The ERF was founded as an interdisciplinary group of young scholars in the field of ecumenism and mission studies. It has no status as a registered association and is dependent on sponsors. Because the annual meetings are prepared in voluntary work the costs can be kept low.
The annual meetings have been able to take place thanks to donations from different (regional) churches and institutions.
In 2015 the ERF was sponsored by
Ev. Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung
Ev.-luth. Landeskirche Hannovers
Ev. Kirche im Rheinland
Schweizerischer Ev. Kirchenbund
Ev. Kirche in Hessen und Nassau
Ev.-luth. Kirche in Norddeutschland
The Mission Academy of the University of Hamburg accomodates, supports and goes the way with the ERF in a very generous way since 1999.