Who We Are
Creating connections to grow our region
We’ve made it our mission to inspire philanthropy to create a thriving community for all. We do this by cultivating generosity, by strengthening nonprofits, and by engaging the community around priority issues.
We invest in programs that help us to understand local needs and build community in a whole new way. Additionally, we expand giving opportunities for donors through charitable giving services, legacy giving, family philanthropy, and sharing our community knowledge.
Just as you might expect, the Omaha Community Foundation was created from a desire to consolidate efforts to make our community better—from improving the environment to preserving its history, to strengthening neighborhoods, increasing opportunity, and spreading generosity throughout our community.
By establishing a community foundation, Omaha would have a way to focus on the community’s greatest needs. And bring people—donors, nonprofits, 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 with a matching grant from the Peter Kiewit Foundation.
Today, there are over 700 community foundations in the United States. The Omaha Community Foundation has ranked in the Philanthropy 400 since 2007 and in the top five percent of community foundations since 2001.
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, our collective of donors have granted more than $1.8 billion in its history. That kind of generosity ranks Omaha in the top three percent in per capita giving.
In the process, the Omaha Community Foundation has also grown to include more than 1,700 donors, serving the needs of over 3,000 nonprofits, initiatives, and funds throughout greater Omaha and southwest Iowa.