Record-Breaking Grant Total to be Awarded at ECCF Annual Meeting

5% may not sound like a lot, but this increase in the Eau Claire Community Foundation’s grant distribution—up from 4% in honor of the foundation’s 20th anniversary—has resulted in a record-breaking $181,931 in grant support for local nonprofits. These grants will have an incredible impact on the community, including helping homeless families find the stable housing they desperately need.

“Sheltering homeless families with children is important,” said Kelly Christianson, Executive Director of Family Promise of the Chippewa Valley, “but the way to end homelessness is to get people into homes. This $10,000 grant will help families who don’t qualify for the limited government funded programs to secure permanent housing. Without it, they’ll remain in shelters longer.”

The Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF) will be distributing these grants at its Annual Meeting on June 7, 2018. This year’s 44 grants include an unprecedented five grants of $10,000 or more. Together, they bring ECCF’s grand total to over $11.2 million dollars in grants distributed since its founding in 1997.

This positive impact on local nonprofits was made possible through the generosity of ECCF’s donors, who contribute to existing funds or even to create their own. ECCF then invests those dollars and uses the earnings to make grants that support the donors’ philanthropic goals now and for years to come.

ECCF is excited to announce its new Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Portfolio option for its fund holders. These SRI funds will allow donors to do twice as much good: They’ll support grants to nonprofits while investing in companies that meet stringent criteria for their social and environmental responsibility. Morgan Stanley will serve as the Investment Manager for these funds.

“This Portfolio is designed to meet the needs of fund holders who desire socially responsive investing options. Morgan Stanley has been a leader in this area for over 30 years, and its team has a rich history of experience and knowledge that is unique in the social investing industry,” said ECCF Executive Director Sue Bornick.

She added, “You don’t have to be wealthy to create your own fund; family funds are simple to establish with as little as $500. Often, donors use their funds as an opportunity to teach their children about philanthropy and get them actively involved in giving. Funds are also frequently established in honor or memory of a loved one. No matter what your reason for creating a fund, your family’s legacy will be forever.”

Thanks to the generosity of new and established fund holders, ECCF celebrated a milestone during its 20th anniversary last year: It opened 17 new funds and surpassed its goal of $20 million in assets. It currently holds 260 active charitable funds.

You don’t need your own fund to make a positive impact, though; you can donate to any of the existing funds. Donations to ECCF’s Community Fund are especially appreciated because they address the Eau Claire area’s most pressing needs by supporting grants to local nonprofits through the annual competitive grant cycle.

To learn more about the Eau Claire Community Foundation, including how to open a charitable fund, you can explore this website or contact Sue Bornick, Executive Director, at 715-552-3801 or