State Fair Cares
Stay tuned for big news on concerts January 16!

Sign up for email updates from Nebraska State Fair

Home > Guest Info > State Fair Cares

State Fair Cares

Thank you to Webster Enterprises for sponsoring Webster's Wonder Kids, a program for foster children to come to the State Fair. Sponsoring 100 children, these families can attend the Up With People concert Saturday Sept. 1. Look for Webster products at their many vendor locations throughout the State Fair.

The Nebraska State Fair Cares Statewide Non-Profit Program
Rules and Regulations Deadline for Applications: July 1, 2018

Winning organizations must wait 5-years before reapplying.

Program Goal

To benefit bonafide non-profit organizations throughout the state by allowing them premium access to the Nebraska State Fair visitors for solicitation of funds, item collection or program awareness

Nebraska State Fair Mission

The Nebraska State Fair: The nation’s most innovative exhibition focusing on interactive agriculture and educational experiences promoting families, fun, and Nebraska pride.

Qualifications for Entry

Organizations applying for the Nebraska State Fair Cares program must be in keeping with the Nebraska State Fair mission statement in providing for the underserved in agriculture, education, and Nebraska families. The selected entries will be chosen from:
a) Non-profits whose service area has a population of 50,000 and above
b) Non-profits whose service area has a population of 50,000 and below
One application will be chosen from each category as described above.
The first 25 applications from each category will be accepted and after review, the top five finalists from each category will be judged by the executive committee of the Nebraska State Fair board of directors. Deadline for entries is July 1, 2018 at 5pm with the announcement of selected organizations by July 20, 2018.
It is from these final five from each population base, that one winner from each category will be chosen, and first and second place determined.

First Place

  • 10-Gate Admission Tickets
  • 10-Parking Passes
  • Access to Nebraska State Fair hotel room block (up to 3 rooms)
  • Access to an estimated 80,000 fairgoers on the Nebraska State Fair second weekend, September 1, 2 & 3, 2018.

Second Place

  • 10-Gate Admission Tickets
  • 10-Parking Passes
  • Access to Nebraska State Fair hotel room block (up to 3 rooms)
  • Access to an estimated 75,000 fairgoers on the Nebraska State Fair first weekend, August 25 & 26, 2018.
The Nebraska State Fair will match the dollar amount equal to the value of donations (Money, clothing, product) received up to $10,000 for first place selection, and up to $5,000 for the second place selection. In any case, proof of item collection value will need to be agreed to by the Nebraska State Fair and selected organizations upon completion of the application process and must be approved by the executive director of the Nebraska State Fair. If a bona fide non-profit organization is selected that is information based to educate fairgoers about their service, without collection of money or items, that entry will receive $2,500 from the Nebraska State Fair.
A minimum of two press releases must be sent out by the selected organizations to statewide media. All pre-promotion including releases by selected organizations, no matter the venue, must include mention of the Nebraska State Fair Cares program and logo (where applicable) which will be furnished upon selection.
Important: Selected organizations may not provide for free or at cost any food or drink as part of this agreement.

Application for State Fair Cares

Once complete, the following should be submitted:
1. Cover letter
2. This application
3. Current year budget
All State Fair Rules and Regulations must be adhered to during your term of occupancy. A full listing of the State Fair Cares Participant Rules is available below.

If you would like to host a DRAWING:

Where no fee or purchase is required to enter a chance to win, please see Rules and Regs #7.1 and 7.2.

If you would like to host a RAFFLE:

Where a fee is required to enter a chance to win, please see Rules and Regs #7.3.

2017 State Fair Cares Winners

First Place

Omaha Salvation Army SAFE-T program. (The Salvation Army’s Fight to End Trafficking program)

This program serves survivors of sex and labor trafficking in a way that is empowering and meaningful to them through case management, case coordination and collaboration with local partners.

Second Place

Central Nebraska Humane Society Animal Shelter Medical Equipment program.

The donations raised at the fair will be used to purchase a LaserCyte DX (a blood analyzing machine.) This allows for better health assessments as animals are brought to the Humane Society. This not only helps the pets, but also potential owners who learn more about the animal they are adopting.

2016 State Fair Cares Winners


The winner of last year's program was Compass out of Kearney. Compass' mission is to assist youth and families successfully navigate life by providing programs and services that emphasize personal growth, foster healthy relations and promote connections to their community.

SkillsUSA Nebraska

Second place went to SkillsUSA Nebraska from Lincoln. SkillsUSA Nebraska empowers its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens. They improve the quality of America's skilled workforce through a structured program of citizenship, leadership, employability, technical and professional skills training.

2015 State Fair Cares Winners

Nebraska Emergency Nurses Association

The Winner of last year’s program was the Nebraska Emergency Nurses Association (NENA) based in Omaha. The organization provides education to all ages regarding injury prevention and healthy choices.

Goodwill Industries

Second place went to Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska based in Grand Island. Goodwill serves over 1,300 people in greater Nebraska across 55 counties promoting independence and access to the community, help people to work, support goals of wellness and recovery, teach responsible behavior and provide safe, affordable housing.

2014 State Fair Cares Winners

Plainsman Museum

The Plainsman Museum/Hamilton County Historical Society is a not-for-profit institution, which focuses on the time from 1860-1950, that collects, preserves, illustrates, and works to establish the history of Hamilton County, Nebraska through education, exhibits, research and maintenance of relevant archives and collections. The Plainsman Museum is known for their large and varied collection of artifacts that describe and illustrate how life was lived on the plains. They plan on using their time at the State Fair by creating a hands-on history display that would help increase the awareness of what the Plainsman has to offer.

TeamMates Mentoring Program

TeamMates Mentoring Program matches adult volunteer mentors with youth in grades 3-12 who need a mentor in their lives. Their mission is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring. TeamMates Mentoring Program will attend the State Fair with the goal of recruiting at least 20 new mentors during the weekend and raise awareness of the scale of the TeamMates Mentoring Program, which benefits more than 6,000 youth across Nebraska.


Rules and Regulations

Set Up Guide and Tips

State Fair Cares Application

Please fill out the following information completely.

Organization Name
Program Name
First Name
Last Name
Email Address
Mailing Address Line 1
Mailing Address Line 2
Zip Code
Tax ID #
Registration Date

Please upload the following to begin the application process:

Please note, files must be .jpg or.pdf in order to submit.
Please upload your cover letter for submission
Please upload your IRS Exemption Letter- 501(c)(3)
Please upload your current year budget
Upload a photograph or drawing/sketch of your outdoor, 20'x20' tent space
I agree to the terms and conditions

Please answer completely:

What is the purpose of your Organization?
Describe the population served or community reached through your organization. Be Specific.
such as, number of individuals served, race, etc.
Describe in full, all details of how you would utilize your time at the Nebraska State Fair.
What are your goals through the program?
Explain in full how, if your collection is not monetary, the value of your item collection on a per item basis, how is the value determined?
This must be approved by the Executive Director of The Nebraska State Fair.
How do you think your participation in the State Fair Cares program will help your organization?
Describe in full how you plan to pre-promote your participation in the Nebraska State Fair so that fairgoers and non-fairgoers alike will be aware of your organizations presence at the fair and how you would like visitors to respond to your needs. 
Include information with regard to media, online, social, or other.
How will what you receive through the State Fair Cares program ultimately be used?
Please list other organizations that support your charitable endeavor(s).
Please list names of the board of directors of your organization(s).
Please list staff names and titles of your organization(s).
Back to
< Back