What We Do

We support organizations around the Omaha, NE and Stanwood, WA areas that have a distinct focus on family, education, health, or environment. We know there are many golden-hearted organizations that are doing great things to improve the lives of many, but are simply lacking the resources to do so. We embrace organizations that share and amplify the values we believe in, and help them achieve their goals in making a difference in the world.

Organizations are eligible to apply for either Small Grants or Large Grants.

Please read this page and the guidelines completely before starting the grant process to fully ensure you meet the requirements and to better the information we receive in hopes of awarding a grant from The Olson Foundation.

Small Grants

Grants ranging from $10,000 to $35,000

The Olson Foundation will be awarding the Small Grant Program on a once yearly basis. Funds must be used within one year of receipt.

Large Grants

Grants ranging from $50,000 to $150,000

A Large Grant is a one, two, or three year grant. The information in the Grant Guidelines document applies to a Large Grant. The money is to be spent in the following calendar year.

The Olson Grant Committee reviews each application. We evaluate several things:

How well does the organization’s mission align with our mission?
Is the proposed project/program reasonable, needed, realistic, and well planned?
Does the project/program serve an underserved population?
Other considerations, detailed in our Grant Guidelines document.
Download Grant Guidelines

Matching Funds

Matching funds is another method to demonstrate collaboration. Matching funds are funds (cash or in-kind) your non-profit organization raises from other sources and the funds are used to support the grant project. The Olson Foundation will view a grant project that also generates matching funds as a stronger project than a grant project that does not generate matching funds.

If a grant project does not generate matching funds, it does not exclude your non-profit from submitting an application.

Please refer to the Grant Guidelines document for more information about Matching Funds.


The Olson Foundation encourages non-profit organizations to collaborate with one another and with other individuals and entities in developing and providing transformational projects.

If an organization’s LOI is accepted, as part of the application process, the program description in the grant application must clearly explain the role of the collaborating organization(s).

Being part of a collaborative effort does not exclude your non-profit organization from submitting another grant application for its own project.

Please refer to the Grant Guidelines document for more information about Collaborations.

Evaluation Criteria

Please refer to the Grant Guidelines document for a complete list of evaluation criteria, as well as additional items considered.

Review Process – Letter of Intent

The Grant LOI is available on The Olson Foundation website and must be submitted online by the submission deadline: May 1, 2023
Initial review: The Olson Foundation leadership will conduct an initial review of the LOIs and contact applicants with questions or requests for information.
Application Invitations: The Olson Foundation Grant Committee evaluates each LOI using the criteria listed above. The reviews are conducted in Mand by June 15, 2023 applicants will be either invited to complete an application or notified that their LOI is not accepted.

Please visit our grant application page in order to register, complete, and submit a LOI for 2023.

Any questions about the grant guidelines must be submitted in writing to grants@olsonfoundation.org.

Previous Grantees

Success Stories


Kids Can

Omaha, NE

Kids Can Community Center has an organizational history in Omaha for over a century. Established in 1908 as Social Settlement Association of Omaha, the organization was rebranded to Kids Can Community Center in 2009 to better reflect their vision and programs.

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Palmyra Olson Sports Complex

Palmyra, NE

Dr. Leland Olson was a student in the Palmyra school district in the 1930’s. When Leland’s father died unexpectedly before he graduated from high school, the mayor and school principal stepped in to help his family continue to operate the family hardware store. This allowed Leland to finish high school, move on to college and eventually graduate from medical school.

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Child Saving Institute Inc.

Omaha, NE

The Child Saving Institute Inc., founded in 1892, is an organization based in Omaha, NE that has a very strong and clear message: they’ll do everything they can to ensure victims of child abuse and neglect are well-taken care of and supported through early adulthood. Their range of services have several branches: child welfare, early childhood education, juvenile justice, mental health, and prevention.

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The Salvation Army

Omaha, NE

The Salvation Army of Omaha, Nebraska is a long-standing organization that has provided help to hundreds of thousands of the Metro Omaha community’s most vulnerable residents since 1896. With time, the organization has broadened its supportive services but maintained the one core goal: to meet human needs without discrimination.

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Bike Works

Seattle, WA

Established in 1996, Bike Works is a non-profit organization in Seattle, WA that promotes the bicycle as a vehicle for change to empower youth and build resilient communities. In addition to providing affordable refurbished bikes and repair services through their social enterprise bike shop, Bike Works offers a variety of environmental, educational, and community-building services. Their youth programs range from mechanics, to cycling, to job readiness, to leadership development, with progressive opportunities for paid employment. Adults participate through volunteerism, mechanics classes, and group rides. Furthermore, Bike Works processes over 7,000 bike donations every year for use in their programs, community giveaways, and full-service bike shop. That comes out to about 250,000 pounds of recyclable materials diverted from the waste stream every year!

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