Monday, April 4, 2016

Eau Claire Community Foundation Benefits Many Good Causes

After serving for some 30 years a medical professional, Terry McEnany, MD, made a career switch to become a ski instructor in Aspen, Colorado. Dr. Terry McEnany also devotes time to charity and previously served on the grants committee of the Eau Claire Community Foundation (ECCF).

The ECCF provides a framework in which donors can build funds to support their favorite cause. It facilitates a simple way for interested citizens to make a difference in the Eau Claire, Wisconsin, area.

The foundation has made possible some 140 funds, valued at $10,000 to $1 million. Whether the funders are individuals, families, or organizations, ECCF invests the funds in one of its three investment pools. Every year, funds from one of these pools go toward grants for foundation members to use for their own purposes.

Donors can grow seed funds, which expand until they are large enough to make community grants. Starting one of these Acorn Funds costs as little as $500; donors then make tax-deductible contributions for about five years. Afterward, they are considered fully funded with $10,000 and can make grants.

Several types of funds are possible. Unrestricted grants can cover any intended purpose, while field of interest funds are matched to specific concerns. Designated funds provide continuous support for already-existing groups. Pass-through funds are intended for short-term purposes to meet a particular need.

Corporate or individual donors with greater resources can start funds for $1,500. These persons advise the foundation on the best use of the funds, and grant making begins at $25,000.                            

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