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The Karl H. And Wealtha H. Nelson Family Foundation

Statement of Aims and Purposes

The Nelson Family Foundation is now reviewing its future direction. This direction will generally be guided by three factors:

1. The charitable activities which the Foundation has supported heretofore.

2. The primary charitable interests of Mr. and Mrs. Karl Nelson, whose generosity established the Foundation and its basic pattern of giving.

3. The future plans and needs of those charitable organizations that have received support in the past as well as new organizations that can demonstrate a specific need within the five general categories of charitable endeavor described below.


The purpose of the Nelson Family Foundation is to provide financial support for worthy projects in the Nebraska City area. The Board of Trustees has identified five broad categories of charitable endeavor that Mr. and Mrs. Nelson supported in the past and should provide the focus for its giving in the future. These categories are as follows (not in priority order):

1. Health Care

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were deeply concerned about the health care facilities in the Nebraska City area. They encouraged continuing improvements in these facilities, to keep abreast of medical progress and to enhance the quality of life in the community. The Foundation Trustees will continue this support, especially to those organizations that can deliver effective health care services at an affordable cost. Organizations that have been supported in the past include St. Mary's Hospital, the Nebraska City Community Healthcare Foundation, and the Nebraska City Rescue Service.

2. Historical Preservation

Nebraska City is rich in history, playing a key role in the development of the state. Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were proud of this history and wanted to preserve as much of it as possible. The Nelson-Taylor-Wessel house is a good example of their strong personal commitment to historical preservation. Other organizations that have received support include the Nebraska City Historical Society, the Historic Depot, and the Kregel Windmill Foundation. The Foundation Trustees intend to continue this support of worthy projects to maintain and restore Nebraska City's rich heritage.

3. Education

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson viewed education as a key to the future growth and development of the area. They supported a wide variety of educational institutions in the past, from the Nebraska City High School Alumni Association to Peru State College and the University of Nebraska. The Board of Trustees of the Nelson Foundation plans on furthering this support by funding special projects that will enhance the educational opportunities for students, teachers, and institutions.

4. Fine Arts

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson felt a deep appreciation for the fine arts, which they recognized as an essential ingredient in a healthy, well-rounded community. Mrs. Nelson, in fact, became one of the original trustees of the Museum of Nebraska Art. With such projects as the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Wildwood Center, and the Morton James Library Foundation, the Foundation Trustees have supported and will continue to support programs and activities for the fine arts.

5. Community Development

Mr. and Mrs. Nelson were proud of their community and were always willing to back projects, large or small, that would meet a special need in it. They generously supported improvements in parks, tourist facilities, and other aspects of life in Nebraska City and its surrounding area. The Nelson Foundation has funded projects involving the National Arbor Day Foundation, Nuckolls Square, and the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center, and intends to maintain its support for worthy proposals in this category.


The Board of Trustees of the Nelson Family Foundation believes that the following guidelines should direct the future administration of the Foundation:

1. The Board of Trustees should consist of Nelson family members and Nebraska City area residents. As far as is practical, Nelson family members should receive priority consideration for future positions on the Board as well as for its officers.

2. As a general rule the Foundation should support local charitable organizations previously funded. However, new organizations with worthy projects that fall within the guidelines for giving will also be supported.

3. The Foundation should continue its giving program from the income of its endowment, with gifts from the principal as the exception.

4. The Foundation will not normally seek contributions from outside sources, though it may accept external donations. Donors may designate their contributions for specific projects as long as the projects fall within the guidelines listed above and are approved by the Board of Trustees.

5. The Board of Trustees will support those organizations that demonstrate a serious commitment to their projects with a specific plan for their completion. The Board itself will not identify or develop such plans. Project proposals should include a statement about their relevance to the community as well as a detailed budget.

6. In order to meet the future needs of the area, the Board of Trustees will carefully examine all proposals to see if they address the changing needs of the community. The Board intends to be flexible and open to new ideas, but it also has a limited budget and will necessarily have to make choices among applicants. Those organizations with a good track record will naturally have a better chance of being funded, but are still not guaranteed to be successful, depending on the Board's evaluation of its priorities and its limited resources.

7. The Board of Trustees shall retain professional management for the investment of Foundation funds. This management shall be employed by and responsible to the Foundation trustees, who will regularly review and discuss the accounts.


Given the uncertainty of the future, the Board of Trustees wishes to raise the following general points concerning the future role of the Nelson Foundation:

1. At some point in the future the Foundation may consider merging with a similar institution. If a merger is planned, the Board believes that it should be effected in a manner that would further the basic objectives of the Foundation described above.

2. In the future tax laws may change, requiring the Foundation to alter its giving pattern or its governance. If this happens, the Board believes that the Foundation's stated objectives should guide the process of adaptation that will inevitably occur.

3. In the future the Board of Trustees may decide that the basic purposes of the Foundation will best be served by a distribution of all or a substantial part of the principal. If so, it is expected that the organization(s) designated to receive a major gift would fall under one of the five areas of charitable giving identified above (Part I).