Under the leadership of James E. Lawrence, A.E. Sheldon, and Nathan J. Gold, the Foundation was incorporated on September 25, 1942 to solicit, receive, and manage gifts of real estate, personal property or cash for the benefit of the Nebraska State Historical Society. Management of properties and investments was placed under the jurisdiction of the Foundation’s Executive Committee.

The Articles of Incorporation were amended on October 31, 1988. The amendments further defined the Foundation’s purpose:

“To solicit and receive contributions and gifts, grants, devises, and bequests of real or personal property, or both, from individuals or other legal entities; to use the income therefrom and the principal thereof exclusively for charitable, scientific, literary, or educational activities in order to advance the study and preservation of history; and to aid and benefit the Nebraska State Historical Society or other entities interested or engaged in the collection or preservation of historical property or in the study of history.”

The corporation limited itself to 25% of unrestricted monetary funds for distributions to entities other than the Society. Consent by the Society would be sought for distributions, grants, or transfers of tangible real or personal property in excess of this figure.