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Nebraska’s Union Bank & Trust Calls on Public to Help Donate $1 Million

By August 24, 20223 min read

What do you get when you combine 58 nonprofits with $1 million dollars and a generous commitment to making an impact in underserved communities? Answer: The Big Give! 

When Lincoln, Nebraska-based Union Bank & Trust set out to give away $1 million dollars to area nonprofit organizations, the team knew they wanted to involve the community in a meaningful way.

“In looking back at everything our community has been through over the past couple years and the hardships people have faced, we recognize that our local nonprofits are often the ones taking on the responsibility of helping those in need,” says Jill Smith, Union Bank and Trust’s AVP of Community Outreach. “These organizations are providing human services, feeding those with food insecurity, protecting and advocating for those who have been victimized, providing much-needed arts and entertainment, prioritizing early childhood development, and so much more.”

What happened next was precisely what the team at UBT had hoped for: Nonprofits across the community started talking about the important work they do and the communities they serve. From a small community ballet company to a local breastfeeding resource center and from a long-standing youth mentorship program to the city’s central food bank resource–the nonprofit community embraced the opportunity to share their missions and impact. The initiative gave nonprofits a chance to engage with new and existing donors in a new and interesting way, rallying supporters to spread the word and get out the vote.

Downtown Lincoln, NE

The Big Give will offer a $100,000 donation to ten nonprofits across Lincoln.

The team set out to launch what would be officially called The Big Give: An effort to rally support for and awareness of nonprofit organizations of all sizes serving a wide range of needs and communities. The family-owned bank with an over 100-year history invited nonprofits to nominate their organizations through an online application this summer. A committee then narrowed the entries to 50 finalists across three categories (small, medium, and large–based on budget). Then, they asked the public to decide which of the 50 organizations would receive a generous $100,000 donation–ten in total.

Many organizations posted website announcements, sent updates in bulletins and newsletters, and made direct asks for votes. Organizations also took to social media to share their status as a Big Give finalist and provide key context about how and where the $100,000 would be used to further serve their beneficiaries. From facilities upgrades to investments in technology and from programming support to operational needs, these dollars were earmarked for a wide range of purposes. Meanwhile, UBT, its partners, area news outlets, and other key organizations spread the word about the initiative and the 50 unique finalists it involved. And the votes started rolling in.

“Union Bank wanted to provide these amazing nonprofits with extra resources to further their missions,” says Jill. “It was important to us to include the public in the selection process because that is who makes up our community and who benefits the most from these organizations.”

As a longstanding provider of campaign services and CRA/community impact software for community banks, credit unions, and financial brands, Social Assurance is proud to facilitate fair, secure, and verified voting for UBT’s Big Give. Interested in better managing your bank or credit union’s community impact or collaborating on a give-back initiative of your own? Click the button below or reach out directly at

Jess Doerr

Jess Doerr is the client services manager for Social Assurance where she develops and oversees client projects. If she's not at the office, she's probably on her boat, on her bike, or in her garden.