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Omaha Giving | OCF | The WOMEN'S Issue 2021

Omaha Giving | OCF | The WOMEN'S Issue 2021

Community Resilience Fund:

Supporting A Sustainable, Equitable Recovery

by Donna Kush,President and CEO

More than one year into a global pandemic, our region continues to face challenges on a level not seen in decades. While acute needs are lessening, the pandemic has impacted the health and economy of our community and will require years of regrowth.

In a report from almost 200 nonprofit grantees, organization leaders estimate a revenue loss of over $46 million in 2021 alone.

Hearing and seeing this need firsthand, the Omaha Community Foundation launched the Community Resilience Fund to address these long-term needs.

The Community Resilience Fund is designed to complement local and federal support, and prioritize an equitable, sustainable community recovery focused on five areas: the achievement gap, arts and culture, housing, mental health, and workforce and economic opportunity.

The fund will prioritize organizations and the residents they serve who have been most disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

The work of our COVID-19 Response Fund last year, as well as our distribution of $30 million in federal funds in partnership with Douglas County, has positioned us to help lead our community’s recovery and rebuilding efforts.

Our community is powerful when we come together. The lessons learned throughout this pandemic cannot be forgotten—and we cannot recover alone.

Using the knowledge and insights gained from conversations with nonprofits, stakeholders, and community partners throughout the past year, along with public data, we identified some of the community’s greatest needs moving forward.

The Community Resilience Fund will provide resources to local nonprofits to:

1. Support educational enrichment programs and activities to reverse disparities that grew due to remote learning and other educational disruptions.

2. Alleviate operational uncertainty until arts and culture organizations can fully reopen and stabilize earned revenue through programs, performances and exhibits.

3. Ensure people can safely stay in their homes through legal assistance or financial support. More than 50 eviction cases have been filed weekly since last fall in Douglas County alone, according to data from Nebraska Legal Aid. This is two times higher than normal.

4. Meet increased needs for mental health services and work to improve the overall system. Nearly 40 percent of Nebraskans recently reported feeling symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 11 percent in 2019.

5. Help people gain new skills or education and find employment. New unemployment claims are still three times higher now than they were immediately before the pandemic, according to the Nebraska Department of Labor.

COVID-19 caused social, health, and economic crises in our region. Communities of color, who have long struggled against systemic inequities, have been among those more severely impacted. Our recovery must make them a priority.

As we consider the long-term effects from job loss, distance learning, evictions, and more—we as a community have an opportunity to rebuild in a more equitable, sustainable way.

The Omaha Community Foundation exists to inspire giving when our community is faced with unprecedented need. We will continue to listen, learn and respond.

To join us in supporting the Community Resilience Fund please be in touch at, by calling (402) 342-3458, or by visiting



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