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Grants & Scholarships

We support local community nonprofits on innovative and effective solutions to community-wide issues. We are also dedicated to supporting college education for local students.

Competitive Grants

Funding from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation is awarded to nonprofit organizations through competitive grant cycles. Our grant programs are based on extensive research on national grantmaking practices and local community needs, as well as the philanthropic priorities of our donors.

For example, our Community Grantmaking Program is focuses on three priorities:

  • Rewarding the success of impactful nonprofits through unrestricted general operating support
  • Helping nonprofits build their capacity
  • Encouraging innovative “bold ideas”


Scholarships are available to local students to support their college education. We are committed to providing impactful and meaningful support to help students earn their degrees. AAACF's Community Scholarship Program supports students from low-income families; students of color; and first-generation college students. We also honor the legacies of many other scholarship programs created prior to the Community Scholarship.

Applications open in January of each year, and additional information can be found in our Scholarship Resources & How to Apply. To learn about establishing a new fund within the Community Scholarship Program, please contact Shelley Strickland.

Other Community Investments

Nonprofit Endowments

AAACF holds endowments for more than 115 nonprofits, working in partnership with these organizations. Because AAACF has the administrative expertise to manage and steward all aspects of the endowment, each nonprofit can focus on carrying out its mission.

Endowments provide a way for nonprofits to diversify their funding and build capital for the future. Nonprofits can establish endowments, and so can donors—as current or planned gifts.

Loyal annual supporters of an organization can consider a planned gift—a gift made through your estate—as a way to ensure annual giving to your favorite nonprofit continues in perpetuity. For example, a $20,000 estate gift approximates an $800 check each year!

Charitable Gift Annuities

In 2016, AAACF made great progress on efforts to expand its services to Washtenaw County organizations and donors. With funding from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, AAACF formally launched its Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) program. A CGA provides a simple and accessible way for donors to receive life-income and to support a nonprofit endowment. Interested in learning more? Contact us for a personalized conversation.

Nonprofit Loan Fund

With $500,000 in support from the Revolver Fund, AAACF has also been exploring ways to expand its Nonprofit Loan Fund, providing another avenue for our nonprofit partners to access capital. Impact investing represents a range of efforts to realize both a social and financial return.

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