Grants Approved – June 2023

Center for Legal Immigration Assistance: $15,000
General operating support for immigrant and refugee clients by providing legal immigration services, interpretation, and mental health services at low or no cost.  

El Centro de las Americas: $20,000
Support towards the Vida Sana Mental Health Project, to help alleviate health disparities mental health needs by providing free, onsite behavioral health counseling services.  

Jewish Federation of Omaha-Institute for Holocaust Education (Omaha, NE): $7,500
General operating support for the 2023-2024 fiscal year for the Institute for Holocaust Education to provide educational resources, workshops, survivor testimony, and integrated arts programming to students, educators, and the public.  

Lincoln Arts Council: $10,000
General operating support to provide arts programming and advocacy to the Lincoln community.

Lincoln Choral Artists: $2,500
Support for the 2023-2024 season of this organization, which is the largest adult choir group in Lincoln.  

MilkWorks: $7,500
General operating support for MilkWorks, which offers board certified clinical support, education, supplies, and resources for families in Nebraska who wish to breastfeed.

Nebraska Crossroads Music Festival: $5,000
Support for the 4th annual Crossroads Music Festival taking place, August 4-6, 2023, in Lincoln and Omaha. The festival brings internationally recognized artists to Nebraska who share the stage with local musicians and artists representing many diverse cultural groups that call Nebraska home.

Nebraska Statewide Arboreturm: $7,500
Support for the Plant Grant Program to provide accessibility and outreach for communities which have been historically underserved, to engage community members in green improvement projects and restorative climate solutions at the local and regional levels. 

Nebraska Transition College: $7,500
Staff support for the pilot year of Nebraska’s Transition College’s (NTC) Residential Program. NTC’s mission is to empower individuals with an autism spectrum disorder or other learning disabilities to live independently through employment and transition to post-secondary education.

Nebraska Writers Collective: $7,500
Support for Lincoln activities related to the 2023-2024 All Writes Reserved (AWR) Youth Spoken Word Festival. AWR (formerly called Louder Than A Bomb) employs 50 plus local poets, sending them to schools across the state to mentor over 700 students each year in the art of performance poetry. 

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland: $7,500
Support for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education programs in Lincoln. 

Rabble Mill: $30,000
Towards the position of an English/Journalism teacher for the Lincoln Public Schools Bay High Focus Program.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Honors Program: $5,750
Support for Cooper Connections, a partnership between the Honors Program and the Cooper Foundation to cultivate dialogue and further engagement with the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues lecture series.

University of Nebraska State Museum: $8,000
Support for the volunteer and docent programs to help enable the Museum to provide unique programs, interactions, and experiences for visitors and students. 

Visionary Youth: $10,000
General operating support. Visionary Youth provides basic needs items, formal mentorship opportunities, and a safe space for youth and families in Lincoln through back-to-school and holiday events and programming at their Community Hub.

Grants Approved – March 2023

BraveBe Advocacy Center: $12,500
Support toward expansion of nursing staff.  

Bridges to Hope: $15,000
To support staffing and capacity building efforts towards the development of Hope Village, a tiny home project to serve formerly incarcerated and homeless populations. 

Clyde Malone Community Center: $20,000
Toward the Youth Program Director position.  

GiveNebraska: $6,500
Towards the 2023 campaign.

HopeSpoke: $15,000
General operating support toward mental health and behaviorial health programs for children and families.   

Legal Aid of Nebraska (Omaha, NE): $10,000
To support the UPLIFT Project to empower Lincoln’s low-income communities through legal education, advocacy, and representation.  

Lincoln Literacy: $10,000
Operational support for Bridgeway to a Better Life continuum of services through English language learning and workforce development.

Midland University (Fremont, NE): $10,000
Support for campus-wide mental health initiative for students and employees at Midland University. 

Nebraska Indian Child Welfare Coalition (Bloomfield, NE): $15,000
General operating support for this Native American-led organization that provides education, advocacy, and culturally informed services and trainings focused on the protection of Indian children’s rights and preserving cultural connections.

RISE Academy (Omaha, NE): $10,000
Toward the Lincoln Reentry Specialist position.

Solidago Conservancy: $12,500
General operating to support land conservation efforts targeting the Salt Valley Greenway in Lincoln and Lancaster County.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, College of Law: $25,000
Toward the position of Resource Navigator for the Tenant Assistance Program to provide support to tenants at eviction court in Lancaster County. 

University of Nebraska, Lincoln, International Quilt Museum: $9,500
Support for the New Deal exhibit, catalog, and online learning programming.

Wellbeing Initiative: $10,000
General operating support for trainings, services, and mental health programs build around peer support.

Willard Community Center: $15,000
General operating support.

YWCA of Lincoln: $10,000
General operating support.

Grants Approved – December 2022

Angels Theatre Company: $5,000
Toward the production of Predictor, a new play written by Jennifer Blackmer to premiere at the Johnny Carson Theatre February 10-18, 2023. The play is based on the real-world experience of protagonist Margaret Crane, the graphic artist who designed and invented the first home pregnancy test, increasing women’s autonomy and access to informed healthcare.  

Lincoln Community Foundation: $10,000
In support of the 2024 Lincoln Vital Signs report and to pilot a Special Issue on Race and Equity in 2023. Lincoln Vital Signs is a biennial report which aims to draw awareness of the socio-economic conditions and overall health of Lincoln compiling data gathered from different local and national sources. 


Metropolitan Opera/Nebraska Auditions: $1,000
Support for the annual Nebraska District Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera. The Nebraska District has taken part in annual auditions for 60 years since 1962, where as many as 1,500 auditions take place nationwide across 36 districts and 11 regions. Cooper first funded the auditions in 1982.

