"Unrestricted" for Maximum Community Impact

Giving unrestricted support does not mean 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.

Helmut Stern's Legacy

We believe Helmut Stern gave to the community through the AAACF because we serve the entire community and can distribute support broadly, flexibly, and forever. As a savvy business leader, he 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 and Helmut's unrestricted gift is reflective of his intent to give back to his community in the ultimate sense.

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! The majority of Helmut’s $16.2 million gift is being established as a permanent endowed fund—the Helmut Stern Community Legacy Fund—that will be distributed in perpetuity through annual competitive grants and support for nonprofits. To inspire others to leave a legacy of community impact, another $2 million of his gift is distributed through two matches, both honoring the intentions of endowment, broad community impact, and philanthropy in perpetuity:

Helmut Stern lead a life of a true American success story and had a profound impact on the lives of many. Read more about his amazing story.