Greats For Greats

Greats for the Greats program

Executive summary:

Now in its 6th full year of operation, the NGF (IRS 501C-3) has granted over $400,000 in funds to serve former Nebraska college athletes who face medical and financial hardships. Each application has been screened by a board of certified physicians and vetted for financial need. So far 22 men and women have been served with several currently in process.

Serving a growing need:

Former Athletes, as a group encounter larger and more chronic health problems as they age (Indiana University, study 2017 followed 232 former Division 1 athletes now were between the ages of 40 and 65)

  • Athletes reported twice the incidence of health issues that limited their daily activities compared to the non-athletes. 40% of former athletes suffer from Osteoarthritis compared to 24% of the non-athletes.
  • The disabilities reported appeared linked to injuries sustained on the playing field during college.  67% of the athletes said they had endured major injuries while playing college sports, and 50% had experienced some form of chronic injury. While injured, 70% of the athletes said they kept practicing and playing–a recipe for future disability.
  • 55% say they have at least one, unaffordable medical bill right now.

How does the NGF Operate?

Applicants are put through a rigorous screening process to determine medical and financial eligibility. Each case is reviewed by a board of certified physicians and voted on by the Board of Directors. If approved, funds are then sent to PROVIDERS of services to the recipient.  NO FUNDS ARE EVER SENT DIRECTLY TO THE RECIPIENTS themselves.

Sixty-Eight (68) cents of every dollar the NGF generates goes to current and recipient recipient needs. The other 32 cents pays for consulting and admin fees, video services, website design, social media promotion, intern honorariums, web design, maintenance, web hosting, office expenses, contract production, grant writing, liability insurance, printing, development expenses (including meals and travel), travel for celebrity guests, awards, gift processing fees, association dues, fund raising software and postage. All NGF personnel are either contracted vendors, volunteers or interns. The NGF has no full or part time paid employees.

Each year the NGF executes a minimum of three (3) large, public awareness and development events. These events, staged in different Nebraska communities engage fans and donors in those areas and promote the brand. They are strategically executed for maximum media coverage which elevates the NGF Brand and promotes sponsorships. After the events, a series of “Proof of Performance” videos are produced and released on social media. The events feature rare appearances by Nebraska sports celebrities and include dinner, activities, silent auction items, testimonials and text-to-donate segments.


The NGF operated on a “pay as you go” model from 2014-2019.  In 2019, the Board of Directors elected to create and execute a six-year strategy to build the RFF (Recipient Future Fund) to $2,000,000 through a combination of more aggressive and creative fund raising, corporate partnerships, outreach events, foundation support. Upon meeting that goal, the NGF Operations will officially be classified as “self-sustaining.”

In Calendar 2019, the NGF generated net revenues of approx. $500,000: After operating expenses and budgeting for $65,000 per year in recipient grants, the NGF grew the RCF from approx. $190,000 to approx. $425,000 on 12/31/2019.

Investing in the Nebraska Greats Foundation:

If all the NGF Operational expenses were specifically supported separately by list of special contributors (dubbed “Greats for the Greats”) who invest in the NGF, all of the other revenues could be applied to the RFF.   Those “investors” would dramatically alter the amount available for future recipient needs while operating the organization and ensuring long term sustainability.  The Recipient Future Fund could grow by the following amounts if operational expenses were addressed separately^^

(^^Projections include 0% investment income and flat revenues And depending on level of separate operational support each year from 0-$250,000)

Jan 1, 2020:                         Dec 31, 2020

$425,000                              $750,000  (if $50,000 of Op support was granted)

Jan 1, 2021:                         Dec 31, 2021

$750,000                              $1,100,000 (if $75,000 of Op Support was granted)

Jan 1, 2022:                         Dec 31, 2022

1,100,000                             $1,475,000 (if $100,000 of Op Support was granted)

Jan 1, 2023:                         Dec 31, 2023

1,475,000                             $1,875,000 (if $125,000 of Op support was granted)

Jan 1, 2024:                         Dec 31, 2024

1,875,000                             $2,300,000 (if $150,000 of Op support was granted)

If you become a Great for the Greats, we’ll reach that goal

To meet this goal, the NGF seeks individuals, families or companies to serve as “Greats for the Greats.” These are key supporters who will pledge at least $25,000 per year per support in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024 to assist the NGF Operations which will allow the NGF to meet its 6-year goal of sustainability on time (or sooner) while also positioning itself to meet an increase in recipient grants.

Please consider joining other incredibly generous Nebraskans in this effort. Doing so will allow the NGF to change lives well into the next generation.

For more information contact Jim Rose, Executive Director at