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Washtenaw United: Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation Adapts To COVID-19 Outbreak

Neel Hajra
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation

For more than 50 years, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (AAACF) has been investing in the community with the aim of improving quality of life.  While the coronavirus pandemic hasn’t altered its mission, it has forced some changes in how the foundation decides how and where to apply its philanthropic efforts.  In this week’s "Washtenaw United" conversation, WEMU’s David Fair explores the changing landscape with the CEO of the AAACF, Neel Hajra. 

WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area.  And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services.  It is a community voice.  It is 'Washtenaw United.'



Neel is the CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and has lived in the area his entire life.  As the father of three teenagers, Neel practices philanthropy by day and practices humility on nights and weekends.


Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation


For nearly 100 years, United Way of Washtenaw County has been connecting people, resources and organizations together to create a thriving community for everyone. 

Our intentional partnership with the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation developed more than 10 years ago when leaders came together, along with City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County to envision a better way to fund our community’s vital health & human services, by acting together, removing redundancies in the funding process, and creating a future for philanthropy in Washtenaw County.  Together, as part of the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders, we have provided support for nonprofit programs, capacity building, and have worked to reimagine and foster systems changes to shift the conditions holding problems in place. 

Today, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation and United Way of Washtenaw County’s partnership continues, as AAACF mobilized quickly to provide support and funds to UWWC’s COVID-19 Community Relief Fund as a rapid response to emerging community needs. 

As a community, we are all in this together.  When we stand together as a community, we are all stronger.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him at

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