• Donors

    The foundation helps donors turn their passion into purpose through designated giving.

  • Fund Holders

    Creating a fund at the foundation allows you to translate your gift into a living legacy.

  • Nonprofits

    We partner with nonprofits to change lives and solve problems in our community.

  • Community

    Our initiatives help younger and more diverse populations make their passions a reality.

  • $27,968,843
    in assets, representing 66% growth between 2015 and 2020.
  • 14 new funds
    established in 2020 to make our community safer, stronger and smarter.
  • Over $2 million
    distributed through 500 grants for education, beautification and general well-being.
  • 133 scholarships
    totaling $190,825 awarded to students from 18 communities in a variety of subjects.

Combating COVID with compassion

The Foundation partnered with the Heartland United Way to support the sustainability of nonprofits in Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Merrick and Sherman counties through the COVID-19 Community Compassion Fund. Grants helped organizations address immediate basic needs, gaps in service and operational challenges as traditional funding sources became unavailable.

$413,813 RAISED

for immediate basic needs, gaps in service and operational challenges.

Funds helped stock food pantries and kept Grand Island Little Theatre afloat, just to name a few. The Foundation even partnered with Wave Pizza Co. to provide pizza for healthcare workers at CHI Health St. Francis. View Gallery

DAIM Fund helps immigrants realize dream of citizenship

The Daim Fund was created in honor of Khadija Hussein Abdudaim, who immigrated to the U.S. from war-torn Sudan. Khadija longed for the safety and sense of belonging that comes with U.S. citizenship, as well as the chance to participate in free elections. Through hard work and perseverance, she achieved her goal before passing away at age 54.

All money raised through the Daim Fund goes to citizen application fees for immigrants living in Nebraska so they, too, can realize their dreams of citizenship and better lives for their families.

Hear from those who knew Khadija best.
Fund Holders

Scholarship allows Reruchas to keep supporting BBBS

Sharon Rerucha cherished her role as a “Big” with Big Brothers Big Sisters so much that her family created a scholarship upon her death in 1994 using memorials given in her honor. When her husband, Lynos, died in November 2020, their sons and daughters-in-law, Russ and Kim Rerucha and Greg and Lisa Rerucha, added their father’s name to the scholarship, as well as his memorials.

Each year, the Sharon and Lynos Rerucha Big Brothers Big Sisters Scholarship benefits two graduating seniors who have participated in BBBS as either a “Big” or “Little.”

The late Sharon and Lynos Rerucha
Greg, Marissa, Miles & Lisa Rerucha
Tim, Ryan, AJ, Katie, Kim and Russ Rerucha
Donor advised fund makes giving back simple

When Russ and Kim Rerucha wanted to give back to the community, the answer was obvious. From their experience with the scholarship named for Russ’ parents and Kim’s service on the board, they knew the Foundation would be a trustworthy, efficient partner for turning their passions into progress.

The Russ and Kim Rerucha Donor Advised Fund, established in 2020, makes it simple to support causes such as Grand Island Public Schools, Stuhr Museum and the YMCA. They also encouraged their adult sons to choose causes to support through the fund.


Funding agencies gain from Nonprofit Excellence Institute

NEI went both narrower and broader in 2020, focusing on funding agencies but also choosing them from a wider area. The Kearney Area United Way and Custer County Foundation joined the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation, Heartland United Way, Grand Island Public Schools Foundation and Stuhr Museum Foundation in the yearlong capacity-building program.

NEI makes organizations more sustainable by helping them identify a critical need and finding an achievable solution, while equipping their leaders for future success with training and coaching.

[from left] Karen Rathke, Bonnie Smith, Melissa DeLaet, Traci Skalberg, Lindsay Cook and Nikki Erickson
Traci Skalberg, Grand Island Public Schools Foundation

With 18 years’ experience at the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation, Executive Director Traci Skalberg wasn’t looking for Nonprofit 101. What she found at the Nonprofit Excellence Institute was the chance to connect with seasoned professionals in her own field, who all brought value to each other.

She was also impressed with her board’s enthusiasm for the program. Together, they developed new mission, vision and value statements and began work on a new strategic plan. NEI builds relationships and trust between nonprofits, she added, fostering collaboration rather than competition.

Go Big GIVE, a virtual success!
  • $1,017,720


  • 142


  • $98,000


  • 28%

    donors gave to more than one organization

Go Big GIVE was entirely virtual with COVID-19 putting a halt to the live activities that normally accompany online giving. Despite that and moving the event from May to July, it still managed to generate the needed support, including $87,240 in donor advised fund giving. Edgerton Explorit Center received the $10,000 endowment prize.

A partnership with the Heartland United Way, Go Big GIVE concentrates the area’s generosity into a 24-hour online giving event to benefit the residents of Hall, Hamilton, Howard and Merrick counties.


Rasmussen’s legacy of improving Grand Island continues

Densel Rasmussen, a former chairman of the Foundation board, identified a spot near Highway 281 and Webb Road as a good location for a public art installation before his death in 2017. “Densel’s Dream,” a sculpture in his honor, received a $60,000 grant from the Arthur Klinkacek Fund in 2020 toward a fundraising goal of $600,000.

The piece by artist Matthew Placzek — featuring the Platte River, cattails and sandhill cranes — will beautify the community and make art accessible to all. It will also honor a consummate volunteer and promoter of Grand Island. The Grand Island Partnership for the Arts hopes to begin installation this fall.

Youth get a taste of how sweet philanthropy can be

The Youth Philanthropy Board showed its own growth with seniors bringing in $22,000 in donations during 2020, the program’s first grant year. The board, formed in 2018 as a partnership between the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation and Youth Leadership Tomorrow, has representatives from every Hall County high school, plus Nebraska Christian.

Christian Wiegert, Youth Philanthropy Board Member

Giving away money responsibly isn’t easy, but raising it is even tougher, Christian Wiegert discovered in his second year on the Youth Philanthropy Board. As juniors, board members identified sustainable nonprofits and reached a consensus on who should receive grants.

As seniors, they targeted potential donors, wrote appeal letters and had to convince people to give. Wiegert, who graduated from Grand Island Senior High in May, has served on five boards but made the best contacts and learned the most about the community on YPB.