2018 Impact Report

Turning Passion into Purpose

At the Grand Island Community Foundation, we understand that the legacy of a community — or an entire area — is built one person at a time. Individuals see tangible improvements in their lives when the passions of their neighbors are turned into purpose through the foundation.

In 2018, efforts were launched to beautify Grand Island’s parks, revitalize its arboretum and bring the fun and fitness of pickleball to even more fans. Mayoral grants helped 10 agencies assist individuals with everything from housing to literacy to medical needs. One man’s legacy generated $430,000 for Hastings College, while another’s showed that involvement can have just as great an impact.

For our board and staff, the lesson of 2018 was that great accomplishments begin with the power of one — one person’s love, one person’s legacy making the whole area better … one life at a time.

Melissa DeLaet, M.S.
Chief Executive Officer

Programs Continue to Grow and Expand

In 2018, we had over $22.4 million in assets, representing 277% growth over the past 5 years.

Grassroots efforts make way for a more beautiful and active community.
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Youth Philanthropy Board

We launched our new Youth Philanthropy Board in partnership with Youth Leadership Tomorrow to give some of our future leaders experience in fundraising and grant making, as well as board service. Seven high school juniors developed the program from scratch, including writing the board’s mission and vision statements and determining their grant-making priorities.

Serving on the Youth Philanthropy Board opened my eyes to the problems facing youth in our community and how the grant process can help solve those problems.
– Katie Maser, Youth Philanthropy Board member
Mayoral Community Impact Grants

Jackson Dinsdale Endowed Fund

Hastings College’s third year of soaring with Jackson brought both amazing accomplishment and hope for an extraordinary future. The college completed a dynamic year of study, including multiple world-class exhibitions and lectures from internationally recognized artists across all mediums. Hastings College students excelled around the state and country, exhibiting their work and receiving accolades.

The Open Space Visual Arts Summer Immersion program returned in June with 35 gifted high school artists taking part. Additionally, 24 high school students launched the college’s inaugural year of Open Space Immersion for the Performing Arts. These high-quality experiences continue to distinguish Hastings College as a place that understands the power of the arts to change us for the better.

Driving a furnace on wheels! [Read more]

Why put a 2,000-degree furnace on wheels and hit the open road? To bring the art of glass blowing to students in underserved rural areas! The $430,000 Jackson Dinsdale Endowed Fund grant helped build Hastings College’s Mobile Glass Studio, which visited 30 high schools in 2018.

Bigger-than-life art! [Read more]

The third annual Mural Day competition brought 177 students from 26 high schools to Hastings College on Sept. 14, thanks to the Jackson Dinsdale grant. Teams of students, many of whom had not worked on a large scale before, combined their creative talents to complete 46-by-76-inch murals, learning to collaborate with each other in a spontaneous environment.

Nonprofit Excellence Institute

Five nonprofit agencies graduated from our year-long Nonprofit Excellence Institute, becoming more sustainable and preparing their leaders for future success! The institute helps each nonprofit identify its most critical area of need and create an achievable solution, while also encouraging collaboration between nonprofits. Those that complete the program become eligible to receive a $5,000 grant to build capacity within their organization.

The Nonprofit Excellence Institute not only put Brenna Poindexter, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Nebraska, on a solid path but also gave her and her board a map to follow. As a new executive director, Poindexter found camaraderie and confidence to be two of the biggest takeaways from the experience. Her team learned more about policies, procedures and succession planning, as well as the roles of director and board. The result is a stronger agency helping struggling kids heal and grow into stronger people.

How do you “go big” during Go Big Give? Just ask Edgerton Explorit Center in Aurora. They’ve been able to increase and meet their goal each year of the event. Executive Director Mary Molliconi said the center takes a strategic approach, focusing on the matching incentives and prizes. Besides, it just makes the day more fun! Edgerton reminds its donors of how they can amplify their donation during Go Big Give, helping the center bring science education to over 200,000 students, teachers and individuals each year.

The 5-Year Impact of Go Big Give

Our partnership with the Heartland United Way concentrates the area’s generosity into a 24-hour online giving event on the first Thursday of each May. Residents of Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick counties benefit greatly from this high-visibility effort.

  • 15,200
    donations made over five years
  • $2,553,911
    total raised over five years
  • 146
    nonprofit organizations impacted over five years

One man affected many.

The late Densel Rasmussen set the standard for community service, and no one could have been more deserving of our 2018 Legacy Award. As a friend and mentor to many, his singular devotion to the community inspired others to serve. His life demonstrated how the power of one can multiply to improve the lives of many.

Be inspired by Densel