Endowment helps Boone County volunteers stretch imagination

Residents in Boone County have some big ideas for the future. Thankfully, they also have the means to bring them to life.

Boone County Foundation Fund’s achievements in recent years have inspired other communities in the NCF network to dream just as big. Since 2015, BCFF has created an impressive list, including the Albion Aquatic Center, Boone Central Schools Cardinal Kids Club, the annual Boone County Big Give, the Boone County Trails System, St. Edward Community Center renovations, Boone County Agricultural Education Center, and Boone Beginnings Early Childhood and Family Center.

“I really feel that over the last few years there’s been a greater sense of urgency or even awareness that we as community members have a responsibility to really do what we can to preserve our way of life,” said Tina Stokes, a member of BCFF’s advisory committee. “Boone County Foundation Fund gives us a really great tool to do that.”

That tool comprises dedicated volunteers, long-term planning, assistance from Nebraska Community Foundation, and an unrestricted endowment. Like a community savings account, unrestricted endowments are an important tool to keep hometowns across Nebraska growing, thriving, and improving for future generations. While a portion of the income earned by an unrestricted endowment is granted annually to fund projects and programs to benefit the community, the principal remains intact and grows every year. Forever.

“The unrestricted endowment is important,” said Kurt Kruse, BCFF chair and member of NCF’s board of directors. “Without money you can’t do much.”

Given the integral role the unrestricted endowment has played in BCFF’s success so far, volunteers have taken NCF’s 5 to Thrive campaign to heart. That campaign asks Nebraskans to leave just 5% of their estate to their communities. A small request, but one that could secure billions of dollars for Greater Nebraska’s future. In Boone County, $596 million is expected to transfer between generations over the next 10 years – just 5% amounts to $30 million.

“I hope people understand that while it would be great to have all of it stay here, even with 5% of that we can make significant improvements,” Stokes said.

Listen to Tina and Kurt  on the Rural Radio Forum:

Reach out to your professional advisor to learn how you can give and consult Nebraska Community Foundation’s Planned Giving resources for more information. You can also contact NCF’s Office of Gift Planning by calling 402-323-7330 or sending an email to tmekelburg@nebcommfound.org.

When we all leave five, our hometowns thrive.

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