The Foundation(s) of Lincoln
by Aja Martin
One of the reasons that Lincoln is such a good destination is so subtle that it often goes missed. Lincoln is a great city because it’s people believe in taking care of it; through activism, public service, and deliberate purpose. These decisions radiate beyond their intended scope.
We have bookstores because a thriving library system helped encourage young readers from the start. We can showcase brilliant businesses because their owners had access to a topnotch education system. We have green destinations all over the city because we have a program dedicated to their existence.
And touching on all of those topics? The Lincoln Community Foundation (215 Centennial Mall South) whose mission is to “Provide leadership and resources to help build a great city.”
LCF allows any, and all, residents to contribute towards the causes they find most worthy. The heart of their work, as described by their President, Alec Gorynski, is believing “Anybody can be a philanthropist.”
Part of the genius of LCF is that individuals are not donating to them, rather they are investing in the community through them, to the places that need them most. This is their true strength, serving as facilitators of philanthropy for the benefit of our community. And if you want to give, but don’t know how or who to, they have advisors who can help guide you through the process.
Summed up best, by Gorynski, “Our purpose is to facilitate giving from Lincoln to Lincoln.” The most well-known way to do so is through Give to Lincoln Day. This annual event, set to celebrate its 12th iteration in May 2023, has raised more than $50 million so far. LCF has a donation match program that leverages the impact of that day.
Almost every foundation listed below has benefited from LCF’s work. (See www.lcf.org/ for
The Foundation for Lincoln City Libraries (136 S. 14th Street) is dedicated to supporting the expansion of Lincoln City Libraries so they can meet the needs of a growing community. Similarly to LCF, donors give to the library system, or specific programs, through the foundation. FLCL has events, raises funds, and manages multiple endowments all for the benefit of enriching the lives of Lincolnites, Nebraskans, and even visitors who can make use of Lincoln library services.
Just as FLCL has helped Lincoln libraries grow, both in locations and services, so too has the foundation itself grown. The Heritage Room, once just a literal room, bloomed into an entire project that helped inspire the creation of the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association. Their program helps promote and preserve Nebraska writers’ work.
See foundationforlcl.org for more information.
The Nebraska State Bar Foundation, 635 S. 14th Street, wears several hats. Through education programs, managing scholarship funds, and civic engagement events, NSBF encourages Nebraskans to be actively engaged in their community. This foundation seeks to fulfill the American vision of equal justice for all.
Executive Director Doris Huffman credits the success of programming to the volunteer work of judges, lawyers, and other legal professionals who dedicate their time, energy, and resources to the betterment of all Nebraskans.
See www.nebarfnd.org for more information on programs.
The Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, 5905 O Street, has benefited Lincoln school children for 30+ years now. Lincoln Public Schools have been recognized nationally as a school system that gets results. Part of that success comes from having support from the community, volunteers, and this foundation.
Tax dollars cover educational essentials. But children thrive when given opportunities to grow, play, and explore. FLPS has dedicated itself to provide those opportunities for the Lincoln community. They help students and families directly in addition to their larger scale group projects.
for ways to help or to find resources you
The Lincoln Parks Foundation, 3131 O Street, celebrated its 30th year in 2022. The foundation supports Lincoln Parks & Rec while providing donors a way to give charitably to the program.
LPF works to both maintain existing green spaces across the city but also to create more recreational opportunities for Lincolnites and visitors alike. They recognize the importance of parks is not just aesthetic—our robust system contributes to the health and happiness of the community.
Visit www.lincolnparks.org to see the history of projects organized by year.