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 – May 2020

ACLU of Nebraska: $10,000, operating support
For over 50 years in Nebraska, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional and individual rights of all people. 

CenterPointe: $10,000, operating support
Grounded by the solid belief that every person has the ability to recover, CenterPointe offers a full continuum of care – treatment, rehabilitation, and housing – for individuals who are experiencing homelessness and/or are low-income. 

Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska: $5,000, operating support
Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska is the largest girl-serving organization in the state with about 19,000 members. They have six service centers, six camps and one outdoor education facility, and span more than 77,300 square miles across 92 Nebraska counties and Carter Lake, Iowa.

Junior Achievement of Lincoln, Inc: $5,000, operating support
Junior Achievement has 106 local JA Areas across the nation, and together they are the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices.

Lincoln Children’s Museum: $10,000, operating support
Build, dance, play, cliLmb, create, sing, and laugh at the Lincoln Children’s Museum. Here you can be whatever and go wherever your imagination takes you! 

Lincoln Community Playhouse: $7,500, operating support
The Playhouse has been an integral part of the arts community since 1946. LCP offers outreach programs for all ages including the Penguin Project, for special needs youth and peer mentors; the RadioActive Players program for seniors; theater arts classes and summer camps for youth; and free performances offered for Title I schools.

Mid-America Arts Alliance:
(Kansas City, MO)
$10,000, operating support
M-AAA is a nonprofit, regional arts organization—representing Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas—that focuses on strengthening communities and improving lives through extraordinary cultural experiences.

Rabble Mill: $10,000, operating support
Rabble Mill provides economically, culturally disadvantaged youth with the belonging and purpose they need to grow and reinvest in their community, through their program divisions; The Bay, Hear Nebraska, and Skate for Change.


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, Lied Center for Performing Arts, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

2019 Forum Schedule
Nadia Murad
September 17, 2019 – 6:00 P.M.
Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Yazidi human rights activist, advocate for survivors of genocide and sexual violence.
Leymah Gbowee
October 1, 2019 – 6:00 P.M.
Nobel Peace Prize recipent, Liberian peace activist and women’s rights advocate.
Farah Pandith
October 8, 2019 – 6:00 P.M.
Foreign policy strategist, former diplomat and world-leading expert in countering violent extremism. 
Contact Us

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