In May, the Fund for Omaha, the Omaha Community Foundation’s largest grant program, awarded $278,112 to 17 local nonprofits with operating budgets over $500,000.

The Fund for Omaha is designed to strengthen the local nonprofit community by addressing pressing needs identified by organizations and supporting effective solutions. In this cycle, grant funds went to programs ranging from hiring an outreach and inclusion coordinator at one local nonprofit, to expanding technology accessibility for clients at another.

The following organizations received funding:

  • Child Saving Institute Program, $5,000, Child Saving Institute KidSquad Program
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, $20,000, Community-based mentoring for youth in foster care
  • MICAH House Corporation, $10,000, MICAH House BUDDY Program
  • Youth Emergency Services, $25,000, Omaha’s Only Emergency Shelter for Youth
  • Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, $15,000, Ellie Mae Software Implementation
  • Omaha Home for Boys, $15,000, Jacobs’ Place Transitional Living Program
  • Opera Omaha, $25,000, Holland Community Opera Fellowship
  • Joslyn Art Museum, $15,000, School and community outreach programs
  • Mercy High School, $9,000, ACT Test Prep Funding (must be used this year)
  • Nebraska Enterprise Fund, $25,000, Expanding North Omaha Outreach
  • CASA for Douglas County, $25,000, CASA Volunteer Management & Supervision
  • Grief’s Journey, $10,000, Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator
  • Nebraska Children’s Home Society Program, $18,000, Children & Family Center –  Wraparound Intensive Services
  • Fontenelle Forest, $25,000, Fontenelle Forest Trail Repair
  • Rebuilding Together Omaha, $16,000, Project Houseworks Branding and Marketing Plan – Phase 1
  • Crossroads of Western Iowa Inc., $5,122, Technology Accessibility for Program Clients
  • Let Good Grow Fund, $15,000, Sponsor Small Tier for OG Participation Prizes

“We are thrilled to support so many organizations this cycle who are working to deliver impactful services and programming around a range of important issues throughout the region. In addition to supporting these nonprofits, the grant cycle offers the Foundation an opportunity to learn an immense amount about the current needs and challenges within our community. This insight helps inform our ongoing collaborative work with nonprofit organizations throughout the region.”

The 17 organizations funded in the Spring grant cycle represented only 24 percent of the requests submitted to the committee. Criteria the grant committee looks at in making funding decisions include organizational strength, collaboration, understanding of need within the community, and a clear strategy to address the identified need.

Additional learnings and insights from this grant cycle included:

  • More than $1 million was requested for programming expenses, while approximately $270,000 was requested for capacity building expenses by nonprofits
  • Within capacity building requests, 66% of applications ask for funding to support hiring new staff or boost staff and volunteer training
  • 11 nonprofits (15% of all applicants) asked for funding to support employment or job-training programs offered to the community by their organization
  • Over three-fourths of all requests were connected to Landscape indicators, with nearly one-third of applications connected to the area of Health

The Fund for Omaha distributes grants twice annually; once in the Spring to large nonprofits and in the Fall to smaller nonprofits with operating budgets under $500,000. To learn more about the Fund for Omaha program and grant cycles, click here.