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2020 Media Releases

April 4, 2020
Media Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, City Communications, 402-441-7831
Jenny Chapin, LCF, 402-474-2345

13 Nonprofits Receive Initial Grants From Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today announced that the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund has distributed $189,000 in grants to 13 local nonprofit organizations. She said the grants are a coordinated first response to provide immediate economic stability and meet the basic needs of Lincoln residents, including access to food, housing, medical information, and other support.

"This first round of funding provides a critical lifeline to Lincoln families and residents in need of basic supports provided by local nonprofits serving on the frontlines of this pandemic," said Mayor Gaylor Baird. "I thank all those who are quickly responding to emerging needs in our city and whose compassion knows no bounds, and I thank all those involved in administering and growing the Fund. Your service, at this crucial time, matters immensely to the community."

The Fund, hosted by the Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF), was announced March 20. To date, the Fund has received $742,000 in contributions, including $500,000 from strategic partners. The Fund was created to provide grants to nonprofits that support vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

The first round of grant recipients was identified by a coalition including the City, LCF, the United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County, the Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (LPED), the Community Health Endowment (CHE), and other philanthropic and business partners. The coalition is led by a committee chaired by Bryan Seck, Director of Workforce Development for LPED. Meagan Liesveld, Executive Director of the United Way serves as Vice Chair.

The first phase of grant recipients:

"The community response has been wonderful," said Barbara Bartle, LCF President. "It is so clear that in Lincoln, we help our neighbors as caregivers, volunteers, or donors. In the coming weeks, the needs will continue to grow. Thank you for answering the call to lend a 'community helping hand.' We are all in this together."

To make it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs, Bartle said the Fund will continue to award operating grants on a rolling basis as fundraising continues. She said the Fund is designed to complement the work of public health officials and expand local capacity to address all aspects of the pandemic as efficiently as possible.

Individual donors, institutions, companies, and other funders are encouraged to contribute to the Fund at More information, including details for nonprofits on requesting resources, is also available at the website or by calling 402-474-2345.

Strategic partners include Abel Foundation; Acklie Charitable Foundation; Allo; Ameritas; CHE; Cooper Foundation; Greater Lincoln Chamber Foundation; Harbor of Dreams; LCF; Nelnet; Rhonda Seacrest; The Sherwood Foundation; Susan Sehnert Stuart; Union Bank & Trust Company, Inc.; and J.A. Woollam Foundation.

More information on the City's response to COVID-19 is available at

Mayor's Office
Media Releases