Cooper Foundation Awards First Quarter Grants at March Meeting

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Lincoln, Neb. — The Cooper Foundation Board of Trustees awarded a grant of $15,000 to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Cedar Point Biological Station (CPBS), a field research facility and experiential classroom located in Ogallala, Nebraska. The grant will fund the addition of a Motus network which supports global research on the movement of animals using radio receivers set up by independent groups. There are tracking systems located in the Great Plains, but none in Nebraska, even though Nebraska is an important movement corridor for birds, mammals, and insects.

The Motus system will allow for further study of the movements of birds using the North Platte ecosystem as a migratory stopover habitat and breeding ground, when they pass through the area on their way south in the fall, and where they go to winter. The new network will enable Cedar Point to enhance research and collaboration, provide opportunities for training and hands-on class instruction, and support the collection of new data to the field of ecology and conservation.

In addition, the Foundation approved 15 grants to a diverse group of arts, civic and community engagement, education, environment, human services, and humanities programs. In total, $181,700, was awarded; grant recipients are located in Lincoln unless otherwise noted.

Approved for Funding by the Cooper Foundation, March 2021


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

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

Civic and Community Engagement

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

Community Improvement

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.

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


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

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.

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


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

National Wild 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.

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.

Human Services

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

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


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.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted over $25 million to benefit the people of Nebraska. The Foundation makes quarterly grants supporting arts, civic and community engagement, education, environment, humanities and human services primarily in Lincoln and Lancaster County. For more information about grant guidelines and deadlines, call 402-476-7571, or visit the foundation’s web site,

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