift received in the Foundation’s 26 years of existence,” said Sue Bornick, ECCF’s Executive Director. “This one gift will make an incredible impact in our community FOREVER!”

Bingham’s gift, in memory of his family, will create the William A. Bingham Family Endowment Fund. The dollars will be managed by US Bank Wealth Management, which has managed a portion of ECCF’s assets since 2019.

William “Bill” A. Bingham was born and raised in Eau Claire. After high school, he attended UW-Madison. After graduating, he returned to Eau Claire and worked for Cox Realty, which eventually became Bingham Realty. Bill was known for his sense of humor, great stories, quick wit, and his fondness for dogs, sailing, and traveling.

Although Bingham passed away in April 2021, this gift ensures that the impact of his generosity will live on for generations to come. With this single unrestricted gift, ECCF will more than double its granting power, bringing the total amount available from approximately $140,000 from unrestricted funds annually to over $330,000! These grants will provide support for a diverse array of local nonprofits, all of which are working to improve the Eau Claire area’s quality of life.

Jim Chumas, one of Bingham’s longtime friends and the executor of his estate, was not surprised to learn of Bingham’s gift to ECCF.  Chumas’ ties to Bingham began in the 1940s, when Chumas’ grandmother and Bingham’s mother, Anna Knobel Bingham, met in Eau Claire and became friends. Over many decades of Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners together, the Bingham and Chumas families developed an exceptional friendship.

“Bill loved Eau Claire,” Chumas says. “He did a lot of traveling, but Eau Claire was always his home. He was a big believer in the community and in the quality of life we all enjoy.”

Bingham’s gift makes him a member of ECCF’s Legacy Society, which recognizes donors who have made provisions in their estate plans to provide a gift to ECCF for the causes they care about the most.  Since ECCF’s establishment over 200 individuals have joined the Legacy Society.

“We’re extremely grateful for this gift,” said ECCF Board Chair Tom Larson. “It will accelerate bringing the Foundation to the next level. Our mission is to make grants and serve as a catalyst to address community needs. Bill’s donation ensures that we’ll be able to make more grants and address more needs than we ever have before. Because it will be endowed, his gift will benefit the Eau Claire community both now and far into the future.” 

To support this Fund, or to leave a gift in memory of Bill, use the donate button below. For  more information on how to join the Legacy Society or start your own Fund, contact or call (715) 552-3801.


Visit the  William A. Bingham Family Endowment Fund page to learn more about Bill Bingham and his family.