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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