The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, established in 1963, is dedicated to building endowment to enrich the quality of life in Washtenaw County by providing community leadership, making grants and serving donors. The nonprofit organization manages more than 460 charitable funds.
Neel Hajra is president and CEO, as of Jan. 1, 2015. He previously was the foundation's chief operating officer.
Cheryl Elliott was the former president and CEO, retiring at the end of 2014. She joined the community foundation in 1992 and had filled multiple roles - as program director, youth council advisor, and executive vice president and chief operating officer - before becoming AAACF's president & CEO in 2001.
The foundation's offices are in downtown Ann Arbor on the third floor of 301 N. Main Street.
Jan. 1, 2015: Neel Hajra assumes the role of president and CEO, following Cheryl Elliott's retirement.
September 2014: The AAACF board selected Neel Hajra – the foundation's chief operating officer – to succeed Elliott as CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2015.
May 2013: Launches Cultural Economic Development initiative.
2013: At year-end, the foundation’s assets total $75.5 million. Since 1963, AAACF awarded more than $33 million in grants and scholarships - $3.4 million in 2013.
2005: Establishes second geographic affiliate fund— Community Foundation of Plymouth.
2001: Cheryl Elliott becomes president & CEO of the AAACF, following the retirement of George Cress.
2000: Establishes first affiliate fund— Ypsilanti Area Community Fund.
1998: Provides start-up funding for Neutral Zone.
1994: Establishes African-American Endowment Fund.
1993: Provides start-up funding for Nonprofit Enterprise at Work (NEW Center).
1990: Adds "Community" to the foundation's name.
1990: Establishes first donor-advised fund— The Sarns Ann Arbor Fund.
1989: Provides start-up funding for Community Action Network.
1989: Establishes Youth Council.
1987: Establishes first designated fund— Pioneer High School Endowment Fund.
1987: Provides start-up funding for Young Peoples Theater.
1986: Robert Kerschbaum retires as executive director, after 22 years of service.
1984: Provides start-up funding for Ann Arbor Summer Festival.
1982: Provides start-up funding for Dawn Farm.
1980: Provides start-up funding for Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum.
1978: Provides start-up funding for Packard Community Clinic.
1975: Provides start-up funding for Motor Meals of Ann Arbor.
1972: Provides start-up funding for The Ecology Center.
July 1967: Receives first unrestricted fund— the Margaret B. Cameron Fund.
1964: Robert Kerschbaum, executive director of the United Way, begins serving as volunteer executive director of the foundation.
1963: Incorporates as Ann Arbor Area Foundation. The foundation’s founding members are Jack Hogan, Earl Cress, Joseph Foster, Edward Adams, and William Walz. The foundation is established when assets from a private family foundation were transferred to AAA(C)F. The James & Clarice Foster Fund was established as a field of interest fund to benefit youth. In its first year, the foundation's assets totaled $59,018. Two grants totaling $6,291 were awarded.
1962: The board of the Washtenaw United Fund researches the feasibility of establishing a broad purpose community foundation that could serve local community needs. Unlike private foundations, a community foundation would operate as a “public trust” - receiving broad public support from donors throughout the community.
In the News
Nonprofit arts and culture sector has $100M impact on Ann Arbor economy (Report from April 30, 2015 AAACF annual meeting) – MLive, May 1, 2015
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation's Matching Gift Program "Give Local" – 107.1 FM, May 6, 2014
The Domino Effect: The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation – Concentrate, Nov. 9, 2011
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation to invest in Ypsilanti – Mark Maynard blog, October 2008
2013-2014 Board of Trustees
Bhushan Kulkarni, Chair – GDI Infotech, Inc. and InfoReady Corporation
Michelle Crumm, Vice Chair – MiPlace, LLC
Brian P. Campbell, Treasurer – Campbell Industries
Jennifer R. Poteat, Secretary – attorney
Rose B. Bellanca – president, Washtenaw Community College
George E. Borel, CPA – Rehmann
Cynthia L. Cattran, CPA – Rehmann
Ann S. Davis – Chelsea Community Hospital
Marie Deveney – attorney, Dykema
Jeff Hauptman – Oxford Companies
Robert Laverty – retired healthcare executive
Nancy Margolis – Community Activist
Frederick L. McDonald II – The Scroll Companies, LLC
Matt Orringer – Youth Council Trustee, Skyline High School, 2015
Paul Schutt – Issue Media Group
Kevin Thompson – IBM
Levi T. Thompson – University of Michigan College of Engineering
Chris Vaughan, CPA – Retired
2008 board of trustees
Deborah Beuche, Chair Community Leader
Jyoti Gupta, Secretary Community Leader
David Sarns, Treasurer Community Leader
Rebecca Boylan Community Leader
Frank Cambria Community Leader
Martha Darling The Boeing Company (Retired)
Molly Resnik, M.S.W Community Activist
Dr. Levi Thompson University of Michigan, College of Engineering