Recently, the John Deere Foundation recognized and celebrated its 75th anniversary of helping families in the communities around it. Its contributions to the surrounding population are quite considerable and have benefitted a variety of people. The company is optimistic for the future.
According to the company:
The John Deere Foundation is celebrating 75 years of supporting families who live, work, and learn in John Deere home communities and around the world. With more than $400 million in giving since its inception in 1948, the Foundation has strengthened the work of thousands of non-profit organizations that create meaningful, measurable, and long-lasting impacts on the lives of others.
As one of the first corporate foundations established by any manufacturer in the United States, the John Deere Foundation has built upon John Deere's legacy of commitment to the people upon whom its success depends, especially its neighbors. During the toughest times, from the Farm Crisis of the 1980s to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation stepped up in John Deere home communities to make sure that those closest to it have access to nutrition, shelter, and education, all of which are vital to self-sufficiency and dignity.
In recent years, the aspirations of the John Deere Foundation have grown as John Deere's success has grown. In 2021, the Foundation announced a commitment to award at least $200 million over the next decade, and since that time has exceeded its goals, including:
- $68 million in total giving
- 42 million meals provided to families
- 290,000 marginalized youth served through educational programs
- 9.7 million smallholder farmers supported to increase their incomes and productivity
The impact of the John Deere Foundation on the lives of those it serves is made stronger by the generosity of John Deere employees. Through the Foundation's employee giving programs, which provide matched funds to non-profit organizations that employees support as volunteers and donors, John Deere's employees have helped direct over $20 million of Foundation funds into their home communities since 2021, including:
- 559,000 hours of volunteerism, with more than 260,000 in 2023 alone
- $10.3 million in employees' personal donations matched
- $8.9 million in rewards for employees' volunteering
- 6,000 non-profit organizations supported
"When John Deere employees volunteer for or give to causes that mean something to them, they create a ripple effect that has an immediate impact on individuals and families within our home communities," said John May, CEO of John Deere and chairman of the John Deere Foundation. "The John Deere Foundation has been a powerful catalyst for change since 1948, and we will continue to invest generously in organizations that help relieve and uplift our neighbors. It's about treating people with honesty, integrity, and respect—plain and simple."
Looking ahead to the next 75 years, the John Deere Foundation will continue to innovate new ways to make an even greater impact. One way the Foundation is already doing so is by providing unrestricted support to non-profit organizations.
"Whenever we give freely to nonprofit organizations and provide them with the resources they can use to better serve others, they have a greater impact," said Nate Clark, global director of corporate social responsibility and president of the John Deere Foundation. "Just like John Deere works tirelessly to earn the trust of our customers, the Foundation strives to earn the trust of the nonprofits and communities we serve. This is our legacy and our future."