Donna Woods honored with Charity Award

The Lincoln Community Foundation is pleased to present Donna Woods with the 2017 Charity Award for her leadership and philanthropic work that has strengthened the Lincoln community. She will be recognized at the Foundation’s Charity Luncheon, our annual donor appreciation event and charity award presentation, on May 4.

Donna’s marriage to Chip Woods brought her into a family with a well-recognized practice of donating time and resources to the community. Donna shares that when she married Chip, she married into the Woods family’s charitable values and beliefs. Taking on this role was a natural fit. Donna’s philosophy is, “I believe you give back to the community that takes care of you. The Woods family firmly believed in this with Lincoln, due to its support of the Lincoln Telephone & Telegraph Company for nearly a century”. Donna went on to say, “People with resources have an obligation to donate money and time to charitable and civic causes.” Donna's generosity goes far beyond her significant personal financial support of the community. She has contributed countless hours to many organizations.

In Lincoln, Donna’s charitable involvement started with the Junior League in the early 1970s. Over the years she has served on a wide range of boards that include The Nebraska Cultural Endowment, Sheldon Advisory Board, Lincoln Children's Zoo, Museum of Nebraska Art, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Art Association and Lincoln Symphony Orchestra. Her most recent commitment was serving as honorary co-chair for the successful fundraising effort of Woods Tennis Center’s capital campaign.

Art has always held a special place in Donna’s heart. She says “I think I’ve served on almost every art board there is in Lincoln, as well as many of the state organizations.”  Chip's grandmother, Sarah Woods, was a significant patron of the arts and a big influence on Donna and her love for the arts. “Society thrives on the arts”, said Donna. Through 7 generations and more than a century, Woods family members helped Sheldon Museum of Art and the Nebraska Art Association acquire more than 180 works of art for their collection.

Donna joined Woods Charitable Fund board of directors in 2001 and has served as Board Chair since 2007. Woods Charitable Fund seeks diversity in the organizations who receive grants and the fund focuses on helping minorities and addressing tough issues in Lincoln. During her board tenure, WCF has paid grants totaling more than $22 million.

Donna and Chip passed their values along to their 3 children who are also very active and philanthropic. Donna is now teaching her 7 grandchildren to make charitable gifts. Each year she gives some funds to her grandchildren on the anniversary of the passing of her late husband, Chip Woods, and asks them to donate the money to a charity of their choice and for them to write her a postcard telling her where they gave and why.

Donna married Jon Hinrichs in 2002. As a retired physician, Jon is active in health care and also the arts. Jon and Donna enjoy sharing similar interests and a passion for using their skills and resources to make a difference.

Congratulations to Donna Woods, the 2017 Charity Award recipient. For information about the May 4 luncheon, call LCF at 402 474-2345 or visit