Membership is open to founding entrepreneurs and CEOs dedicated full-time to their high-growth companies and to investors in such companies. Members commit a small portion (typically 1%) of either company equity, personal equity in their company, annual company profits or in the case of investors, their investment carry. These commitments are designated to a “community impact fund” at the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation that generates a permanent stream of charitable grants for local nonprofits. In addition, members often make an optional $125 contribution to support A2EF.

No. The pledge form is the first step in your intention to give back to your community and we will provide you the tools and support you need to fulfill your commitment. If you have pledged company equity via a warrant agreement, this will be legally binding, but until there is an exit event, the warrant has no value. We encourage you to track your impact so you can share your story with your employers, investors, peers and the community. 

Yes, co-founders can commit 1% in total for A2EF membership.

We hope all pledging companies have a successful exit, but understand that may not be the case. If you have pledged via a warrant, until there is an exit event, the warrant has no value. This means A2EF cannot contribute cash on your behalf to support the community, but you are not on the hook for a donation.

Typically, acquisition agreements include some form of purchase offer to existing shareholders. A2EF will accommodate the acquisition process however we are able and 100% of the value will be passed onto the community impact fund, generating a permanent stream of grants for local nonprofits.

Steering Committee members commit equity, profit or carry to A2EF. They also serve as a central advisory group in developing A2EF’s core activities and use their time and resources to help grow the A2EF network and support new members in giving back to the community.

The Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund is a permanent charitable fund that will produce grants for local nonprofits in perpetuity. As the fund grows, the scale of the annual grantmaking will grow with it. The purpose of the fund mirrors the mission of the foundation: to enrich the quality of life in Washtenaw County. AAACF board and staff will determine on an annual basis how to maximize the impact of grants from this fund through one or more of its central grantmaking programs in areas such as:

  • Health and human services
  • Housing and homelessness
  • Youth, families and seniors
  • Racial equity
  • Arts and culture
  • Environmental and animal welfare

The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) is a local charitable nonprofit community foundation that stewards over $140 million in charitable assets, grants millions of dollars every year to Washtenaw County nonprofits, and can help interested entrepreneurs become effective philanthropists. Because AAACF specializes in permanent funds and community philanthropy, this platform also ensures long-term sustainability for the A2EF initiative.

Membership in A2EF is open to all geographies; however, the permanent Ann Arbor Entrepreneurs Fund will exclusively support work in Washtenaw County and most community discussions will be rooted in local issues. Should this initiative expand beyond Washtenaw County, AAACF would help identify other philanthropic platforms that could serve a similar role on behalf of other communities.

Member contributions help support event-related costs (refreshments and venues) and some of the administrative expenses associated with A2EF so we can sustain and grow the program.

Yes, any contributions to A2EF, including Member or Steering Committee contributions, are currently deemed to be 100% charitable. You will receive written acknowledgement from AAACF regarding your donation. Should this change in the future (based on changes in how contributions are utilized), AAACF will give you advance notice. Because your ability to deduct charitable gifts depends on many factors unique to your circumstances, always consult with a tax expert.