Community Foundation Fund
An Affiliated Fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation
DONATE NOW, CLICK HERE! - SEE NEW COVID-19 ACCOUNT TAB ON YOUR LEFT
INVESTING IN THE PEOPLE OF NEBRASKA CITY SINCE 2000
Two Decades of Donating
20+ Years of Investing in People
Click on the "News & Events" tab to see the latest updates involving NCCFF.
CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF GIVING! Watch it here: PURE NEBRASKA
Also check out our 4-Minute video explaining why our donors invest in people: Invest in Nebraska City
Contact us to learn more or click on "Donate Now On-Line" to make any sized donation to NCCFF. Your donation will make a difference!
WHY GIVE? Donors to the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund help create a culture of giving throughout the community and invest in people to develop in them the knowledge, skills, abilities, leadership and commitment necessary to ensure that Nebraska City is a thriving and vibrant regional leader - a historic and progressive community that welcomes, retains and engages visitors, residents and businesses.
The Fund Advisory Committee ensures that donations make meaningful and lasting impact in the community by:
Providing ways for donors with many charitable interests to give back to the community or leave a legacy;
Building permanent endowment funds to enable quick responses to changing needs;
Working with community groups to respond to community needs and opportunities.
LEARN ABOUT THE FUND:
The purpose of the Account is to raise funds to support the work of community-based organizations to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the community/region and vulnerable community members. Activities of governmental entities and 501(c)(3) entities to be funded may include, but are not limited to:
– Assisting schools with the technology needed for remote learning
– Providing food assistance for families whose children who may have relied on school programs for meals
– Addressing the immediate needs of economically vulnerable populations caused by lost work, closures, and cancellations related to COVID-19
– Addressing the immediate needs of vulnerable elderly populations who may be at high risk due to COVID-19
– Addressing increased demand for medical information and support, including mental health support
– Addressing fear and confusion about the pandemic among the community’s most vulnerable residents, including those with limited English language proficiency
– Community resilience as recovery from the pandemic proceeds
The funding priorities for the Account may evolve as the community adapts to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Melissa Turner featured on Pure Nebraska 10/11 Now discussing COVID-19 Fund.
As funds around the state respond to COVID-19 pandemic issues, 10/11 Now's "Pure Nebraska" program interviewed several leaders, including NCCFF Fund Advisory Member Melissa Turner about how Nebraska City is helping seniors stay in touch with loved ones. Click the video button below to take a look.
PLANNED GIVING CHALLENGE
SUPPORT THE NEXT GENERATION OF LEADERS - - - HELP SECURE NEBRASKA CITY'S FUTURE.
LEAVE A LEGACY.
FREE WILLS GUIDE
Request your FREE Wills Guide NOW. Click the image to the left or the link below.
An estimated 70% of American adults have either no will or their will is outdated. Planning for the future is easier than you think and 2020 is the perfect time to get started. Nebraska Community Foundation’s FREE Wills Guide will guide you through the process. Download an easy to use, fill-in-the-blank booklet that can help you organize all the information you’ll need to plan your legacy.
JOIN THE CLUB, RECEIVE A WINDMILL
Make a planned gift to the community through our fund and you will receive a "Windmill" recognition award.
Four new “Windmill” donors were honored during the 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting in 2020. Paul and Mary Stevenson, Stacie Higgins and Denise Davis were lauded for setting up planned gifts for NCCFF in their estates. “It's a way for us to give back to the community who supported us by being our employers and our customers throughout our careers," said Mary Stevenson as she received her "thank you" recognition.
Overview of Scholarship Program
If you have questions about our non-traditional scholarship program, please click the button below for more info.
This button will open a .pdf file with an explanation of the purpose and criteria for the program.
Fund Avisory Committee
We invite you to contact one or more of the members of the Fund Advisory Committee (FAC) if you have questions or ideas as to how we might expand the scope of our services for the benefit of our community.
