The Joe and Carol Stoebner family of Eden Prairie – longtime supporters of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation – started a donor-advised fund called The Michelle Fund to honor Joe and Carol’s first child. The fund was started under the umbrella of the Community Foundation, which Joe once led as board chair.
Here is Joe’s March 2014 description of how The Michelle Fund came to be:
“Our first child, Michelle, was born more than 40 years ago and only lived a few days before passing away prematurely. It was a traumatic experience for first-time parents. We buried our sorrow with her, and held on to that wound without talking much about it at
“This past year, with the help of a professional counselor, we decided to bring back the memory of Michelle by honoring her brief life with a special fund to help parents that may experience a similar event. We have asked our two living children, Tamara and Jeffrey, along with our seven grandchildren, to participate by contributing to and designating special gifts for groups that deal with similar special needs.
“We have chosen the Eden Prairie Community Foundation to serve as facilitator of The Michelle Fund because we are confident that they have the resources to help us with this important family project.”
The Community Foundation thanks the Stoebners for starting this donor-advised fund and for sharing the story of its origination.
Donor-advised funds are one way to engage a family in philanthropy. If you would like more information about what these funds are, and how they work, please contact us at (952) 949-8499.