KC Belitz: Registration open for annual events

Originally published in the Columbus Telegram

Many of the volunteers associated with affiliated funds in Platte, Butler, Colfax and Boone counties will be off to McCook in a few weeks for an inspiring day. Registration is now open for the Nebraska Community Foundation annual events!

We describe the event as “Part volunteer training, part hometown expo, and part celebratory banquet.” NCF’s Annual Celebration and Affiliated Fund Training on Nov. 18 in McCook will bring back together hundreds of ambitious community leaders to embrace the assets, abundance and optimism that are the hallmark of the NCF network.

While the evening will look marginally different than a traditional NCF banquet, we are so grateful to be planning to reconnect our network in-person in McCook! In fact, you can make the case that this year’s format will be just as much fun, if different, than the normal event. This year, NCF affiliated funds from across southwest Nebraska and McCook food vendors are collaborating to bring a variety of great food, inspiring activities, and just plain “cool stuff” to locations across McCook for a “Night on the Bricks” party that you won’t forget.

Before we even get to the evening, participants are going to have an educational and inspiring day of learning at the annual Affiliated Fund Training event. We are really proud that what makes NCF’s Affiliated Fund Training unique from other seminars is how much of the learning comes from other volunteers, not from the “experts” standing at the front of the room. We’re looking forward to volunteers from the Columbus Area Future Fund, Boone County, Howells, and perhaps a couple other local funds doing some of the teaching. There is so much wisdom and experience in our volunteers across the state that we really don’t need much professional expertise from outside Nebraska to build our shared future.

One of the most impressive aspects of that is the variety of expertise present in these volunteers within NCF network and our partners. Local volunteer leaders are going to teach each other about people attraction, marketing, diversity and inclusion, leadership, fundraising, planned giving, internships, youth attraction, early childhood education . . .  just to name a few. Today in rural Nebraska we have community leaders, supported by NCF staff, successfully leading efforts in all these areas . . . and at these annual events that knowledge gets shared with people from every corner of our state!

One not-so-small side benefit of that learning style is the networking that’s inherent in that approach. Those attending will create or renew connections with people who are going to be friends, mentors, partners and advocates in the community-building work happening in each other’s communities. It’s just awesome to see the network continue to weave together each and every year!

So if all that sounds like something you want to experience . . . well, you can! Go to www.nebraskahometown.org and you’ll find a button for the 2021 annual events that will tell you more and give a link to get registered. Come join us for an experience in southwest Nebraska – and you can thank me later!

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