EX-OFFICIO VOLUNTEERS: C. Scott VanderVeen (Planned Gifts); David Partsch (Governance); Erv Friesen (Historian); Kathy Nelson (Scholarships Chair); Joyce Turner (Scholarships); Dr. Paul Madison (Grant Dev. & NCF Board of Directors)
YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE PRESIDENT: Luke Partsch
YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE MENTORS: Jason McNeely
Harry & Grace Moller
Mrs. Grace Moller left $500,000 in her will to the Nebraska Community Foundation Fund to be administered for the benefit of the library through an endowed account.
The Account's earnings generate $20-30K each year for the Library - and will forever. In addition to making those grants the Account has grown to over $1,000,000 in 2020, so the annual grants available continue to increase.
Leadership & Youth
LEADERSHIP NEBRASKA CITY continues to thrive as it successfully builds relationships and encourages community involvement and active hope. In 2019-20, Class #15 began learning about our community - as they also learn about themselves.
YOUTH ADVISORY COMMITTEE began taking iPads to the nursing homes in 2014 and working with the elderly on learning how they can use technology to communicate with loved ones. Their 2018-19 project included a lot of leadership training, taking a lesson from LNC! See "News and Events" section below for more info.
Health and Recreation
A group of young people formed an organization and established the Skate Park Account to raise money to fund the building of a Skate Park for Nebraska City youth. They raised nearly $130,000 in donations and grants, which have aided in the completion of the Skate Park in Steinhart Park.
The Wildwood Dog Park was established through a hard-working group of committed volunteers that raised money to establish this much needed play area for dog owners. A great addition to our already wonderful park areas!
Those involved in the Baseball Fund haven’t slowed down since they established their Account. They not only have kept the American Legion Baseball program alive and well but they have also funded renovating the fields and building a concession stand at Steinhart Park.
Each year the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund offers scholarships to nontraditional students that reside or are employed in the Nebraska City area. These scholarships are directed to adults who are enhancing their careers through education with a focus on staying in or moving to Nebraska City. Many of these students would not be able to better their education without the assistance of our donors. THANK YOU! A link for the scholarship applications is on our site below - keep scrolling.
The Greater Nebraska Science and Engineering Fair Committee achieved its own 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in 2017 and transitioned into its own charitable entity. We are excited about seeing the entity continue to develop and provide outstanding science competition experiences for youth.
Ways of Giving
Note: If you donate on-line, when making a payment for annual dues the deposit should be designated to the General Account.
Can I designate how my donation will be used?
You may designate a specific Account for your donations. Funds donated to the Unrestricted Endowment Account will remain in that fund with investment income generated will be designated by the Fund Advisory Committee for projects within the community focusing on investing in the people of Nebraska City.
Does the donation have to be cash?
No. In fact, there may be some definite advantages in making donations in forms other than cash. Donations may be made in the form of gifts of agriculture commodities, an insurance policy beneficiary designation, a will or trust provision, or donation of appreciated assets. Through some of these means, you may even donate money to the community while receiving income from the funds for the remainder of your life!
Who can I talk to for more information on the kinds of Accounts available and how different types of donations might benefit me?
You may contact any of the Fund Advisory Committee members. They will either answer your questions or refer you to an individual with expertise in the area. Through the Fund's affiliation with the Nebraska Community Foundation, there are many resources available to ensure that your gift is structured properly to meet your intent.
How do I become an Annual Giver?
Annual Givers follow a minimum recommended donation of $100 per year per individual, $150 per family and $100 for non-profit organizations. A sliding schedule applies to businesses, depending upon the number of employees. Annual donations are counted and applied on a fiscal year basis with June 30th being the end of the fiscal year. A lifetime membership is available for a one-time $1500 donation to the General Account.
How will the Annual Giver donations be used?
These donors help us fund nontraditional scholarships and also cover the operating expenses of the foundation so that other donations and revenue generated from their investment will be available for community improvements.
News & Events
See what we're up to!
