Five to Thrive inspires Sindelar to make plans for Atkinson’s future

As Atkinson’s Economic Development Director, Amanda Sindelar is always seeking new opportunities to help her community grow.

So, she was understandably thrilled when she learned about Nebraska Community Foundation’s Five to Thrive campaign, which 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 over the next decade and beyond.

“I was so excited when this campaign launched, not only as a giver but as an asker,” Sindelar said. “My mind just spins with so many ways this could help our hometown.”

Sindelar took the campaign to heart and made a planned gift to Atkinson Community Foundation Fund in the form of a designation on her retirement plan. This type of gift is among the easiest to make, as donors can make a charitable gift using the beneficiary designation of their IRA, 401(k), or other retirement plan. These kinds of gifts avoid estate and income taxation on the assets accumulated tax-free during the plan holder’s lifetime.

With her gift in place, Sindelar – a member of ACFF’s advisory committee—will encourage her neighbors to do the same.

Before taking her role with the City of Atkinson, Sindelar practiced journalism for 20 years—including stints at the Norfolk Daily News, Holt County Independent, and Grand Island Independent. She became acutely aware of what makes Nebraskans unique—including their capacity for generosity and penchant for modesty.

“It’s hard for people to ask others for assistance,” Sindelar said. “I think if you show what the greater effect is going to be, people will find it appealing.”

The amount of wealth transferring between generations is staggering and could trigger a monumental shift in the future of Greater Nebraska. Overall, more than $100 billion will transfer in the next 10 years—through the next 50 years, that number jumps to $950 billion. Harnessing just 5% over the next decade would put $5 billion into the state’s community-building coffers and ensure what makes Nebraska special remains that way for years to come.

Gifts like Sindelar’s help Atkinson reach greater heights by giving ACFF more grantmaking power. The Fund’s capacity is already strong thanks to a successful campaign to raise $300,000 for its unrestricted endowment. Payout from that endowment enables ACFF to boost community improvement projects or respond in times of need, such as grants volunteers made to assist with setbacks during the COVID-19 pandemic. The larger the Fund’s unrestricted endowment, the more it can help Atkinson achieve its dreams.

That’s why Sindelar is so excited to spread the word about the Five to Thrive campaign and get more residents involved in Atkinson’s future. In the next decade, $1 billion is expected to transfer in Holt County – just 5% amounts to $50 million.

“This campaign will become a normal part of my conversations,” Sindelar said. “The possibilities for growth are just endless for our communities.”

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