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More than a year ago, a group of community leaders began talking about Lincoln’s vital signs, from its low unemployment and low crime rates to the high number of children in poverty – one in five. Then the forward thinking question of, “How can we make our city even better?” arose.

From this discussion, the group agreed that we needed to create a shared agenda for the community and an action plan that would guide our efforts to become an even more vibrant and equitable city. Hence, the Prosper Lincoln initiative began.

Since then we’ve been busy. The Prosper Lincoln Engagement Team invited hundreds of representatives from all sectors of our city –businesses, nonprofit organizations, neighborhoods, government, faith communities, philanthropies and individuals – to answer, “What should our community do to ensure youth are successful, our economy grows and our community is strong and vibrant?”

Input and feedback was gathered from as many community leaders and citizens as possible. As a result of the tireless efforts and dedication of our representatives and fellow Lincolnites, more than 2,100 ideas were gathered and synthesized by the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center.

The Prosper Lincoln Steering Committee used the streamlined information to engage Work Groups in creating a community agenda that focuses on three key areas: early childhood, employment skills and innovation.

While we have made great strides in the creation of the community agenda – setting goals, objectives and action steps – we know there is still more work to do. It is great that Lincoln is full of people who, together with great intent, can create opportunities for everyone – reducing the opportunity gap – so that our community can truly prosper.

As we move forward, it is important to remember that no single institution or individual can achieve the ambitious agenda we have set for our community. It will take all of us working together and supporting each other to create a thriving community where people want to live, work and play.

Thank you to everyone who has already supported the work of Prosper Lincoln and to those who will join our efforts to Lift Lincoln Higher.

#ProsperLincoln Steering Committee

Quotes From Our Supporters

Prosper Lincoln is one of the most exciting community engagement and community-building efforts happening in the country.  It’s a real model!

Dan Cramer, Co-founder, Grassroots Solutions, St. Paul, MN

Prosper Lincoln will not only benefit all of your kids and your community; it is also a model for similar efforts around the country, thanks to the leadership of LCF.

Richard Ober, President & CEO, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation; Founder Community Foundation Opportunity Network; Concord, NH

Communities across the US are searching for innovative initiatives to improve economic opportunity and mobility.  We can all learn from the amazing work of Prosper Lincoln!

Brian Collier, Executive Vice President, Foundation for the Carolinas

Prosper Lincoln is breaking new ground in economic revitalization without displacement.

Ellen Shepard, CEO, Allies, Chicago, IL

To see an entire community come together to ensure all Lincoln residents are successful is very inspirational.  Congratulations!

Nancy Van Milligen, President/CEO, Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque, Dubuque, IA

In my regional and national work in community development this is one of the most unique and exciting strategies for true change I have seen!

Del Gines, Senior Community Development Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Omaha, NE

Bringing together a multi-sector group of committed Lincoln residents will support prosperity for all.  Congratulations on this excellent collaboration.

Holly C. Sampson, President, Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation, Duluth, MN

Diverse voices from across Lincoln came together so that current and future generations can thrive. This is no small feat, and it’s inspiring to see that collective vision inch closer to fruition. You can consider yourselves a model for other communities starting to embark on this work.

Megan Powers, International Program Officer, The McKnight Foundation Minneapolis, MN

There is no better example of the power of convening than Prosper Lincoln! Bringing together members of the community from all walks of life to enrich the City is inspiring.

Regine Webster, Vice President Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is creating a national model for building vibrant, equitable and resilient communities.  Systems thinking + the right resources!

Sandy Wiggins, Chair, Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) Washington, DC

Prosper Lincoln is an important approach to solving community problems. By bringing together local businesses, nonprofits, neighborhoods, government and faith organizations, they are bridging divides, building connections, and sparking opportunities in way that shows true community engagement.

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations

This is one of the most impressive community focus efforts I have seen. You are making considerable progress!

Cynthia Hardin Milligan, Trustee and former Chair of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Battle Creek, MI

Lincoln is one of a few cities across America where citizens and leaders from across different sectors have come together to tackle their community’s most complex challenges. Your ability to already show results and persevere is inspiring.

Ben Hecht, President and CEO of Living Cities, Washington, DC

Solving tough national problems like the opportunity gap begins locally, and Prosper Lincoln is leading the way.

Robert D. Putnam, Professor of Public Policy and author, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

There is nothing more powerful in securing a community’s long-term health than evolving a shared vision through community engagement. Congratulations!

Rip Rapson, President, The Kresge Foundation, Detroit, MI