Mourning Hope Grief Center: $18,800
To support the position of a contracted grief counselor to provide bilingual counseling and bereavement support services to Hispanic and Latino families in Lincoln. Access to grief support services is a barrier for many populations, language being one of the largest deterrents of seeking support, especially in Lincoln where fewer Spanish-speaking professionals reside. 

University of Nebraska Foundation, Big Red Satellite: $20,000
In support of the Nebraska Big Red Satellite team to study perovskite cells, an emerging solar energy source meant to be more effective, uses less materials to create, and for its potential to generate energy on the dark side of the Earth. The team was selected by NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative, a highly competitive nationwide program to provide experiential learning for middle and high school students to engage in STEM and aerospace to build a working satellite and analyze and study data collected from space. 

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues: $22,699
Toward the Thompson Family Fund, established at the Cooper Foundation in 1999 by E.N. “Jack” and Katie Thompson to support the University of Nebraska programs with an emphasis on the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues.

Grants Approved – September 2022

Cause Collective: $5,925
For educational activities and capacity building programming for Lincoln and Lancaster County nonprofits. 

Centro Hispano Comunitario de Nebraska (Columbus, NE): $7,500
To support bilingual programming centered around immigration, education, and family support. Voz de Esperanza is a BIPOC-led organization and the only bilingual serving organization spanning a 6-county area to include Platte, Boone, Nance, Colfax, Madison, and Butler counties.

I Be Black Girl (Omaha, NE): $5,000
To support statewide advocacy and initiatives centering on Black women, femmes, and girls. I Be Black Girl (IBBG) is a reproductive justice-focused organization working to support an environment where Black women, femmes, and girls can live wholly and participate in policy and advocacy. 


Lincoln/Lancaster County Habitat for Humanity: $7,500
Support for technology.

Lincoln Orchestra Association: $7,500
General operating support for Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra 2022-23 season.

Literacy Council of Grand Island: $5,000
To support adult literacy programming in central Nebraska.

National Audubon, Spring Creek Prairie (Denton, NE): $7,500
General operating support for conservation work and education programming at Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center.

Nebraska Civic Engagement Table: $7,500
Towards programming, tools, resources, and technical assistance to grow civic engagement capacity throughout the state.

Nebraskans for the Arts (Omaha, NE): $5,000
Towards strategic planning and capacity building to support arts advocacy in Nebraska.

OpenSky Policy Institute: $7,500
General operating to support non-partisan fiscal research, analysis, communications, and outreach that advocates for a strong Nebraska through sound tax and budget policy.

United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County: $21,420
Towards the 2022 campaign.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Center for Digital Research in the Humanities: $10,000
Toward the Nebraska Holocaust survivor & WWII veteran/liberator stories project. 

Grants Approved – June 2022

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Lincoln: $7,500
General operating support. 

Community Action Partnership of Lancaster and Saunders Counties: $15,000
Funding to support furnishings, equipment, and technology for new rooms at Community Action Partnerships’ renovated early childhood education center at 18th and K Street.

Educare Lincoln: $10,000
To support the pilot of an early childhood workforce development program.

Girl Scouts Spirit of Nebraska: $10,500
Support toward the Lincoln Outreach Summer Series Day Camp program.

Junior Achievement of Lincoln: $10,000
General operating support. 

Lincoln Calling: $15,000
Staffing and organizational support for the Lincoln Calling Music and Arts Festival.

Lincoln Crossroads Music Festival: $10,000
Support for the 3rd Crossroads Music Festival in Lincoln, July 23-31, bringing internationally recognized artists to Lincoln to share the stage with local musicians and artists representing diverse cultural groups.

LUX Center for the Arts: $15,000
General operating support as LUX grows its three core programs: art education & outreach, artists-in-residence, and exhibitions.

Mid-America Arts Alliance (Kansas City, MO): $10,000
Second year funding for the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Initiative.

Nebraska Appleseed: $10,000
To support the Community Assistance Line to provide support and referral services for low-income Nebraskans.

Nebraska Cultural Endowment (Omaha, NE): $10,000
Operational funding for this private endowment that matches a public fund managed by the state of Nebraska to provide sustainability for the arts and humanities in Nebraska.

Nebraska Journalism Trust-Flatwater Free Press (Omaha, NE): $10,000
Funding for the Flatwater Free Press’ Lincoln Initiative to provide Lincoln residents with accessible, nonpartisan journalism. Flatwater is Nebraska’s first independent, nonprofit newsroom.

Nebraska Land Trust: $15,000
Staffing support for this organization that is a nationally recognized and accredited land trust that uses conservation easements to protect more than 32,000 acres of land across Nebraska.

United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County: $15,000
To support the Lincoln Resettlement Fund, a one-time community fundraising effort for ongoing wrap around supports to enhance services for newly arrived Afghan and Ukrainian refugee families.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, School of Natural Resources: $5,000
Funding for Community Climate Awareness Week (October 2022), to address climate change and its implications for Nebraska with the goal of educating people of all ages and promoting action.

Vision Maker Media: $5,000
Support for the 9th biennial Vision Maker Media Film Festival that showcases a variety of American Indian, Alaska Native, and worldwide Indigenous films, and brings filmmakers in for public presentations and discussions.

Visionary Youth: $15,000
General operating support. Visionary youth provides basic needs items, formal mentorship opportunities, and a safe space for youth and families in Lincoln through back-to-school and holiday events and programming at their Community Hub. 

YWCA Lincoln: $20,000
General operating support for programming, partnerships, and capacity building for training and education programs.

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