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A mid-way progress report of Prosper Lincoln

The Prosper Lincoln team would like to thank you for stepping up to this important agenda. Our Developers are now past the half way mark on the 4-year strategic plan and now is a good time to provide you with an update on our progress.

Here are a few ways we have been working to make Lincoln a better place to live and work.

Employment Skills:

  • EmployLNK (formally Lincoln Business Task Force) organizes veteran, job seeker and case manager career fairs and monthly tours of local businesses. The events increase case manager understanding of career pathways. Each case manager serves about 50 people. These efforts increase ROI for business and quality job acquisition for those ready to start a career. 
  • Local businesses are building career pathways for English Language Learners (ELL.)  They are leading an effort to provide a career map from entry level to advance career, mapping ELL level with job description and the value of benefits.
  • More people are connecting to jobs. The 75+ participating businesses report hiring based on career fair and event participation.


  • Reverse Pitch and State of the Practice events have been held, connecting tech driven businesses to students in the computer science and engineering field. Jobs and internships are being filled and expansion is planned.
  • Partnering with local businesses, high school educators and the higher education field, Future Builders was launched. The propensity for ideas, businesses, innovation and entrepreneurial pursuits is being identified in 4,150 local high school students. Top students will attend a month-long immersion at the Clifton Strengths Institute at UNL.
  • With the goal of learning best practices and sharing Lincoln’s ecosystem story will be told by a group of five leaders. They traveled to Des Moines, Chicago, Saint Louis and Kansas City. The trip was reported by Silicon Prairie News.

Early Childhood:

  • The Lincoln Early Childhood Network (LECN) brings together a broad array of early care providers from key sectors of the community. Three work groups meet regularly to increase cross-sector collaboration, advocating for and improving early childhood development, experiences and environments.
  • As a result of a national grant, Read Aloud Lincoln is being implemented to raise awareness and encourage caregivers to read aloud to their children from birth to age eight. Outreach to the community, especially those areas with high poverty rates, is a key goal.
  • Parent engagement and leadership is supported through the development of an Early Childhood Toolkit pilot which includes programming to create stronger connections between schools and families with young children and supporting parents and to lead conversations and create action about topics that are important to them.

We won’t stop here! Only with the dedication, ideas, and support of citizens like you, this progress is possible. With just a year and half left, let us join together to finish strong and help Lincoln prosper.

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