Grants Approved – June 2021

Blixt Locally Grown: $5,000
To support the inaugural year of the Blixt Fellowship program for emerging playwrights. 

Center for Legal Immigration Assistance: $20,000
For general operating support.

Conservation Nebraska: $15,000
To expand the Conservation Nebraska’s Common Ground Program in Southeast Nebraska.

Flatwater Shakespeare Company: $14,000
Toward general operating focused on supporting their educational programming and outreach.

Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska: $7,500
In support of the Lincoln Outreach Program for Lincoln area girls in grades K-12.

Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival: $15,000
To help underwrite fees and expenses of local touring musicians for the 2021 Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival (July 31-August 8).

Lincoln/Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity: $15,000
Towards a software program that will better track all housing work, including new houses and the home repair program. 

Lincoln Police Department $15,000
To fund the Clutch Mentor program to reduce gang membership by partnering at-risk youth on probation with an adult mentor and incentive programming.

Nebraska Cultural Endowment: $15,000
For general operating support.

Nebraska Transition College: $7,500
To support the creation of a social, living, and work-ready skills development curriculum for individuals with disabilities.

Prairie Loft Center for Agriculture & Outdoor Education, Hastings, NE: $15,000
To support experiential learning programming and build capacity to assess education and community engagement efforts with families and schools. 

St. Monica’s: $20,000
To purchase and update security and technology for their facilities and programs.

The Bridge Behaviorial Health: $20,000
To replace The Bridge’s outdated HVAC unit.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Honors Program: $18,000
Toward Cooper Connections at the University Honors Program, including Cooper Conversations that bring students and community leaders together for ciritical dialogue, and Cooper Community Scholars, an experiential learning scholarship to engage Honors students with local organizations, elected officials, and community programs.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues: $250,000
To support the Thompson Forum on World Issues series for 2022 – 2026. The Thompson Forum is Nebraska’s premiere lecture series, established in 1988 with the purpose of bringing a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the University and the people of Nebraska to promote understanding of global issues that face us all. The Thompson Forum is a collaborative program of the Cooper Foundation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lied Center for Performing Arts, and is presented by the University of Honors Program.

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.

Grants Approved – December 2020

Asian Community and Cultural Center: $30,000
Toward general operating support. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lincoln: $15,000
General operating support.

Community CROPS: $14,700
To support a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training for staff and board members for Community CROPS, NeighborWorks Lincoln, and South of Downtown Community Development Organization.

Educare Lincoln: $25,000
Toward a new staff position.

Lincoln Orchestra Association: $15,000
Toward general operating support for the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra.

LUX Center for the Arts: $20,000
For general operating support.

Metropolitan Opera/Nebraska Auditions: $1,000
In support of the annual Nebraska auditions of the Metropolitan Opera.

Nebraska Wesleyan University:
To support a project-based community collaboration between Nebraska Wesleyan University, Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties, and the Asian Community and Cultural Center.

OutNebraska: $20,000
Toward general operating support.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues: $21,093
Support for the 2021-2022 series from the Thompson Family Fund, established at the Cooper Foundation in 1999 by E.N. “Jack” and Katie Thompson to support the Thompson Forum.


Grants Approved – September 2020

Bridges to Hope: $7,500,
operating support
Bridges to Hope serves as the first point of contact after incarceration to connect vital services, programs and necessities for men and women reentering society. They were forced to close March through May but still served 206 women and men in this period of time.

CEDARS Youth Services: $10,000, operating support
CEDARS is the primary agency that supports homeless and near-homeless youth, and the Youth Opportunity Center is a critical component of those services, providing a place to get meals, do laundry, and connect with community services, mentors and peers in a safe and welcoming environment. They have adapted services to serve youth safely through the pandemic,

Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools: $10,000, operating support
FLPS has continued to secure funding for emergency needs for students and families, including administering federal CARES dollars. They are working with LPS to fill gaps, such as protective gear for music students and funds for coats and winter clothing.

Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Inc,: $5,000,
operating support
The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum (NSA) is part of a public-private partnership between UNL Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The NSA provides planting guides, landscaping management, and educational resources for all in the community in an effort to support native plants and biodiversity in Nebraska.

Nebraska Writers Collective (Omaha, NE): $7,500, operating support
Nebraska Writers Collective has two important programs in Lincoln – with youth and with those in the Lincoln Correctional Center – that provide creative learning, acceptance, and a sense of belonging. They have worked to move the programming online with success.

