City of Lincoln creates COVID-19 response fund for vulnerable individuals

Posted at 2:26 PM, Mar 20, 2020

On Friday the City of Lincoln, philanthropic organizations and business partners launched the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund to assist nonprofits that have been serving vulnerable individuals in the community.

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said the fund was designed to rapidly deploy flexible resources to local nonprofits working with those disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, including those who have become newly vulnerable as a result of this public health emergency.

“This is a crucible moment: In the midst of this pandemic, our community is coming together to create something new and urgently needed,” said Mayor Gaylor Baird. “The Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund will provide resources to some of our most impacted residents. I thank all those involved in the Fund’s creation – our philanthropic and business partners, as well as the grassroots donors – whose generosity of spirit during this challenging time is a testament to the power of community.”

The fund will be hosted by the Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF), with the process, criteria, and decisions for making grants being determined by the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Committee, with representation from a cross-section of the community.

“This is a devastating world situation that affects our entire community,” said LCF President, Barbara Bartle. “Our thoughts go out to everyone impacted by this crisis. We hope this fund serves as a platform for a ‘community helping hand.’ We are all in this together.”

Strategic partners have donated a combined $500,000 to support the fund and provide a proportional match to donations contributed by the community. These partners include Abel Foundation, Acklie Charitable Foundation, Allo, Ameritas, Community Health Endowment, Greater Lincoln Chamber Foundation, Harbor of Dreams, LCF, Nelnet, Rhonda Seacrest, Susan Sehnert Stuart, Union Bank & Trust Company, Inc., and J.A. Woollam Foundation.

Funds will be released on a rolling basis as fundraising continues throughout the phases of the crisis, making it possible to move resources quickly and adapt to evolving needs. 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. Details on how nonprofits will request resources from this fund will be announced in the near future.

More information on the Lincoln COVID-19 Response Fund can be found at or by calling the Lincoln Community Foundation at 402-474-2345.