Greg Vasek is a Nebraskan through and through. He grew up in Leigh (population 431) and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he developed a passion for Husker athletics. During and following a 35-year career as Controller, CFO, and COO/President at Linweld Inc., a Nebraska-based manufacturing and distribution company, he served on numerous boards in Lincoln and with a statewide impact—among them, Nebraska Community Foundation’s.
Vasek brought decades of business acumen and financial savvy to the NCF board so you can believe him when he says Greater Nebraska, and especially his beloved hometown of Leigh, are worthy of investment.
“I just feel like it’s a community worth investing in. They have so many good things going for them right now—the lake, the new high school, the golf course—they’re building community. They just needed one other step, to build a permanent endowment.”
During his time on the NCF Board of Directors, Vasek made it his personal mission to get an NCF affiliated fund established in his hometown.
“After being on the board for several years and seeing what Nebraska Community Foundation had done for communities like Shickley, Pender, Howells, Byron, and many others, you get to know and see how these community leaders step forward and with the help of Nebraska Community Foundation develop a strategy that includes building a permanent endowment to have money forever in these communities.”
The Leigh Legacy Fund, an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation, launched in January 2020, just a few months before a global pandemic hit. Despite that, local leaders have made tremendous progress. Because of his experience on the NCF Board of Directors, Vasek knew the way other hometowns were growing their unrestricted endowments quickly and significantly, and that was through challenge grants.
Vasek got ahold of a Leigh alumni list and with the help of a friend, they identified 24 prospects that might come together to help them issue a challenge grant to the community. Of the 24 letters sent, 14 responded, “Yes.”
All told, the group of “Distinguished Leigh Alumni” has pledged to contribute $200,000 to build Leigh’s unrestricted endowment. An NCF anonymous donor and the board of directors have also recognized the momentum building in Leigh and offered to further capitalize the opportunity through a Homegrown Challenge Grant of $50,000. Now it is up to the Leigh community—raise $500,000 to match the challenge and grow the unrestricted endowment by $750,000.
But Vasek and his late wife, Marcia, haven’t just invested in Leigh’s future. A generous gift using a Charitable IRA Rollover to Nebraska Community Foundation for the benefit of all Greater Nebraska communities has further established their impact. Vasek has also made a planned gift to benefit Nebraska Community Foundation’s endowment.
The Vaseks’ generosity has come to be known in the philanthropy world as a blended gift – a giving strategy that pairs the impact and instant gratification of a current gift with the long-lasting legacy of a charitable planned gift. Combining a gift in this fashion ensures that a donor has both the opportunity to enjoy witnessing their gift at work and make the maximum charitable impact through legacy giving.
What is a Charitable IRA Rollover?
A Charitable IRA Rollover is a simple, tax-wise method for fulfilling your charitable goals. At your direction, the custodian of your IRA can transfer money from your IRA directly to a qualified public charity, like Nebraska Community Foundation or to Nebraska Community Foundation for the benefit of the affiliated fund of your choosing. This gift is a qualified charitable distribution (QCD), which is often called a Charitable IRA Rollover. To make a Charitable IRA Rollover gift, you must be at least age 70½, your gift must be made from a traditional IRA, and you can give up to $100,000 per year.
- Your Charitable IRA Rollover may count as your required minimum distribution (RMD)
- It may prevent you from being pushed into a higher tax bracket
- You can reduce your taxable income, even if you do not itemize deductions
- It minimizes the effect on your cash flow; the gift is from your assets, not your checkbook
- It allows you to make a significant gift to support your community and/or NCF’s mission
Remember, you should always consult your professional advisor to assess your specific circumstances, but Nebraska Community Foundation is happy to join the conversation and discuss the may ways to leave your legacy.