2020 NCHS graduate Erik Rodriguez is NCCFF’s summer intern.
2020 Nebraska City High School graduate Erik Rodriguez is the first ever summer intern for the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund. Erik is one of only 13 high school graduates in Nebraska to assume an internship with a hometown non-profit foundation under the auspices of the Nebraska Community Foundation, headquartered in Lincoln.
As a summer intern, Rodriguez will work with the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund to assist with the Missoula Children’s Theatre event, coordinate efforts with the Omaha Conservatory and help establish the Dream Switch Project in Nebraska City. He will also be tasked to discover and document the assets and abundance of his homeplace. Rodriguez will help facilitate conversations with Nebraska City residents regarding these assets and opportunities and will co-create opportunities to mobilize these local assets to increase community quality of life.
“I think Nebraska City's greatest asset is the citizens themselves,” Rodriguez said.
“During these perplexing times, people have their morale down,” he continued. “However, with creativity, we can achieve anything.” He pointed out that the NCCFF and the citizens of Nebraska City found a way to get creative and social by doing these Saturday night cruises. Rodriguez will take an active role in the promotion of these cruising events, which have been described by some as “arguably the biggest cruising event in Nebraska.”
“Every Saturday night is unique and a fun experience to join in,” Rodriguez enthused.
“If I had the ability to do one thing to improve life in Nebraska City, it would be to open more facilities that are geared towards the younger generation,” he said. “I have three younger brothers, all with different interests and ideologies. But they have one thing in common -- the need of a recreation center.”
In the fall, Rodriguez will return to Doane University in Crete, NE where he is studying Music Education. His goal is to acquire a teaching position while pursuing a master’s degree in music education.
"I am thrilled to have Erik back in our community for the summer,” said Foundation Advisory Council member Stacie Higgins. “Erik's passion for his home, for learning and for the arts will be a gift to our town."
“Connecting young people to opportunities in their hometowns is critical to Nebraska’s people attraction efforts,” said Jeff Yost, president and CEO of Nebraska Community Foundation. “Thirteen bright, young and ambitious Nebraskans will return to their communities for the summer and while I am certain they will gain invaluable learning experiences, we also have much to learn from these students about what they are looking for in the places they ultimately decide to call home.”
Fund Working to Narrow Homework Gap in the Face of COVID-19
If one thing has been made clear to Nebraska City educators during the current COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closings it is not all local students have access to technology or Wi-Fi. Taking classes via the internet is not working for everyone.
To help narrow this current gap in internet learning ability, the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund (NCCFF) was just awarded $17,785 by an anonymous donor and the Alice DeVoe Donor-Advised Fund, an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation. These funds are earmarked to assist students in Nebraska City Public Schools and Lourdes Central Catholic Schools to have better access to educational materials and classes in their homes for summer reading programs and remote learning opportunities when school resumes next fall.
This funding opportunity was offered exclusively to Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF) affiliated funds across the state and requires a 1:1 local funding match. The local match will be made from the NCCFF’s recently established Relief and Recovery account, bringing the total funds for this important project to $35,570.
Ninety new iPads and Chromebooks will be provided to students needing a personal learning device. Software will be purchased enabling teachers to address reading skill gaps and student-specific resources for individual and small group instruction. Additional internet access and wi-fi spots will be provided for students who do not have access at home.
“The homework gap has long existed, but COVID-19 has exacerbated the divide between Nebraska students,” said Jeff Yost, president & CEO of Nebraska Community Foundation. “We are in awe of the ways NCF affiliated funds, such as the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund, are responding and bringing their communities together to both meet essential needs and solve complex and complicated challenges. “
“NCPS will be able to purchase additional devices so each student in grades 3 to 5 will have their own personal device. Additional replacement devices will be available for middle school students who are using Chromebooks that are five years old.”, said Stacie Higgins, school board member, Nebraska City Public Schools.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to expand our reading program into the summer months to help bridge the reading gap for our students. Thank you for investing in our students in our local communities,” said Curt Feilmeier, Principal, Lourdes Central Catholic School.
