Jessica and Dan Piskorski are not alone in their decision to build a life in Greater Nebraska. The couple is part of a larger movement of young adults returning to smaller communities, including Dan’s hometown of Ord.
The two met through mutual friends while Jessica was studying at UNO and Dan was enrolled at the UNL. They fell for each other, and after their marriage, decided they wanted to raise their family in a Greater Nebraska. They lived in St. Paul for a few years before Ord’s reputation for growth and progress drew their attention. Over the past four years, the couple has joined a network of friends and neighbors—including some of Dan’s old high school friends—committed to making the community a place of their own.
“The thing about Ord and Valley County is that a lot of our friends in our age group had an instinctual interest in our area,” Jessica said. “We all made an intentional decision to move back here or made a decision that Ord was a good place to raise a family long-term and still have good opportunities.”
Jessica and Dan quickly found roles to play within the community. She is a partner at a local law firm and he’s the vice president at Cornerstone Bank’s North Loup branch.
Jessica’s fellow law partner Bob Stowell—an honorary member of NCF’s board of directors—piqued her interest in Valley County Community Foundation Fund, the local affiliated fund he helped establish.
“It just really intrigued me that we can have a say and a part in how we can benefit our local area,” Jessica said. “It’s something that’s always going to be an interest for me because I assume I’m going to live here the rest of my life.”
The couple stays busy with their three young children, but that doesn’t stop them from being involved. Jessica is active in VCCFF, and Dan works with Valley County Health System Foundation. They expect that urge to engage in community empowerment to remain strong throughout their lives, so they decided to make a contingent provision in their will to benefit VCCFF’s endowment.
“Luckily we share these values and we talk about what is important to us,” Jessica said. “We both came to this decision on certain things that we want to benefit once we’re gone. We wanted to benefit the whole county and trusted the fund would be thinking of the community instead of us just thinking of one thing we wanted to give to. We also know it’s going to be safely invested through Nebraska Community Foundation.”
The gift is contingent on their children reaching an age where they are financially stable. The couple did not want to leave their family empty-handed in the event of an unforeseen accident. What may seem a difficult subject to many is straightforward for Jessica, who frequently helps clients with estate planning.
“It’s always on the forefront of my mind,” she said, and many are receptive to the discussion once the topic is broached. “Honestly, they like to think about it when you remind them. It’s usually easy for people to come up with a nonprofit organization to benefit.”
Contingent gifts also allow couples with young families to plant the seed of planned giving in the back of their minds. Over time, that seed flourishes into a philanthropic passion. Jessica has helped many couples in their early to mid-30s start the planning process, and she always tells them the same thing.
“You might as well think about that now,” Jessica said. “When you make updates in 15 to 20 years, it will be easier to build in planned gifts.”