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Articles written by Jeff Yost


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  • Why more young people are choosing rural

    Jeff Yost, President & CEO of Nebraska Community Foundation|Jun 26, 2024

    Hometowns in Greater Nebraska have so much to offer. At Nebraska Community Foundation, we work with over 270 communities and 1,500 volunteers across the state who are utilizing the assets unique to their places to fuel community development that will continue to attract new generations of Nebraskans. Homegrown philanthropy is a major asset in this endeavor. Charitable dollars and endowment payout are being used to fund projects and programs that directly benefit young people and their families...

  • Unrestricted endowments prepare Greater Nebraska for the future

    Jeff Yost, President and CEO Nebraska Community Foundation|Apr 10, 2024

    Humans have a penchant for looking far ahead. Ask a room of kids what they want to be when they grow up, and you’ll quickly discover just how creative we can be when it comes to envisioning our future. Along the same lines, if you ask members of a community about their dreams for their hometown, you’ll leave with a long list. The tricky thing about the future, though, is that it hasn’t happened yet. Even with the most meticulous planning, events undoubtedly unfold in ways we can’t quite foretel...

  • Jobs are seeking people. Now what?

    Jeff Yost, President and CEO Nebraska Community Foundation|Feb 28, 2024

    Recently, amid renewed concern about “the brain drain,” my thoughts returned to a particularly inspiring moment during Nebraska Community Foundation’s 2023 annual celebration. At the end of her lunch plenary speech, Takaylynn Hergott of Hebron asked any attendees under the age of 25 to stand. As the applause faded, she told the audience to look around the hall at her peers who remained standing. This, she said, is the future. It was a powerful scene and it hinted at something we’ve heard t...

  • Sharing Nebraska success with pride

    Jeff Yost, Nebraska Community Foundation|Nov 2, 2023

    One of the best parts of my role at Nebraska Community Foundation is listening to our NCF affiliated fund volunteers speak about their communities with pride. These local leaders invest so much time, treasure and talent into their hometowns and often go unsung. So, when an opportunity arises to showcase their success, we rarely turn it down. Such was the case in September, when a group of 17 visitors from Canada toured Nebraska to witness the progress small towns can make when residents are...

  • The best assets to leave to children, charity

    Jeff Yost, Nebraska Community Foundation President and CEO|Apr 27, 2023

    Having an estate plan in place is so important. Doing so can save time, money and stress for your loved ones, not to mention prevent unnecessary family disagreements. If you are reading this, take it as your sign to finally get that plan in place. I assure you, it’s easier than most people think. When it comes to determining how you will distribute your assets, it’s wise to talk with a professional advisor about the impact those assets may have on the people you love. The truth is, not all ass...

  • Connecting young Nebraskans to the careers and communities of their dreams

    Jeff Yost, Nebraska Community Foundation|Nov 10, 2022

    Greater Nebraska's future healthcare workers are already here, but they may not know it yet. In the last three years, Nebraska Community Foundation surveyed more than 3,200 middle and high school students across the state on what they want their future communities and careers to look like. In 2022 alone, more than 700 students responded to the survey. Students consistently rank medical or healthcare professions as their most desired career among multiple options. The most recent survey, however,...

  • Three I's to build your hometown

    Jeff Yost, President and CEO Nebraska Community Foundation|Jul 7, 2022

    Imagination, innovation and invitation are three of the most important words in community building. These words hold great power in shaping hometowns in Greater Nebraska, today and in the future. For 20 years I've had the pleasure of working with community leaders throughout Holt County (population 10,127) in north central Nebraska. Amazing people live and work in Atkinson, O'Neill, Stuart and many other small towns in Holt County. It's always been a great place to be a kid. Today, Holt County...

  • Youth are changing the Greater Nebraska narrative

    Jeff Yost, President & CEO Nebraska Community Foundation|Sep 30, 2021

    The 2020 census is an important tool for understanding population trends and demographic shifts in our greater Nebraska hometowns, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Articles lamenting the shrinking population of rural areas abound, but we know better. Nebraska Community Foundation’s Youth Survey is taking a qualitative look at the reasons young Nebraskans choose to remain in, return to or leave their hometowns. Our work at NCF suggests there’s much to look forward to in greater Nebra...

  • Op-Ed

    Jeff Yost, Journalist|Nov 5, 2020

    It goes without saying that 2020 is a year we will never forget. It was a year of change, challenge and pivots. Some things slowed down. Others stopped altogether. Despite considerable hardship, the Nebraska Community Foundation network’s resolve to build a Greater Nebraska proved impervious to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Amid efforts to flatten the curve, neighbors stepped up to help those in need. Goals were met. Grants were made. Work got done. Total assets now exceed $180 m...

  • Young Nebraskans already love their hometowns

    Jeff Yost, President and CEO Nebraska Community Foundation|Aug 27, 2020

    The siren song of the big city is quiet in greater Nebraska. Youth today overwhelmingly prefer the connections and comforts of smaller communities to the grind of major metropolises, according to Nebraska Community Foundation’s recent survey of over 1,300 high school students. In January 2020, NCF began working with the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Center for Public Affairs Research to co-create the Nebraska Youth Survey, with the purpose of examining young people’s perceptions and persp...