Under the leadership of James E. Lawrence, A.E. Sheldon, and Nathan J. Gold, the Foundation was incorporated on September 25, 1942. It was organized primarily 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 4, 1968. The purpose remained essentially the same, however a second purpose was added – to accept, own, buy, sell, and convey real or personal property of historical interest and cause the same to be operated or exhibited by this corporation alone or in conjunction with the Nebraska State Historical Society, or any other person or legal entity.
The Articles of Incorporation were again 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.
Article VIII, in brief, provides the Foundation the following powers: a) to execute trust agreements and accept and administer trust funds relating to its corporate purposes; b.) to pay expenses for its operation from the principal or income from gifts, grants, devises, or bequests not restricted for other use and from earned income during the period said funds are held by the corporation; and c.) full management responsibility for investments and use of gift investments and to hold or dispose of tangible real or personal property.
The Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation raises money in support of the cause of Nebraska history, including the support of the Nebraska State Historical Society. The Foundation solicits funds and support from individuals and organizations, across the state and beyond, who value Nebraska’s unique heritage and wish to play a personal role in assuring that Nebraska’s history will be accessible to future generations. The Foundation is a 501(C)3 not-for-profit corporation.