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.
The decision to build a community endowment is a watershed event in the life of a community-based affiliated fund. An endowment provides a permanent source of funds for community betterment projects that will positively affect the community…year after year.
You can base your activities to build your endowment on the self-perpetuating “circle of giving” principles.
If this circular pattern is followed, especially over a multi-year period, the results can be remarkable. By reinforcing each component with the next, a self-fulfilling prophecy is created.
|Step 1:|| Set a Financial Goal (education)
Your local fund advisory committee needs to set a dollar amount you would like to raise for your unrestricted endowment fund. NCF staff can provide information showing the amount of the Transfer of Wealth that will occur in your county/ community to help you set a goal. Also see the transfer of wealth information on this Web site.
|Step 2:|| Personal Commitments from Fund Advisory Committee Members (advocacy)
Experience has shown us that the endowment building process works best when the fund advisory committee members make their personal commitment first…before asking any one else to give. Fund advisory committee leaders make outright gifts or make a pledge to give a certain amount over time. Fund advisory committee members also demonstrate leadership by making provisions to gift a portion of their personal estate to the endowment (a planned gift).
|Step 3:|| Plan the Endowment Campaign (advocacy)
NCF staff can assist you in developing a plan to build your endowment. The plan will include several methods and strategies, including starting a Founders Club, donor identification, creating a challenge grant, and building expectancies.
|Step 4:|| Make Personal Fundraising Contacts (expectancies & charitable gifts)
People give to people, so it is imperative that personal contacts be made to educate potential donors about the vision and goal of the community foundation. Financial planners (attorneys, accountants, bankers, investment brokers, life insurance agents, etc.) also need to be contacted personally so they are aware of the opportunities for their clients. Read more about identifying donors in the donor relationships section.
|Step 5:|| Invest Intentionally (investments)
Endowed assets need to be invested to provide growth and income to fund grantmaking and protect against inflation. NCF provides three asset allocation models that are appropriate for endowed assets and are managed by a high-quality, Nebraska-based investment advisory firm. Read more about investing your affiliated fund’s endowment in the investments section.
|Step 6:|| Grant to Make an Impact (grants)
Your fund advisory committee needs to be intentional about the grants that are made from your endowment. Your grantmaking is impactful if you are making grants that will make a real difference in your community not just now, but 10 or 20 years down the road. Giving money away to make an impact is a key responsibility of every fund advisory committee. Read more about how to make impactful grants in the impact grantmaking section.
|Step 7:|| Celebrate Success (education)
It is important for the community to be aware of and share in the success of the endowment-building process. Public celebrations provide you an opportunity to recognize donors and award grants in a manner that will encourage more community participation.
Awarding of Grants
Several years before they passed away in 2013, Lloyd and Naomi Geweke of Ord used proceeds totaling $286,000 from the sale of a home in Arizona to fund three permanent endowments for Valley County. Within just a few short years there endowments have grown to nearly $400,000 and have funded numerous community grants.Read more →