The Nebraska Community Foundation works with community, organizational and donor-advised affiliated funds serving 250 communities located in 80 counties. NCF and its affiliated funds have reinvested $269 million in Nebraska since 1994.
Community foundations are a type of charitable organization that must follow rules set forth by the Internal Revenue Service. A community foundation consists of “funds” that are component parts of the foundation. The community foundation is the legal entity that obtains tax-exempt status; the funds have no separate legal existence of their own.
The Nebraska Community Foundation, Inc. (NCF) is a nonprofit corporation that is the legal entity “umbrella” for its affiliated funds. NCF is exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) and is a public charity.
An “Affiliated Fund Agreement” documents the relationship of an affiliated fund to NCF. NCF has established policies and procedures that address the operation of affiliated funds to insure consistency, adherence to IRS rules and the fulfillment of the fiduciary responsibilities of the NCF Board of Directors. These policies and procedures also have enabled NCF to attain certification that it is in compliance with National Standards for Community Foundations, as set forth by the Council on Foundations.501(c)(3) Status
By establishing an affiliated fund with NCF, a community, charitable organization or donor gains access to NCF’s 501(c)(3) status. Contributions to the affiliated fund will be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law, and NCF will issue receipts to donors for their contributions. NCF provides a broad range of services to support its affiliated funds so that each fund can focus on fulfilling its mission. To see a description of the types of services that NCF provides to its affiliated funds, please refer to NCF’s Benefits of Affiliation document.Fund Advisory Committee
Operations of an affiliated fund are conducted by a “Fund Advisory Committee” (FAC). The FAC consists of individuals who are committed to the purpose of the affiliated fund. The FAC sets forth the strategy and goals of the affiliated fund; leads fundraising and grantmaking efforts; coordinates and oversees the activities of all accounts within the fund; and is the point of contact with NCF. An FAC is responsible only for an affiliated fund, in contrast to a board of directors, which has fiduciary and oversight responsibilities for a legal entity such as NCF.Partnership Model
NCF operates using a model based on shared goals with differentiated responsibilities. FAC leaders are in the best position to know the needs of their communities or organizations. Strategy, fundraising and grantmaking decisions are made by the FAC for each affiliated fund. NCF provides education, technical assistance, financial management and legal compliance for its affiliated funds.Affiliated Fund Requirements
Because affiliated funds are not separate legal entities, their activities will be attributed to NCF, with the NCF Board of Directors having ultimate accountability for the operation of NCF and its affiliated funds. In addition, because of the large number of affiliated funds within NCF, certain aspects of operations must be standardized in order to effectively serve all of our funds. As a result, there are a number of key stipulations of which FAC members should be aware:
NCF’s affiliated fund structure is based on local leadership and participation that is leveraged with training, guidance and tools provided by NCF. The Nebraska Community Foundation is happy to help local volunteers establish, grow and maintain their affiliated funds – we will work with you, but we cannot do the “on the ground” work for you. Your knowledge of your community or organization and your relationship with community members puts your FAC in the best position to develop strategy, raise funds and make grants. The relationship between NCF and our affiliated funds is one of reciprocity, with the affiliated fund providing leadership and involvement and NCF providing assistance and support.
If you have any questions about this information, please call us at (402) 323-7330.
Due to reduced state aid, the Norfolk school district was unable to fund its High Achievers summer classes in 2011. Thanks to the Connie Endowment Fund, children were able to participate through an alternative Summer Arts Challenge at the Norfolk Arts Center. Teacher Mary Haas helps Isaiah Roemhildt during the third and fourth-grade “Mobiles” class at the Norfolk Arts Center.
Photo courtesy Norfolk Daily News.