There’s reason for optimism in rural Nebraska, according to the director of planned giving for the Nebraska Community Foundation. Speaking in Norfolk, Jim Gustafson says there’s a great deal of wealth out there and if communities could tap into just a small amount of it, they could see substantial benefits.
“This transfer of wealth that’s occurring between the World War Two and the Depression generation on to us Baby Boomers,” Gustafson says. “What that shows is that capitol is not the limiting resource in our rural communities.” He says “opportunity capitol” can be built if some of those funds can be captured in what he’s calling community savings accounts or permanent endowments.
Gustafson cited three Nebraska communities that have started community foundations. Pender and Columbus have both used their Founders Clubs to build unrestricted endowments. He one community that stands out is Shickey — a town of only 360 people that has created a 500-thousand dollar endowment.
Gustafson says the establishment of community endowments is based on factors like philanthropy.
Norfolk Foundation Board Chairman Brandon Day says studies show in Madison County alone, six-billion dollars will transfer from one generation to another over the next 50 years. He says if they could capture just five percent of that for ten years, they could create a 59-million dollar endowment for the Norfolk area that could pay out three-million dollars a year.
Thanks to Jim Curry, WJAG, Norfolk