After retiring as the superintendent of Wood River Schools, Cindy Huff wanted to continue using her skillset to benefit southwest Nebraska. Her search led her to McCook Community Foundation Fund, a familiar organization with a well-earned reputation for community support and engagement throughout the region.
“I sought out somewhere where my skills could help, and McCook Community Foundation Fund seemed like a good fit for me,” Cindy said. “And it has been.”
The fund’s focus on growing its unrestricted endowment struck Cindy as an ideal way to enrich the community. Unlike donating funds for a capital improvement project, there’s no expiration date on a gift to an unrestricted endowment.
“The whole idea that you could have an endowment fund that would never get spent and you only use the interest intrigued me,” she said. “When you know what you give is going to stay forever, it’s easy to ask people to give.”
When Cindy became a member of NCF’s Board of Directors in 2019, she joined a group of like-minded leaders dedicated to spreading the word about the power of unrestricted endowments and planned gifts.
It was an easy decision, then, for Cindy to make her own planned gift by designating McCook Community Foundation Fund and Nebraska Community Foundation as beneficiaries on a retirement account. The gift is divided equally between the two entities, allowing Cindy to make an impact on both a smaller and larger stage. It was important for her to help the overall mission of the network in addition to her local affiliated fund because NCF has provided extensive support to McCook over the years.
“McCook standing alone could not be as dynamic if we didn’t have our support from Nebraska Community Foundation,” Cindy said. “We wouldn’t be the fund we are without NCF.”
Planned gifts are an essential component of community support, and generous donors like Cindy play an integral role in boosting the potential of unrestricted endowments. She hopes others will see the benefit of making a gift to MCFF’s endowment, which has more than $3.7 million in assets and plays a large part in making quality-of-life investments that attract young families to southwest Nebraska.
“One of our goals is to talk about planned giving,” Cindy said. “It doesn’t mean you have to leave your total wealth. You can leave a portion of something, and it will be building your community forever.”