The Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation (the “Educational Foundation”), a nonprofit corporation founded in 1990, is excited to announce a transition that will preserve and enhance its mission to raise private donations in support of educational excellence for Ann Arbor Public Schools students. After careful deliberations over the past year, which included extensive conversations with Educational Foundation stakeholders and community leaders, the Educational Foundation concluded that its mission will be best served by transitioning its assets and its work to a collaborative partnership with the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF, a philanthropic nonprofit institution) and the Ann Arbor Public Schools (AAPS). The move will mean that the Educational Foundation will cease operations as an independent nonprofit organization. “The Educational Foundation has always been driven by the hardworking volunteers and generous donors who have given their time and resources to enhance the experience of Ann Arbor Public Schools students. The execution of this plan will allow us to maximize these efforts to ensure permanent philanthropic support both today and in future generations. In addition to significantly lowering administrative overhead, this transition will preserve three core essential elements of our organization: the ability of individuals and companies to support AAPS through private charitable gifts, permanent stewardship of all charitable funds that have already been established to benefit AAPS, and the grant making activities of the Educational Foundation,” says Dan Schairbaum, Chair of the Educational Foundation Board of Directors, himself a proud AAPS graduate and parent of three AAPS students.

AAACF has assumed stewardship of all permanent charitable funds previously managed by the Educational Foundation. To ensure continuity, AAACF will form an advisory committee, which will be comprised primarily of former Educational Foundation board members and officers, who will advise AAACF on competitive grants programs that will benefit the students and teachers of AAPS. “As a half-century old organization managing $135 million in assets, we’re excited to leverage our scale and our expertise in both endowment and grant making to continue the Educational Foundation’s legacy,” says Neel Hajra, AAACF’s CEO, also a proud AAPS graduate and parent of three AAPS students.

Additionally, the transition strengthens and builds upon an existing partnership between AAACF and AAPS. The foundation and school District will collaborate on several scholarship programs previously managed by the Educational Foundation that benefit AAPS students. AAPS staff will be actively involved in administering, publicizing, and identifying candidates for these scholarships that seek to enrich students’ educational experiences while at AAPS and in college. AAPS and AAACF will also actively coordinate with donors interested in investing in the success of AAPS students and teachers, building upon the considerable charitable assets AAACF has already been administering for decades on behalf of AAPS. “The Ann Arbor Public Schools has long benefited from the generous support of our community on behalf of children. We are excited to continue and enhance these fundraising efforts through the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and its many connections in the future.” said Dr. Jeanice Swift, Superintendent for AAPS.

Dan Schairbaum adds “At the end of the day, this transition is not about the formal structure of our organization. It’s about the enduring mission to support the educational experience of AAPS students through philanthropy. We firmly believe that this plan significantly increases the potential for doing just that.”

For more information, please contact:

  • Dan Schairbaum, Chair, Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation, at 734-330-7177;
  • Neel Hajra, CEO, Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, at 734-663-0401;
  • Andrew Cluley, Director of Communications at Ann Arbor Public Schools, at 734-997-3621.