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.

Grants Approved – June 2020

Bright Lights: $2,500, operating support
Cooper has supported Bright Lights since their inception, and they have had success in summer learning programs for 35 years. In response to the pandemic, they created a new virtual camp experience that is free to all.

Civic Nebraska: $7,500, operating support
Civic Nebraska has continued their work despite the pandemic, by advocating for vulnerable communities, providing connections to resources, promoting the 2020 Census and working on voter engagement, and creating new educational opportunities for young people.

Clyde Malone Community Center: $10,000, operating support
Malone was founded in 1955 through a reorganization of the Lincoln Urban league during a time when civil rights for African Americans were extremely limited. They believed that enhanced understanding between all groups of people would create a better community. For decades, Malone has served neighboring families, youth, seniors and the Lincoln community with inclusive, social, cultural, educational, employment and welfare services. 

Durham Museum (Omaha, NE): $5,000, program support
The Durham Museum offers a fascinating look at the history of our region and offers a broad-range of traveling exhibits. Cooper funding will support the spring 2021 exhibition of, “Beyond the Vote”, exploring the impact of the 19th Amendment, and the women’s suffrage movement.

Food Bank of Lincoln: $10,000, operating support
The Food Bank of Lincoln is a proud member of Feeding America. Since their founding in 1982, they have been focused on alleviating hunger in Southeast Nebraska, serving 16 counties. The Food Bank continues to monitor developments regarding the spread of COVID-19, and are committed to feeding neighbors facing food insecurity. 

Lincoln Medical Education Partnership: $5,000, operating support
LMEP provides training and resources through their School Community Intervention and Prevention (SCIP) program to bring together families, schools and the community to support student mental, behavioral, and emotional health. 

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, International Quilt Museum:
$5,000, operating support
The International Quilt Museum’s mission is to build a global collection and audience that celebrate the cultural and artistic significance of quilts. Due to the pandemic, IQM has adapted to virtual opportunities hosted on their website.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lied Center for Performing Arts: $5,000, operating support
The Lied is Lincoln’s largest arts organization. As they adapt to the pandemic and plan for their future season, they have continued to offer virtual programming.

Vision Maker Media: $2,500, program support
Vision Maker Media will be hosting an online, five-week-long celebration of American Indian, Alaska Native and worldwide Indigenous films from August 31 – October 5, 2020. The festival will host a collective of inspiring filmmakers and Native celebrities engaging in digital conversations, creating a space for both healing and learning.

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.

Grants Approved – April 2020

Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln Lancaster County: $5,000, operating support
For more than a century Boys & Girls Clubs of America, through a network of more than 4,300 clubs across the nation and on military bases around the world have been working to enable young people to reach their full potential.

Center for Legal Immigration Assistance: $10,000, operating support
CLIA is the only DOJ accredited nonprofit organization in Lincoln that provides a full array of legal immigration services. CLIA serves approximately 600 clients per year representing over 90 countries.

Flatwater Shakespeare Company: $2,500, operating support
Flatwater Shakespeare Company connects younger audiences, non-traditional audiences, and under-represented groups with the dramatic arts, and exciting productions of Shakespeare’s plays. 

Fresh Start, Inc: $10,000, operating support
Fresh Start is a transitional shelter that empowers homeless women to change their lives by recognizing and utilizing their strengths to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. 

Mourning Hope Grief Center: $7,500, operating support
Mourning Hope companions grieving children, teens, young adults and families when someone significant in their lives has a serious illness or has died. They provide free support groups, community education, grief resources and referrals.


Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center: $5,000, operating support
Spring Creek focuses on conservation of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem and the birds that rely on it. This 850-acre tallgrass prairie sanctuary offers over three miles of walking trails, native prairie grasslands, wetlands and ponds, wildflowers and grasses, and beautiful scenic vistas. 

Voices of Hope: $10,000, operating support
Voices of Hope’s primary focus is on crisis intervention services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and related forms of abuse. When working with individuals who come for help, immediate priorities are the safety and empowerment of the victims and their families. 

Grants Approved – March 2020

Big Brothers Big Sisters Lincoln: $5,000
General operating support.

Community Services Fund of Nebraska: $5,000
Community Services Fund connects donors with causes they care about most.

Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools: $10,000
In support of the LPS: COVID-19 Crisis Response Fund to support LPS students and families who are in need of emergency funds.

Lincoln Community Foundation: $10,000
To support the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund as a strategic partner. This fund will rapidly deploy needed resources to nonprofit organizations. 

Multicultural Coalition: (Grand Island, NE) $7,500
General operating support.

Nebraska Appleseed: $7,500
General operating support.

