Civic Health Programs

Civic health is a community’s level of civic engagement, participation, and collaboration. We strengthen our civic life – and our democratic way of life – when we all get involved in making decisions, holding leaders accountable, and working together to tackle shared challenges. In other words: We all do better when we all do better.

Activating for stronger civic health begins with being heard, understood, and valued. This is a central tenet of Civic Nebraska’s Civic Health Program: We form connections, host space, and identify assets – and by doing so, we tap into new power within our communities.

In the past year, we’ve fortified Nebraska’s civic fabric with:

›› Civil discourse and media literacy. Our Civic Health Program spearheaded Crossing Divides, a statewide effort of a national project to examine root concerns on distrust of institutions and sources of information. The one-on-one interviews with Nebraskans saw new strategies emerge, as well as support for initiatives to heal conflict and make meaningful, positive change. Meanwhile, our team regularly worked with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Nebraska to host civil discourse courses for members, and held screenings of the short film PURPLE to bridge Nebraskans’ ideological gaps.

›› Lifting up neighborhoods. Collective Impact Lincoln – a partnership with Nebraska Appleseed that strengthens the capital city’s core neighborhoods – took its advocacy work to the next level, launching a housing affordability campaign to rein in source-of-income discrimination. This ongoing campaign, known as Turned Away, aims to protect working families and renters while bringing the Star City a step closer to true housing equity.

›› Rural initiatives. From Scottsbluff to Falls City, from South Sioux City to McCook, Civic Nebraska evaluated, trained, and promoted relationship-building within our state’s communities to enhance social capital and trust, and brought diverse groups together to address local, regional, and statewide challenges.

Civic health creates strong communities. That’s why we bring Nebraskans together to foster a culture of engagement, participation, and collective responsibility.

By the Numbers



Lincolnites we’ve trained through the Collective Impact Lincoln initiative to advocate, engage within their communities, and become neighborhood leaders


Capitol Experience Day participants from youth (836), college (111), and adult (110) groups across the state, including Lincoln, Omaha, and Greater Nebraska


Youth and adults who participated in 36 civic health presentations or workshops in 14 cities and 10 counties across Nebraska


Civic Saturdays held in 2023, with more than 160 participants connecting around values and practices of being an active citizen, with new, joyful civic traditions 

On the Mic: Daniel Bennett

Rural Civic Health Program Manager

In 2022, statewide voter turnout was about 55 percent. With Civic Nebraska’s interactive TROVE platform, it’s possible to see where turnout was nearly 75 percent and where it was below 30 percent – and begin to answer the question: Why the difference?

Nebraskans can delve into voter participation rates for their city, town, or neighborhood with TROVE. Our interactive Tool to Reflect Overall Voter Engagement shows voter turnout from the November 2022 general election down to the ZIP Code and neighborhood levels. In addition, TROVE compares voter participation against demographic characteristics of census tracts to analyze which may correlate to higher or lower voter turnout.

You can choose any of three ways to view Nebraska’s 2022 voter turnout. It’s broken down by census tract, ZIP code, or county. You also can enter an address to examine turnout exactly where you, or others, live. TROVE also tracks economic and social demographic data like median income, poverty, and race.