Gift Endows Exeter Area and NCF
Louisa and Richard Manning
The late Richard Manning admitted that he liked to kid around. However, the charitable gift that he and his wife, Louisa, made will have a truly meaningful impact for generations to come.
Richard and Louisa Manning, both 1944 graduates of Exeter High School, used a charitable IRA distribution to make a $50,000 challenge grant to the Exeter Community Foundation Fund to establish an unrestricted endowment. The Charitable IRA Rollover law allows those age 70½ and older to transfer funds from an IRA to a charity tax free. Their hometown community successfully raised over $100,000 in additional funds in just two years, creating a $150,000 permanent endowment.
In addition, Mr. and Mrs. Manning contributed $50,000 to the Nebraska Community Foundation’s endowment.
The Mannings lived in Geneva for over 18 years. Before that they lived on their farm near Burress where they raised their five children: Jim, Scott, Mary Jane, Margie and Donny, the youngest, who now lives and works on the family farm.
“Our ancestors were pioneers, homesteaders. We’ve been in the area for generations,” Richard explained. Louisa’s family, the Whitakers, were among the first homesteaders to file claims in Fillmore County in 1866. Part of the family’s history is recorded on the monument that stands in front of the Fillmore County Courthouse.
Louisa and Richard worked their farm together, often side by side.
“Louisa drove the truck beside the combine and pulled trailers behind a pick-up, which is nearly like committing suicide,” Richard joked. “It’s a lot easier nowadays. We need to remember how good we have it!” he said.
When asked what motivated them to give back to their hometown, the couple was quick to respond.
“We’ve traveled a lot, all over the world and the U.S., and every time we come back home we realize this is the best place of all—this area. We just figured we’d put our money where our mouth is,” said Louisa.
“We’ve been pretty thrifty being raised on the farm, but we’ve also been lucky. We’ve gotten a lot from the community,” Richard added.
The Mannings believed that arranging their gift as a challenge grant would encourage others in the community to follow their example. It seems to be working. The Exeter Community Foundation Fund met the challenge and continues to build its endowment.
“People 10 years down the road from now will have an endowed fund to name in their will. Things come along that we have never even dreamed of…beyond the simple things like swimming pools, ball fields, fire and rescue. These are all great causes. But something will come up that you’ve never even heard of. That’s the beauty of an endowment,” Richard said.
“There are others in Exeter who can give back to their community. We know that,” said Louisa. “This will encourage them to loosen the purse strings and give!”
And what about their gift to the Nebraska Community Foundation? “We like the people, their goals and objectives. We like that the money is staying in Nebraska and helping local communities. I like what the folks at NCF are saying and doing. It just makes us feel good,” Richard said.