Nebraska Civic Engagement Table: $5,000
Lancaster County Get Out the Vote initiative. 

Nebraska Land Trust: $7,500
General operating support. 

Nebraskans for the Arts: (Omaha, NE) $5,000
General operating support.

Grants Approved – December 2019

Lincoln Orchestra Association: $2,500
Operating support.

CEDARS Youth Services: $30,000
To support a staff therapist position for the youth emergency shelter.

Center for People in Need: $20,000
General operating support. 

Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools: $15,000
To support scholarships for the Spark Summer Learning program.

Groundwater Foundation: $12,500
General operating support.

HoChunk Community Development Corporation: (Winnebago, NE) $15,000
Support for HoChunk Harvest, a major food sovereignty initiative led by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska reservation. Created in response to pervasive nutrition-related health problems and poor access to food.

Humanities Nebraska: $2,500
Program support. 

Lauritzen Gardens: (Omaha, NE) $10,000
To support the seed bank conservation program to save endangered plants in Nebraska and the Great Plains. 

Lincoln Housing Authority: $10,000
In support of the Student-build House program in partnership with Lincoln Northeast High School and Lincoln Public Schools.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Center for Great Plains Studies: $10,000
In support of the April 2020 symposium on, “Climate Change & Culture in the Great Plains.”

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Honors Program: $4,000
To pilot five monthly Cooper Conversations for students, community stakeholders, and faculty to discuss issues of local and global importance as it relates to community building and civic engagement.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jazz in June: $5,000
Toward the 29th year of Jazz in June in the summer of 2020.


University of Nebraska-Lincoln, International Quilty Study Center & Museum: $15,000
To support an Education Coordinator staff position. 

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lied Center for Performing Arts: $10,000
General operating support for education programming and residency activities for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company performance.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Platte Basin Timelapse: $50,000
Operating support for 2020 and 2021 for ongoing data collection and multimedia content creation for the Platte Basin Timelapse project.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues: $20,553
Support for the 2020-2021 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 2019

Brownville Concert Series, Inc.  
(Brownville, NE): $10,000
General operating support for the 2019 concert series season.

Civic Nebraska: $25,000
To support the Nebraska Counts 2020 Census campaign activities in Lincoln and Lancaster County. 

Jewish Federation of Omaha-Institute for Holocaust Education: $10,000
General operating support for the organization’s statewide work providing educational resources, student programs, teacher training, and cultural opportunities.

Lincoln Children’s Museum: $5,400
Towards a new program, Project Celebration, and to support families with a free birthday party experience.

Lincoln Choral Artists: $4,000
Support for the 40th anniversary concert season, marked with special guests, performances, and the premier of a signature piece commissioned by Lincoln Choral Artists.

Lincoln Council for International Visitors: $10,000
For a part-time executive director to expand citizen diplomacy programming. 

Lincoln Literacy: $9,600
To help enable refugee and immigrant students interested in education careers with a path toward teaching certification.

LUX Center for the Arts: $15,000
General operating support for Lux’s comprehensive visual arts education programs, exhibitions, and scholarships.

Metropolitan Opera/Nebraska Auditions: $1,000
Towards the 2019-2020 Nebraska auditions.

Nebraska Children and Families Foundation: $15,000
General operating support for this organization that works with communities to develop programs and strategies that strengthen families, prevent child abuse and neglect, and provide quality early childhood education. 

OutNebraska: $20,000
To support the position of Community Organizer.

Rabble Mill: $20,000
General operating support for this organization that uses the communities of skateboarding, arts and music to connect youth with opportunities to learn new media skills, develop their unique interests, and share their voices with the world. 

Radio Talking Book Service: $5,000
To support the Radio Talking Book Network, Nebraska’s only radio reading service, where volunteers provide daily readings of newspapers, magazines, grocery and department store ads. Community Conversations, and other programming for people who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise unable to access printed material. 

Special Olympics Nebraska: $10,000
To support the Unified Champions Schools program in Lincoln schools.

Stuhr Museum Foundation
(Grand Island, NE): $20,000
Toward technology infrastructure upgrades. Stuhr Museum’s 200-acre campus features art, historical exhibits, and education and preservation programs to portray an era of pioneer town builders who created the first communities in Nebraska.

Sunrise Communications Inc./KZUM: $15,000
General operating support for KZUM, Lincoln’s noncommerical, listener-supported community radio station. 

United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County: $19,543
Support for the 2019 annual campaign.

Willa Cather Foundation
(Red Cloud, NE): $20,000
Support for a full-time Education Coordinator. The Willa Cather Foundation is dedicated to advancing the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Will Cather and preserving the historical setting and archival material associated with her life and writings.

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