Improving life for all in Bertrand

Bertrand is abuzz with the sound of progress.

Residents, such as Scott Schwarz and Beverly Hansen, celebrate what makes the town special: successful farming and cattle operations, a main street full of thriving businesses, newcomers arriving regularly, and a vibrant community eager to keep up the pace of advancement. Bertrand Area Community Fund, an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation, wants to be part of the future.

“So many young couples are moving back,” Schwarz, a BACF advisory committee member, said. “It’s been exciting to see them become a part of our community.”

Hansen, also a BACF member alongside serving on NCF’s Board of Directors, credited challenge grants over the years for boosting the fund’s unrestricted endowment, which has allowed BACF to grant more than $250,000 back into the community. Grants have gone to a nursing home, the parks, the local school, and other organizations.

Both Schwarz and Hansen see NCF’s 5 to Thrive campaign as an ideal opportunity to inspire residents to invest in Bertrand’s future. 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 Phelps County, $720 million is expected to transfer between generations over the next 10 years—just 5% amounts to $36 million. That much wealth could generate a lot of good for Bertrand and beyond.

“One of the main reasons for giving back to your community is to improve the lives of those around you,” Schwarz said. “It’s impossible for a community to be a healthy community without people volunteering and contributing and giving back.”

Listen to Beverly and Scott talk 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

When we all leave five, our hometowns thrive.

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