The concept for organizing a community foundation became reality due to the interests of family members Thomas, Frank and Henry Woods. Their interest in the welfare of Lincoln urged the family to help provide a way for citizens to make charitable gifts with the certainty that their intentions would be permanently observed no matter how conditions or needs might change over the years.
A group of leading citizens with a vision, a genuine love for Lincoln and dedication to its constant improvement founded the Lincoln Foundation in 1955. The first gift to the Lincoln Foundation came from the Woods Charitable Fund and totaled $50,000.
In 1964, the Woods family contributed the current Lincoln Community Foundation building to the organization, with the intent that it would house local nonprofit organizations. Building founders included:
Frank H. Woods (1868-1952)
Nelle C. Woods (1870-1950)
Thomas C. Woods (1895-1958)
Henry C. Woods (1895-1968)
Frank H. Woods, Jr. (1905-1980)
The first grant awarded in 1955 was $539 to support a movie and slide projector for the Pinewood Bowl. By 2010, an estate gift in excess of $16 million allowed the Foundation to make the largest grant in our history; a $600,000 grant for the new Union Plaza amphitheater and surrounding bike trails.
In 2015, the Lincoln Community Foundation was recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Nebraska Chapter with their Outstanding Foundation in Nebraska award for our commitment to philanthropy. Learn more about the AFP award.
It takes gifts of all sizes to make the Lincoln Community Foundation’s efforts a success and ensure our continued role as a primary community benefactor. The Foundation is poised to hear and respond to the changing needs of our citizens and community now and in the future.