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The Endowment Fund: Giving Ethics a Permanent Future

In 2010, the board voted to place $30,000 of its original funding into an endowment fund. Stewardship of our fund has been given over to the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF). We chose the Foundation for two reasons. First, AAACF staff believed in from its very beginnings. Second, as an established and well-regarded local area organization, the Foundation has an extraordinary knowledge of and an abiding interest in doing well for the people we know as our neighbors. 

Why an Endowment?  

Not everyone thinks nonprofit endowments are a common ethical good. Some critics contend an endowment prevents groups from using scarce funds for immediate, and sometimes, urgent needs. This is a powerful argument: it is difficult to put money away for the future when there are current bills to pay. Further, is a new kind of organization whose mission is to introduce an ethics lens into our thinking about communitywide practices and policies. No doubt, we could use current funds to roll out several new programs and events every month, given our nimbleness and the numerous inventive ideas we routinely think up to make ethics matter in our public lives. A few of these ideas, we have to admit however, are impractical and without merit. Or just plain daft. Thus, staying lean operationally, affords us creative frugality and fiscal prudence, both ethical ideas that encourage us to focus carefully on those inventive programs and events that are useful and best for fulfilling our mission. Endowment as an Ethical Will

The Endowment Fund may be one of the best ideas we have carefully acted on so far. We are small, but have every reason to trust that, with perseverance and local support, can become a community institution.

Not only does an endowment signal that expects our vision to last. Having an endowment is a form of loyalty to everyone who believes in our goals, and has contributed in some way to our work in giving diverse ethics voices a permanent place in discussions about our community's future.

The endowment is our ethical will. It gives us the freedom to think about the values we want to pass on, while leaving the next generation free to decide on their own lasting values.

Giving to the Endowment

We encourage you to contribute to our Endowment. For more information, please:

1. Go to the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation website for the Endowment Fund giving page.

2. Contact President, Jeanine DeLay, at [email protected].


Thank you very much for your decision to support