The story of ELFEC began in the mid-1990s, when the Eastern Synod of the ELCIC began looking into ways to encourage its members to make planned gifts to the church. At that time the Synod considered, but ultimately rejected, the idea of creating a separate charitable foundation. Lutheran Planned Giving (LPG) began operations on January 1, 1997. Even in the early days, a few congregations began inquiring about the possibility of pooling their investment assets with those belonging to the Eastern Synod, but the Synod lacked the corporate power to accept assets from others for investment purposes. The question of a foundation lay dormant for almost ten years.
In 2006 a report prepared for the Synod explored the feasibility of establishing a foundation. In that same year the report’s conclusions were presented to the biennial Eastern Synod Assembly, and a motion gave approval to proceed with the necessary steps.
ELFEC was incorporated under federal legislation in late 2006 and registered by the Canada Revenue Agency as a public charitable foundation in 2007. The board of directors did the necessary preliminary work so that, on January 1, 2008, the Eastern Synod could transfer most of its investment portfolio to the new foundation. ELFEC began managing a significant asset base on that date.
By 2009 ELFEC was ready to accept transfers of assets from other parties. Two congregations entered into partner fund agreements by the middle of that year. Ten years later, ELFEC has established over 30 additional funds with both congregations, individuals and families, bringing our assets under management to over $40 million.