NEW 2020 Rapid Response Grant Process

Our grant application process has been modified in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. We are now accepting grant requests monthly. Click here for the new application process.

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 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 Approved – July 2020

Child Advocacy Center: $10,000,
operating support
The Child Advocacy Center works with victims of child abuse and neglect in 17 Nebraska counties, serving thousands of children. They provide forensic interviews and medical evaluations for abused and neglected children, and ensure access to a Child Advocate through the entire process. The CAC has remained opened and fully staffed during the pandemic.

HopeSpoke: $10,000, operating support
HopeSpoke provides early intervention and treatment of children’s mental health trauma through residential care, extended day treatment, outpatient services, and school programs. The pandemic has changed their services, particularly for outpatient. They added telehealth as a vital source to deliver services. 

Legal Aid of Nebraska: $10,000,
operating support
Legal Aid quickly adapted to serve clients remotely as the pandemic created new and unanticipated civil and legal challenges. They continue to provide consultations, virtual clinics, representation in telephonic hearings, and now offer pandemic-related resources on their website.

Lincoln Music Teachers Association: $2,500, program support
This program supports music lessons for students who are interested in the study of music, but whose families’ financial situation would not allow them to pay full price for private or group lessons with a professional teacher. During the pandemic, LMTA has continued to provide students with music lessons virtually resulting in more student engagement.

Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach: $10,000, operating support
Matt Talbot continues to serve two meals daily during the pandemic and anticipates an increase in demand for homeless prevention and outreach services as COVID-19 related unemployment, layoffs, and evictions affect more individuals and families. Services such as food, housing, mail distribution, outreach, and counseling are still offered. They remain fully staffed, 7 days a week. 

Meadowlark Music Festival: $2,500, program support
Support for the 20th season of the Festival as it moves to virtual online performances and masterclasses. The season is postponed to 2021. The Festival brings independent artists from around the world to perform and teach in Lincoln, providing educational events for children and families.

Southeast Community College
Education Foundation:

$10,000, operating support
Support for the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. The Southeast Community College Education Foundation created a fund to support students in need of emergency funds as a result of COVID-19, who were not eligible for higher education relief funds under the CARES Act.

St. Monica’s: $10,000, operating support
St. Monica’s offers a wide range of support services for women and girls who are diagnosed with substance abuse and/or co-existing health issues. They offer short term residential treatment, outpatient mental health counseling, community support groups, and complimentary therapies. As a result of the pandemic, they had to cease new admissions for a period of time until they could adapt their services to the new directed health measure guidelines. 

The HUB Central Access Point for Young Adults: $2,000, program support
Support for the expansion of the GED online platform. The HUB provides support services and programming for youth (16-24) transitioning into adulthood who are disconnected from their family and community. Through its education, employment, and empowerment-centered programming, the HUB offers GED preparation classes, work readiness skills training, and outreach services.


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, Lied Center for Performing Arts, and Nebraska Honors.

2020-2021 Forum Schedule
Mary Pipher
9.2.2020 – 7:00 PM
Author, Activist, and Clinical Psychologist
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

Forum Youth Panel
2.24.2021 – 7:00 PM
Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts
Ann Bancroft
3.31.2021 – 7:00 PM
Polar Explorer, Climate Advocate, Philanthropist
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