Northeast Family Center: $10,000, operating support
The Northeast Family Center (NFC) provides child care and serves as the host agency for the before and after school programming at Brownell and Norwood Park Elementary Schools. In response to the pandemic, NFC  pivoted quickly to offer its own facility to continue programs, and financing solutions for families having difficulties paying for care.

Prairie Loft Center (Hastings, NE): $5,000, operating support
The Prairie Loft Center offers activities centered around agricultural and environmental education to promote healthy connections and community engagement to people of all ages. They remained opened to offer families and schools active outdoor learning, adapting their experiential education program to include home delivered activity packs, virtual field trips and lesson plans.

TADA Productions, Inc.: $7,500, operating support
TADA halted its 20th anniversary season which resulted in the cancellation of all shows. To adapt to limitations, TADA was able to stay connected to patrons to create TADA’s Talent Tonight featuring performances attracting over 5,000 viewers. 

United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County:
$19,934, operating support
In support of the 2020 annual campaign.

University of Nebraska State Museum: $5,000, operating support
The University of Nebraska State Museum Education Department is in charge of the creation, delivery and outreach for all museum programming at Morrill Hall. It serves an average of 35,000 Pre-K through 12th grade students and teachers, and an additional 65,000 visitors. Due to the pandemic, the Museum closed its doors from March through August and pivoted to provide free, online access to programs and resources. 

Willa Cather Foundation (Red Cloud, NE): $10,000, operating support
The Willa Cather Foundation has been able to adapt their services and activities to an online format with success. The Foundation introduced virtual programming to include four art exhibits, guided site tours, a new National Poetry Month project, a student theater production and hosted their annual Spring Conference virtually. 

Willard Community Center: $10,000, operating support
The Willard Community Center (WCC) is the lead agency for the Before and After school programs at Roper Elementary and Lakeview Elementary Schools, and offers early childhood education, summer learning opportunities, and senior programs. Due to the pandemic, WCC closed for two weeks in March and rapidly responded to update curriculums, safety policies, and staff training to meet new regulations. 

Grants Approved – August 2020

El Centro de las Americas: $10,000,
operating support
El Centro has been providing services for over 35 years in the areas of education, family support, youth empowerment, health, and resource navigation. Latinx families, served by El Centro, have been the hardest-hit by the pandemic. Due to COVID-19, the staff have seen opportunities to increase services via online and remote options. 

Jewish Federation of Omaha-Institute for Holocaust Education: $7,500, operating support
The Institute for Holocaust Education (IHE) provides educational resources, workshops, survivor testimony, and integrated arts programming to students, educators, and the public. Since March, IHE has worked to redefine and redesign all programing and educational opportunities to serve its educators and thousands of students virtually. 

Lincoln Arts Council: $5,000,
operating support
As a result of COVID-19, the Lincoln Arts Council (LAC) has found alternative ways to help the arts community in Lincoln. LAC acts as a conduit between artists and schools, and they are expanding to place artists with community groups for programs and projects, including community-building neighborhood arts programs to use the arts as a tool to foster resilience and to uplift social inclusion.

Lincoln Childrens Zoo: $10,000, program support
Due to the pandemic, the Lincoln Children’s Zoo closed for 80 days but running the facilities and caring for the animals continued. The Zoo reopened to introduce the Wildlife Walk and safely welcome guests back. This adventure will take guests on a one-way route throughout the Zoo to see the many beloved animals.

Lincoln Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity: $5,000, operating support
For more than 30 years Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln has built or repaired more than 162 local homes; housing more than 750 men, women and children. The pandemic has delayed some activities but helped to accelerate others as they move forward. After they closed ReStore, their recycled building goods store, they were able to launch an online e-store and app.

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation: $10,000, program support
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation works with community collaboratives to provide one-stop access to resources, and continues to adapt and streamline its model to meet the needs of communities across Nebraska. It is working to help develop rapid response plans, coordinate activities across the public/private sectors, and address emergent needs. In a direct response to COVID-19, NC provided devices and virtual activities for students to stay connected.

Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence:
$5,000, operating support
The Nebraska Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence is a statewide network of 20 member organizations which offers a range of services to adult and child victims of sexual and domestic violence. During the pandemic, the Coalition has consulted with national partners to align a more unified approach and invested in additional software to continue its assessment of members, training registration, and data collection.

YWCA Lincoln: $10,000, operating support
In response to COVID-19, YWCA Lincoln immediately pivoted to provide support for program participants, families, and others in need. They have provided housing and transportation assistance, medical supplies, delivery and distribution of care packages, educational supports, and personal necessities. They also continue advocacy efforts to promote the 2020 Census, voting, and civic engagement.

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.

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