75 years of giving – and a look at what’s ahead
John Deere Foundation celebrates anniversary with a focus on lasting change
The John Deere Foundation hit a major milestone, celebrating 75 years of giving.
In its first meeting in Moline, Illinois on December 9, 1948, the foundation made its first pledge: $18,208.33 for the Moline Community Chest. Those funds, which were pooled for charitable giving, became United Way chapters.
Seventy-five years after making this investment, the foundation announced new grants in October this year totaling $19 million — the largest in its history.
Continuing this legacy of giving, in 2021, the foundation committed $200 million over ten years to invest in critical initiatives, including feeding the hungry and supporting farmers and food programs globally. This pledge further reinforces unrestricted giving, enhancing the impact on nonprofit organizations.
Ali Parrish, executive director of Heartland Habitat for Humanity in Waterloo, Iowa, said the foundation’s recent $2 million unrestricted investment in the home-building group bolstered more than its finances.
“The opportunity for nonprofits to receive unrestricted grants and funding is the best possible gift a funder or donor can give,” said Parrish, executive director of Heartland Habitat for Humanity in Waterloo, Iowa. “It allows them to adapt quickly to the never-ending changes and disruptions they face. This is absolutely the correct approach.”
The opportunity for nonprofits to receive unrestricted grants and funding is the best possible gift a funder or donor can give,” said Parrish, executive director of Heartland Habitat for Humanity in Waterloo, Iowa.
“For 75 years, the John Deere Foundation has been a powerful catalyst for giving within our home communities,” said John May, chairman and CEO of John Deere and chairman of the John Deere Foundation. “Together, the foundation and our people create a ripple effect that has immediate and long-lasting benefits across our communities and company.”
The foundation will remain focused on helping people.
“We don’t see foundation investments as grants. We see people who can benefit,” explained Nate Clark, current president of the foundation and global director of corporate social responsibly. “The burdens on our neighbors seem harder than ever. We feel the weight of that — what the legacy and what the foundation can do for people.”