History

Getting better all the time

Just as you might expect, the Omaha Community Foundation was created from a desire to do more to consolidate efforts to make our community better. From improving the environment, to preserving its history, to strengthening neighborhoods, to increasing opportunity and supporting efforts to assist the neediest among us.

By establishing a community foundation, Omaha would have a way to focus on the community’s greatest needs. And bring people – donors, charities, businesses and government agencies – together toward meeting those needs.

So, at the urging of the Junior League, and with help from several prominent Omahans, Willis Strauss, former InterNorth chairman, and Dale Te Kolste, former InterNorth vice president and chief financial officer, founded the Omaha Community Foundation.

There are over 700 community foundations in the United States. The Omaha Community Foundation has been in the Philanthropy 400 for 11 years and in the top 5% of community foundations for 7 years. Community foundation giving represents the fastest cumulative growth in foundation giving.

Since 1982, the Foundation has enabled donors to generously contribute to the good of the community through its 501(c)(3) status. And in doing so, granted more than $906 million in its history – $125 million in 2012 alone. That kind of generosity ranks us #4 nationally in per capita giving.

In the process, the Omaha Community Foundation has also grown to include more than 1200 donors, serving the needs of over 3000 nonprofits, initiatives and funds throughout greater Omaha and southwest Iowa.

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