The Eden Area Foundation was created as the result of a planned gift to Eden United Church of Christ. In the mid-1990s, the church accepted bequests from Gordon Oliver and Alden Oliver, who directed that the funds “be used for local church purposes.” In 1999, after an ongoing process of prayerful discernment, Eden Church created the Eden Area Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and transferred a substantial portion of the bequest to the Foundation in order to create a permanent endowment of charitable funds to benefit the Eden Area.
The objective of the Eden Area Foundation’s stewardship and development of these philanthropic funds is to carry out donors’ wishes by serving the following purposes:
- To support Christian outreach programs for the welfare of the local community;
- To exercise such stewardship in ways that promote Christian principles, demonstrate Christian compassion in the community, and enliven Eden Church itself.
Since 2003 the Foundation has granted over $2.5 million to local organizations serving children and youth, people in need, and community relations in the Eden Area. In 2012, the Foundation created a Planned Giving Ministry to encourage local residents to remember the Eden Area Foundation in their wills and trust. Planned gifts to the Foundation will be invested with the Foundation’s charitable endowment, increasing the amount available for annual grant-making to local community organizations.