Our mission is to support strong, sustainable organizations, innovative ideas and ventures of significant promise. The Foundation makes grants to non-profit organizations located in and working in Nebraska, primarily Lincoln and Lancaster County.

Grant Eligibility

We provide grants to nonprofit organizations located and working in Nebraska, primarily in our geographic priority area of Lincoln and Lancaster County. We fund programs and operations in the areas of the Arts, Civic and Community Engagement, Education, Environment, Human Services, and Humanities. Organizations must provide strong programming and evidence of sound governance and fiscal management.

Application Process

Organizations interested in applying should review our Eligibility & Funding Priorities. If you think our funding is a good fit for your organization or project, contact us at info@cooperfoundation.org. Include information about your organization, project or program, and budget. 

If our funding is a fit, we wil provide instructions to apply. We have a two-stage application in our online system and make grant decisions quarterly. Learn more about our forms, process, and funding considerations here.

Rapid Response Grants Recap

Learn about the Rapid Response grants awarded in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Click here for the Recap.

Grants Approved – March 2021

Blue Valley Behavioral Health: $10,700
Support for upgraded technology for the Lincoln office. 

Boys & Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County: $10,000
For general operating support.

Community Services Fund of Nebraska: $14,000
Two grants awarded: $7,500 to support a marketing and awareness initiative, and $6,500 towards the 2021 campaign.

Doane University, (Crete, NE): $20,000
To support the new Inclusive Excellence Certificate Program to cultivate inclusive leaders among faculty, staff, and students and within Nebraska’s rural nonprofit organizations. 

Lincoln Community Foundation: $5,000
For development of the 2022 Lincoln Vital Signs Report.

Lincoln Housing Charities: $2,000
To support the Lincoln Housing Authority’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program to use Clifton StrengthsFinder assessments for participants.

Mid-America Arts Alliance (Kansas City, MO): $20,000
To support a comprehensive 3-year diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) initiative. Mid-America is the regional arts organization for Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

National Audubon Society, Spring Creek Prairie (Denton, NE): $15,000
For general operating support.

National Wildlife Turkey Federation, Nebraska Chapter (Edgefield, SC): $15,000
To support efforts to acquire the 2,600-acre Kiowa Creek Ranch property in Wildcat Hills, in the western Panhandle of Nebraska.

Nebraska Sports Council: $10,000
For general operating support.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland: $15,000
To support sexual and reproductive health education programs in Lincoln and Lancaster County.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cedar Point Biological Station (Ogallala, NE): $15,000
Toward a Motus network system to track the movement of birds, mammals and insects.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Center for Digital Research in Humanities: $10,000
In support of an online platform where the stories of Nebraska Holocaust survivors and WWII veterans can be accessed by teachers, students, scholars and all individuals.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lied Center for Performing Arts: $20,000
For general operating support.

en-thompson-forum

Over the past three decades, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues has established itself as one of the preeminent speakers series in higher education. The series brings to Nebraska thought provoking lectures by speakers whose work and ideas impact our changing world.

The Forum is a cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lied Center for Performing Arts, and University Honors Program.

2020-2021 Forum Schedule
Mary Pipher
9.2.2020 – 7:00 PM
Author, Activist, and Clinical Psychologist
“TRAUMA AND RECOVERY: A NEW STORY OF INTERCONNECTION AND ACTION…”
Doris Kearns Goodwin
9.22.2020 – 7:30 PM
Presidential Historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning Author
The 25th Annual Governor’s Lecture in the Humanities, presented by Humanities Nebraska
“LEADERSHIP IN TURBULENT TIMES”
Xiuhtezcatl Martinez
11.4.2020 – 7:00 PM
Indigenous Climate Activist, Hip Hop Artist
“ROOTS OF REVOLUTION”

Forum Youth Panel
2.24.2021 – 7:00 PM
Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts
“NAMING THE BEAST: CLIMATE CHANGE AND OUR YOUTH TAKING ACTION”
Ann Bancroft
3.31.2021 – 7:00 PM
Polar Explorer, Climate Advocate, Philanthropist
“NO HORIZON IS SO FAR”
Contact Us

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