The Lincoln Community Foundation (LCF) has been selected by the Community Foundation Opportunity Network (CFON) to participate in the inaugural cohort of foundations forming an aligned action network, NEON (Nexus for Equity + Opportunity Nationwide). CFON is a national leadership and action network of 45 community foundations committed to narrowing the opportunity gap in their communities. This work has been the focus of Prosper Lincoln since 2015 with LCF serving as a convener for the community.
“Connecting with fellow foundations to accomplish our work is invaluable,” said Barbara Bartle, President of the Lincoln Community Foundation. “The NEON group is an attempt to take lessons learned in local situations and apply them nationwide. This is an opportunity to elevate the impact of Prosper Lincoln.”
Open only to community foundations, this new cohort was selected for their leadership and standing in their community, track record of evidenced-based strategies resulting in measurable impact and support from donors and other funders. The other selected foundations include: Central Indiana Community Foundation, Cleveland Foundation, Hawaii Community Foundation, Seattle Foundation, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven plan to work together as a state-wide consortium.
“These community foundations are highly regarded leaders in their communities, said Terry Mazany, network executive of CFON. “They will serve as exemplars for what we can do together.”
NEON’s long-term objective is to demonstrate the ability for community foundations to work in concert around specific goals and measurements to address poverty and racism and to attract significant national philanthropic investments that will allow this cohort’s results to go to scale across the country. The cohort’s objectives align with Prosper Lincoln’s shared community agenda.
Data from the 2019 Lincoln Vital Signs report show individuals from racial and ethnic minority populations struggle to achieve equity in education attainment, employment, and income in Lincoln. To address these new findings, the goal for Prosper Lincoln has been expanded to dismantle poverty and racism and achieve equity in social and economic mobility.
“We learned from Lincoln Vital Signs that Lincoln is growing stronger in many ways, but at the same time, not everyone is prospering,” said Bartle. “Being a member of the aligned action network will build upon our commitment to increase equity of opportunity in Lincoln.”
The Lincoln Community Foundation, established in 1955, strives to continually enrich the Lincoln community by promoting and achieving perpetual philanthropic support. The Foundation has distributed more than $168 million in grants to nonprofit organizations that have improved the lives of thousands of residents.