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.
This illustration describes a sequence of events to follow over a 12-month period. The steps represent work that must be done by affiliated fund leaders. The banister represents NCF’s support and points at which NCF staff can provide on-site assistance.
Successful NCF affiliated funds carry out activities based on self-perpetuating “circle of giving.” Begin by educating yourself and donors about your vision and mission. This will lead toward greater community advocacy for your cause, planned gifts, charitable gifts, and finally grants and investments in your community. Your grants (and the good they do for your community) are your strongest case statements. And the circle begins again and continues.
If this circular pattern is followed, especially over a period of years, the results can be remarkable. By reinforcing each component with the next, you create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Step 1: Plan a Fund Advisory Committee retreat (education)
Planning where you want to go is essential if you want to get there. Plan a Fund Advisory Committee retreat where you can identify goals for your affiliated fund. Visit the action planning section for tools you can use to plan for the future of your affiliated fund.
Visit with other affiliated fund leaders to learn how they are moving ahead. Participate in NCF webinars and attend NCF-sponsored training opportunities to learn from your peers.
Step 2: Set goals (advocacy)
Your fund advisory committee should set specific goals for each of the five components of the circle of giving (education, advocacy, expectancies, charitable assets, and investments/grants.) Make sure these goals align with other goals you’ve set for your affiliated fund. Use the action planning framework to help stay organized. [WN: link to page 1.1]
Step 3: Recruit core leaders (advocacy)
Fund advisory committee members don’t need to do everything all alone. Recruit like-minded volunteers who can assist you to achieve your goals.
Step 4: Inspire fund advisory committee members (expectancies and charitable gifts)
The goals of your affiliated fund should inspire not only potential donors but you – Fund Advisory Committee members – as well. Each FAC member should be committed to giving their time, talent and treasure to benefit the affiliated fund. FAC members should make a personal commitment (a gift now and a planned gift) before he/she asks other donors to contribute. Read more about the roles of FAC members.
Step 5: Meet regularly (check-in on progress)
In order to keep the momentum going, your fund advisory committee should meet monthly to hear reports on what each FAC member and/or committee is working on. Each member should attend meetings regularly and support the efforts being made by the fund advisory committee.
Step 6: Celebrate Successes (grants & investments)
Your Fund Advisory Committee members should take the time to thank your donors and the community for your progress and successes. An annual public celebration where you make impact grants combined with ongoing publicity through news releases are excellent ways to get the word out about the good work you are doing. Read more about annual celebrations and news releases.
The Nebraska City Community Foundation Fund received the 2009 Catalyst for Change Award from Partners for Otoe County. The award recognized NCCFF for the alcohol-free, family-friendly street dance it sponsored. According to NCCFF committee member Scott VanderVeen, the purpose of the street dance was not to raise money. Rather, it was an opportunity to increase exposure for NCCFF, have fun and enjoy Nebraska City’s community life.Read more →