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University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Strive to Thrive

Strive to Thrive

For the Spring 2024 semester, Strive to Thrive Lincoln will be working with local nonprofits on an invitation-only basis. If your organization is interested in being considered for a future semester's grant process, please email Professor Amber Messersmith at

Every fall and spring semester, Strive to Thrive Lincoln awards two unrestricted grants of $5,000 each to Lincoln/Lancaster County nonprofits. Our grant process evolves each semester, adjusting to the class, the local philanthropic landscape, and ongoing community needs.

Project Overview

Thanks to the generosity of Rhonda Seacrest and the partnership of the College of Business, Strive to Thrive Lincoln allocates $10,000 in grant funding each semester to nonprofits in Lincoln/Lancaster County.

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Eligibility Guidelines

  • Classified as 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations by the IRS.
  • Have an active, local presence in the Lincoln/Lancaster County area and benefit local individuals.
  • Officially operating in Lincoln/Lancaster County for no less than two calendar years.
  • Provide services directly, rather than reallocating grant funds to additional groups or organizations.
  • Past recipients of Strive to Thrive Lincoln grants may apply again after a calendar year has elapsed (e.g., spring winners may apply the next spring).
  • UNL-sponsored organizations are not eligible if they use the same Form 990 as UNL.

Past Grant Recipients

Spring 2024 Camp Kesem-University of Nebraska, $5,000; Mourning Hope, $5,000
Fall 2023 Food Fort, $5,000; WICS Home for Girls, $5,000
Spring 2023 The Bridge Behavioral Health, $5,000; Belmont Community Center, $5,000
Fall 2022 The Arc of Lincoln, $5,000; St. Monica’s Home, $5,000
Fall 2021 CEDARS Youth Services, $5,000; City Impact, $5,000
Spring 2021 Visionary Youth, $5,000; South of Downtown Community Development Organization, $5,000
Fall 2020 The HUB Central Access Point for Young Adults, $5,000; Lighthouse, $5,000
Spring 2020 Belmont Community Center $5,000; Food Fort $5,000
Fall 2019 City Impact $5,000; The BAY $5,000
Spring 2019 Center for Legal Immigration Assistance $7,500; Food Fort $2,500
Fall 2018 Child Advocacy Center, $5,000; Rabble Mill $3,000; Lead Up $2,000
Spring 2018 Clinic With a Heart $5,000; Lincoln Literacy $5,000
Fall 2017 Child Advocacy Center, $5,000; City Impact, $3,000; Bright Lights, $2,000
Fall 2016 Still Waters Equestrian Academy, $6,000; Lincoln Police Charities, $4,000
Fall 2015 Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, $5,000; CASA for Lancaster County, $2,500; Lincoln Literacy, $2,500


Messersmith, Amber
Lecturer of Management
HLH 325 J
P.O. Box 880491
Lincoln, NE 68588-0491