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Unrestricted Means Maximum Community Impact!

We believe Helmut gave to the community through the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) because we serve the entire community and can distribute support broadly, flexibly, and forever. We believe his unrestricted gift is reflective of his intent to give back to his community in the ultimate sense.

A savvy business leader, we believe Helmut Stern understood the importance of unrestricted philanthropy. In business, commercial investors generally empower a company’s leadership to internally direct investment capital for maximum impact. Philanthropy can similarly maximize impact through this investment mindset.

Giving unrestricted support does not mean that there is no accountability! Unrestricted support maintains broad accountability while providing the ultimate flexibility for an organization to achieve its mission—with AAACF, this is expressed through grantmaking that is broad, diverse and constantly adapting to an evolving community. We term our unrestricted funds as Community Impact Funds for this reason. Our competitive grantmaking comprises dozens of such named permanent funds that are collectively pooled for greater impact and distributed as a percentage annually to nonprofit grantees determined by a committee of community volunteers.

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