Helmut Stern & 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. To honor his generous gift in a lasting way, AAACF will rename our legacy society as the Helmut Stern Society for Community Legacy. We also launched the Stern Legacy Challenge, a $2 million initiative that will provide 50% matches for both legacy commitments and gifts to nonprofit funds!

The (Helmut) Stern Legacy Challenge has two components: one is a match for current gifts to nonprofit endowments (50 cents for every dollar received) and the other is an opportunity for people to create a named community impact fund (a permanent endowment pooled with other such funds and distributed as grants across the County) in response to documenting estate plans with AAACF (50 cents for every dollar documented).

Over the coming weeks, we will share more information and relevant documentation related to the Stern Legacy component. In the near term, we will share regular updates on the nonprofit endowment matching funds.

Overview of Structure and Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to the Nonprofit Endowment Fund Challenge

  • Only current, new gifts will be matched. Existing pledge payments or new pledge commitments do not qualify.
  • Gifts will qualify for matching starting August 1 and will be matched as long as funds are available (starting with a half million in match funds). On this Helmut Stern page of the AAACF website, we will share regular updates on the matching funds and announce in advance when the funds are near depletion and also when the match has concluded. We strongly recommend agencies and donors to make gifts to funds very early in this process, as demand appears to be very high.
  • Only gifts to current nonprofit endowment funds existing as of August 1 will qualify for matching. See this list of nonprofit endowment funds.
  • Gifts can be made by check or via a credit card online. We will honor the postmark for checks that are mailed as the date of the gift and the eligibility for matching funds. If we have announced that the match has ended and a check is mailed after the fact, we will not be able to match the funds once depleted.  
  • If you plan to make a gift of appreciated securities, please alert our office right away so we track the gift for timely matching. If we do not learn of a stock gift until it is received, which can sometimes take several days, we may no longer have funds available to match it.
  • Gifts can come from individual donors and a nonprofit organization can also give to its endowment. 
  • The total in matching funds that a nonprofit can receive is $50,000. That total can come from one source or many.
  • The total that one donor can contribute to qualify for matching funds is $100,000 (for a total $50,000 match). The $100K can be directed to one or several nonprofit endowment funds.
  • There is no paperwork needed for the match. AAACF will track all gifts and alert the nonprofit once it has met its $50,000 match, as an organization might not be fully aware of all gifts that are being directed to it. We would hope donors would let a nonprofit know of their intentions in advance, yet some donors may choose to give anonymously and independently to a nonprofit endowment fund.
  • If a nonprofit organization has more than one endowment fund with AAACF, the $50K match total will apply to the organization regardless of whether the funds are to each of its endowment funds or equally allocated.
  • Donors with AAACF Donor-Advised Funds may choose to direct grants from their funds. Contact our office with this request to be sure it is recognized as a grant for the endowment match; please do not request support for the challenge through the DonorView Portal.

Share this page

301 North Main St., Ste. 300   Ann Arbor, MI 48104   (734) 663-0401   Email us   Enews Signup

Give Online   Donor View Login  Trustee & Committee Login