“Our community is blessed with so many people who are working hard to negotiate through these unprecedented times,” said Doug Friedli, member of NCCFF. “I am pleased that our community foundation could provide some resources to solve some important local needs.”
In total, more than $263,000 was granted to NCF affiliated funds that will benefit 31 schools statewide. “We are so grateful to the anonymous donor and the Alice DeVoe Donor-Advised Fund for their generosity and vision,” said Yost. “This is going to make a tremendous difference in the lives of many, many Greater Nebraskans.”
Reflection: Challenge Grant Continues Fulfilling NCCFF Mission
Reflecting on the 20-year history of the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund, we asked several people if there was any one event that clearly shaped the future of this non-profit organization and perhaps clearly defined the path of its success. Several longtime NCCFF supporters and co-founders were asked to reflect on what they perceived to be pivotal moments for this strong, hometown non-profit. What did they see as an event or action that propelled the NCCFF forward, making it the strong and effective organization it is today, touching the lives of thousands of Nebraska City residents?
While several events were mentioned, one repeatedly rose to the surface --- the NCCFF’s participation in the Sherwood Challenge Grant to grow the Fund’s unrestricted endowment. Erv Friesen, former FAC Chair and member from 2009 to 2018, believes achieving the Sherwood Challenge campaign goal was the pivotal moment in the NCCFF’s 20-year history. Mr. Friesen chaired this endowment campaign.
The mission of the Sherwood Foundation of Omaha is to promote equity through social justice initiatives enhancing the quality of life in Nebraska. Its challenge was this: If the NCCFF could raise $500,000 on its own over a four-year period starting in 2012, the Sherwood Foundation would give this non-profit $250,000 to go into an unrestricted endowment. This $750,000 increase would provide long-term funding for the NCCFF’s goal of “investing in people” in Nebraska City. The NCCFF was proud to be one of the first four hometown community foundations in Nebraska to be given this Sherwood Challenge.
While this represented a momentous task, it was an offer the NCCFF simply couldn’t refuse. “We decided to accept the challenge,” Friesen said. “Back in 2009, we had set a lofty goal of building a $1 million endowment in 10 years. We saw Sherwood’s matching grant as a way to reach that goal.”
With that decision made, FAC members immediately tackled this daunting four-year endeavor. They set intermediate financial goals as well as a goal to have 250 donors.
“We (the FAC members) did a great job of attending the meetings, making the calls, organizing events and, in short, doing whatever was asked of us,” Friesen said. “It seems like we really had a purpose and were determined to meet the goal.” He noted that along the way, the FAC members made many personal sacrifices of time and effort. They received a great deal of peer learning hosted by the Nebraska Community Foundation and the Sherwood Foundation. “We learned a lot and NCCFF became a better organization because of it.”
Judge David Partsch, former FAC Chair and a member from 2008-2017, recalled what it felt like to undertake this challenge. “Boy! Were we uncomfortable having to think about raising major donations!” But he said the FAC members rose to the challenge. “People stepped out of their comfort zones in order to start sharing the vision and ASKING for money. We learned there are many cheerful givers in the community, but they need to be asked to give.” Judge Partsch said another thing the FAC learned was explaining WHY the endowment would be important.
Doug Friedli, an NCCFF founder, former FAC Chair and member since 2000, also considers the four years spent achieving the Sherwood Challenge to be a pivotal moment for this non-profit.
“The meetings with our peers from other Nebraska communities who are part of the Nebraska Community Foundation network gave us the courage and support to walk down a path of an unknown future,” Friedli said. “Gathering events with community members and prospective donors generated wonderful conversations about the needs and opportunities in Nebraska City. Relationships of trust and open communication were started that continue to deepen each preceding year.”
According to Scott VanderVeen, CPA, also a founder, former FAC chair and member from 2000 to 2016, the Sherwood Challenge “created a common goal, a sense of urgency to complete.”
