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.

AAACF logo.

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.

1977: Provides start-up funding for SafeHouse. Provides grant for Ozone House to renovate newly acquired home.

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

Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation launches Cultural Economic Development initiative – MLive, May 1, 2013

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. PoteatSecretary – 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

Link to board biographies on AAACF website.


2008 board of trustees

Deborah Beuche, Chair Community Leader

Hugh Morgan, Vice Chair Black Mountain Construction

Jyoti Gupta, Secretary Community Leader

David Sarns, Treasurer Community Leader

Rebecca Boylan Community Leader

Frank Cambria Community Leader

Martha Darling The Boeing Company (Retired)

Michael Finney Ann Arbor SPARK

Gary Hahn Pierce & Hahn, Attorneys-at-Law

Bhushan Kulkarni GDI Infotech, Inc.

Alex Perlman Youth Council Member, Huron High School - 2009

John W. Reed University of Michigan Law School

Molly Resnik, M.S.W Community Activist

Dr. Levi Thompson University of Michigan, College of Engineering

Marc Weiser RPM Ventures, LLC

Web site