Originally published in the Columbus Telegram
In the spirit of the day, I’d say one of the things I really loved about serving as a member of the Nebraska Community Foundation Board of Directors was the opportunity to travel to Board meetings in different places where NCF has an affiliated fund. From Fort Robinson to Nebraska City, Thayer County to Pender, and numerous points in between, we got to see the best of Nebraska’s small towns and their accomplishments.
The current NCF Board has that opportunity next week, as we host them in Leigh and Columbus! The Board will kick off their visit in Leigh on Thursday. The team in Leigh is going to share some of the secrets to their success, and they have plenty of success to talk about! While I’m looking forward to learning more, I can already tell you there is extraordinary energy today in Leigh. That is translating into a rapidly growing school system and a town that grew almost 10% in the past decade.
The NCF affiliated fund, the Leigh Legacy Fund (LLF), formed three years ago in the middle of a pandemic and yet they are both rocking and rolling. They’ve put almost $200,000 in their unrestricted endowment and are now climbing a steep growth curve I predict will get them close to $1 million in the next three years!
During the visit to Leigh, NCF Board and staff will hear from community leaders and LLF leaders about the secret sauce to make all this happen. I’ll bet they’ll have something to say about an attitude of abundance, pride in their hometown and some folks who aren’t afraid to work hard. But I guess we’ll find out next week!
Thursday night and Friday the NCF team will transition to Columbus. We are excited to lead them on a community tour that highlights the Quality of Life Centers projects. These four projects (library, YMCA, STEM Academy and East-Central District Health Department) are among the NCF network’s best examples of charitable dollars leveraging other investment to do something significant.
The Columbus Area Future Fund (CAFF) is hosting a reception Thursday evening with community leaders and the NCF leadership. Fund advisory committee members are going to share their past successes and their current goal to grow their unrestricted endowment to $5 million of assets and expectancies. I’m excited to have these local and statewide leaders simply spend time together talking because that interaction inevitably leads to information and inspiration that benefits everyone.
The NCF Board will handle the business of the quarterly Board meeting next Friday but will again have time to learn from CAFF in a lunch discussion about the Fund’s projects and goals. All-in-all, this visit will be a rich learning opportunity for local leaders and NCF’s statewide Board as well.
NCF is truly a network and these chances to connect are a significant part of how learning happens. We look forward to hosting the Board and staff next week for an experience we’ll all love.