Putting a bow on 2021

This past year flew by as the Nebraska Community Foundation network rolled up its sleeves and continued its community-building work—it’s hard to believe we’ve kicked off a new year. As we leap into 2022, we want to reflect on 2021.

Network accomplishments in fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) were remarkable:

  • NCF affiliated funds received $55 million in gifts with 39 affiliated funds receiving contributions of $100,000 or more.
  • Total assets in the NCF network now exceed $247 million—triple the amount of just 10 years ago.
  • Endowed assets now total $159 million, four times what they were 10 years ago.
  • Community unrestricted endowments now total $67 million, a huge increase from $11 million in 2012. Seventeen community-based affiliated funds now have annual grantmaking capacity of at least $50,000.

The NCF network granted more than $28 million last year. These investments are creating a “margin of excellence” in our hometowns that will attract people, improve quality of life, and increase prosperity—like early childhood development, community infrastructure, leadership development, youth engagement, arts and culture, small business support, K–12 curriculum enhancements, and improvements in safety, health, and wellness.

Nebraska Youth Survey | Once again, youth in Greater Nebraska communities shared their thoughts on what makes a community appealing to their generation—creating yet another important people attraction tool for volunteers.

Transfer of Wealth | We launched our third Transfer of Wealth Study in 2021, documenting Greater Nebraska’s astounding abundance and opening the door to countless substantial community-building conversations.

Hometown Interns | Nineteen college students arrived in their Greater Nebraska hometowns in May 2021 to both further the work of local NCF affiliated funds and strengthen their connections to the places that raised them.

Celebrating Together | After making our annual celebration virtual in 2020, we brought the NCF network to McCook for an in-person training unlike any other, ending with a festive Night on the Bricks.

Energizing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems | Through the generous support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, NCF, NetWork Kansas and Valley County Economic Development worked closely to design and launch the Energizing Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (E3) program this year.

Turning up the Dream Switch | After a quiet 2020, the minds and musicians behind “The Dream Switch” hit the road again in 2021, bringing the song cycle to Nebraska City and Thayer County.

Advancing Our Mission | Nebraska Community Foundation welcomed three new members to its Board of Directors this year from across the state. Each will put their unique talents toward fulfilling our mission.

Gustafson to Retire | Earlier this year, NCF announced retirement plans from Jim Gustafson, director of advancement and gift planning. Gustafson will cease working full-time at the end of 2021, but he will remain with NCF in a part-time capacity.

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