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Honoring Helmut Stern's Community Legacy

Please check back for additional details in the coming weeks on the Stern Legacy Challenge.

Helmut Stern loved the Ann Arbor area, and he chose to give back to his community in a powerful and lasting way through a $16.2 million unrestricted gift!

Everyone associated with the Community Foundation is incredibly moved by and grateful for this extraordinary testament to the community. We announced his gift publicly for the first time at our 2018 Annual Community Meeting because our Board carefully deliberated on several ways to honor his amazing tribute to this community.

The Board wants to incentivize others to follow Helmut Stern’s example and make legacy plans and also to challenge others to support local nonprofits as Stern did. To honor his generous gift in a lasting way, AAACF will rename our legacy society as the Helmut Stern Society for Community Legacy. As we promote giving back to the community through estate contributions at all levels, we will celebrate Helmut’s generosity as well as tell the stories of others who have shaped this community through the years, such as James & Clarice Foster, who made the first bequest and major gift to the Community Foundation in 1963. 

We also announced the Stern Legacy Challenge at the Annual Community Meeting. This $2 million initiative will provide 50% matches for both legacy commitments and gifts to nonprofit funds! When you document a planned or legacy gift with the Community Foundation—whether it’s ideally unrestricted for broad community impact or for a fund dedicated to a cause or to a specific nonprofit—we will provide a 50% match of that projected gift value up to $50,000 per donor. This match, in recognition of Stern’s unrestricted example, will be in the form of a community impact fund in your name (or someone else you want to honor). For current gifts to funds dedicated to specific nonprofits, the Community Foundation will match those funds at 50% up to $50,000 per nonprofit fund. 

Look for more details in the coming weeks!

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