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The ECFA Foundation was founded in 1995 largely through the efforts of Henrietta VanderMolen, a long-time supporter and board member of ECFA. Henrietta had a special heart for young women with unplanned pregnancies and she personally housed many of them. The mission of the Foundation is to promote and support the ministries of ECFA as we offer compassionate Christ-centered services to children, families and individuals.


The assets of the Foundation are invested prudently and are reviewed regularly. Over the years, the Foundation’s invested assets have grown and we strive to “give and grow.” Each year we return a specified percentage of our assets back to the Agency. The Foundation is currently the largest ongoing annual donor to the Agency.


Some of the specific uses of the Foundation contributions back to the Agency include the following:

  • Funding for employees pursuing their MSW (Master’s in Social Work) degree

  • Initial funding for new positions and new programs at the Agency

  • Funding for marketing and promotional resources

  • Funding for new equipment such as updated computers

  • Provision of matching funds for ECFA fundraisers in both Illinois and Wisconsin


We believe that ECFA and the Foundation are appropriate giving considerations for one-time gifts arising from occurrences such as an inheritance or the sale of a business. 


Long-term planned giving is also an important part of the support for ECFA.  Some of the types of planned giving that can benefit ECFA include the following:



A person’s will (or trust) is a final act of stewardship and care, a means to purposefully allocate resources to support designated people and causes that are highly valued. By including ECFA in your will, you can help ensure that ECFA continues to improve the quality of life for individuals and families, and protect and nurture abused and neglected children. ECFA can be included in a will for either a specified percentage or a specified amount.




The distribution of life insurance or retirement plan proceeds, unlike other assets distributed through a will, are determined through a form designating one or more beneficiaries. As life events occur and dependents reach adulthood, life insurance or retirement plans can be amended to included charitable organizations such as ECFA. In most cases, these changes are simpler to accomplish than changing estate plan documents and they can often now be done online.



Most charitable gifts are in the form of cash because they are familiar and straight-forward, but this is often not the most cost-effective way to give. The potential impact of a gift can be increased by donating non-cash assets that have appreciated in value. By donating appreciated assets, the donor avoids paying any capital gains tax. Examples of non-cash assets include stocks, mutual funds, bonds, real estate, business interests and tangible personal property. 



If an individual has an IRA plan, current laws require that at the age of 72, a specified percentage of the funds must be taken out of the IRA each year. This percentage increases each year and income tax must be paid on the withdrawn funds. If, however, some or all of those funds are transferred directly from the IRA custodian to a charitable organization such as ECFA, the transferred funds are not counted as income and are, therefore, not taxed. This donation is called a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). This benefit is available to all IRA holders and not just those who itemize their deductions.

Through ECFA’s partnership with the Barnabas Foundation, ECFA supporters have complimentary access to Biblically-based consultation with Christian estate planners. This partnership enables you to:

  • Understand the options that are available in a manner that is clear and easy to understand

  • Ensure that your will or trust reflects your family and charitable goals

  • Establish a Stewards Fund (donor-advised fund) account to streamline and simplify your giving.


Click on the button below to learn more about the services of the Barnabas Foundation or to schedule a meeting with a Barnabas financial counselor.

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