“It gave us a ‘win’ and gave us huge takeaways in knowledge and learning for our group,” VanderVeen said. “It started out to be about the money and ended up being more about building ‘social capital’ in our community.”
Everyone we interviewed praised the 258 donors and families who generously shared their treasure to make this endowment dream a reality. “We are extremely grateful for the commitment of so many to invest in the future of Nebraska City,” Friedli stated.
After four years of hard work and unbounded enthusiasm, Friesen said the FAC members collected donations exceeding the $500,000 challenge. “So the Sherwood Foundation granted us $250,000,” he said. The NCCFF’s unrestricted endowment, which was first established in 2003, grew to over $800,000 with this $750,000 addition. With current payouts of $45,000 released every year, the endowment continues to drive the many grant-making endeavors of this hometown non-profit.
Projects and programs in the Nebraska City community have already benefited from this endowment. Thousands of citizens will continue to benefit from the significant Sherwood Challenge fund-raising campaign for decades to come. In fact, the NCCFF will most likely still be talking about the Sherwood Challenge when it celebrates its 50th Anniversary thirty years from now!
Expert Guidance; Auditing Services; & More!
AFFILIATION WITH NEBRASKA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION PROVIDES GREAT BENEFITS
Benefits of Affiliation
The Funds' affiliation with the Nebraska Community Foundation offers a number of benefits that balance local, Nebraska City, control with professional management services and economies of scale:
Access to NCF’s tax-exempt, Sec. 501(c)(3) status, allows donors to take a tax deduction for contributions. NCF issues charitable receipts conforming to IRS standards.
Local Control with Expert Compliance Oversight
Locally selected Fund Advisory Committee members make the decisions about how the Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund's charitable dollars are spent. NCF in Lincoln has a legal responsibility for all funds entrusted with it to ensure that funds are used consistent with provisions of IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) and in compliance with donor intent. A local foundation would have the same legal responsibilities.
Financial and Administrative Services
Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund has access to NCF’s financial and administrative services. NCF has the sole responsibility for all day-to-day financial activities, including recording contributions; making disbursements; cash management; preparing and filing IRS Form 990; obtaining an audit of its financial statements by an independent CPA firm and issuing the fund’s financial reports. Our endowed accounts can invest in one of two investment portfolios designed for nonprofits and offered by NCF’s investment advisor, the Omaha office of Westwood Trust.
National Standards (Integrity & Accountability)
NCF has received recognition for having organizational and financial practices that are in compliance with National Standards established by the Council on Foundations. This demonstrates NCF’s integrity and accountability to donors.
Peer Learning Network
NCF uses peer learning to help build community capacity and leadership. NCF facilitates peer-learning opportunities on many relevant topics to help our own Nebraska City leaders become more skillful and confident.
Contributions to Multiple Funds
NCF is helping to evolve all Nebraskans’ giving habits to support causes and programs that will have greater impact upon the long-term sustainability of Nebraska’s hometowns. NCF’s educational efforts are helping many donors to consider the multiple causes they can choose to support with their current and planned gifts.
Marketing, Communications and Web site
NCF marketing materials are available to affiliated funds at minimal or no charge. Sample or customized media relations materials, donor letters and financial planner communications can all be provided. NCF maintains an extensive Web site, providing information to affiliated funds, potential donors and financial planners. The ability to accept online donations is also available.
Training and Technical Assistance
NCF staff has expertise in community development, strategic planning, planned giving and the development of public-private partnerships. NCF staff and Board Members are available to help funds get organized, provide guidance for strategic planning and advise on effective fundraising techniques. Workshops on topics ranging from leadership development to donor visitation techniques are held statewide.
Gift Planning Assistance
NCF assists attorneys, CPAs, insurance agents, financial planners, bankers and brokers and their clients/donors with charitable gift planning. Brochures and materials on the benefits of charitable giving are available at no charge.