Busy time in Nebraska

Originally published in the Columbus Telegram

Community Foundation Board of Directors. The occasion was the biennial Board retreat when this group of talented leaders and professionals from across the state come together and give deeply of their time and energy.

I would suggest the fulfilling part of that week is not just the work that gets done but also the simple fact that these Nebraskans give of themselves so significantly to benefit the future of our state. I’m sure there are other volunteers who give lots of time on volunteer boards but there aren’t many that give more than the NCF Board. Four times per year these folks give up multiple days for an in-person Board meeting somewhere in the state. And not only do they give the time, but they give real energy, thought and insight to the meeting—believe me, they leave intellectually worn out after every one of these meetings.

I think it’s worth asking why these people, who all have lots of demands on their time, make that commitment. The only reasonable assumption is that they find it worthwhile.

That means they are seeing impact from their contribution of time. They are seeing local affiliated funds across the state change the future in their place because they are part of the NCF network. They are seeing NCF get involved in conversations that matter: early childhood development, local foods, people attraction, broadband, community assets, and more.

And yes, they are seeing financial impact as well.

Community-based endowments have grown dramatically in the past five years, driven by the work of local community leaders in conjunction with vision from the NCF Board. It wouldn’t have happened without both sides of that coin; as one of our leaders put it, “We’re all NCF.”

It’s hard to miss the comparison between that statement and the current political climate. Let me just say, from my biased point of view, it’s not hard at all to see why these NCF leaders are getting more accomplished than some of our federal institutions. There are absolutely differences of opinion and differing viewpoints on the NCF Board.

But in this case, those differences actually build strength, not division. Nebraskans should be proud that this group of volunteers bears our state’s name.

So that covers the fun stuff. Now I wanted to take just a bit of space on a more mundane, but timely topic. As we’re into tax season, there have been some questions recently about the change in the required minimum distribution (RMD) age from qualified retirement plans. While the RMD age has changed to 72, you can still make a distribution from your IRA at age 70 ½ as before. If you are looking for a way to make a big difference and give back to your hometown, this may be a way to make a gift of up to $100,000 as you meet that required minimum.

I’m definitely not smart enough to describe the ins and outs, but fortunately, NCF has professionals who are. For more information, you can visit the NCF website or request a brochure on IRA rollovers. The simplest path is to email info@nebcommfound.org.

Whether its generating good work or generating tax benefits for Nebraskans, NCF is proud to be a resource to our area and the state as a whole.