A Look Back at John Deere Foundation's 75th Anniversary

The John Deere Foundation celebrates 75 years of supporting the communities and nonprofits that power our success.
The John Deere Foundation celebrates 75 years of supporting the communities and nonprofits that power our success.

The 75th anniversary of the John Deere Foundation was marked in late November, but the legacy and impact of this initiative are worthy of a celebration all year.

Since its inception, the John Deere Foundation has tallied more than $400 million in giving, focused on supporting the families, nonprofits, and neighbors in John Deere communities around the world. John Deere’s success is directly tied to the hardworking individuals and organizations in these communities. Since 1948, the foundation has created meaningful, measurable, and long-lasting impacts through charitable giving and community support.

One of the first corporate foundations established by a US-based manufacturer, the John Deere Foundation has supported communities through good times and bad. From the Farm Crisis of the 1980s to the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation has provided access to nutrition, shelter, education, and financial support in pursuit of upholding dignity and self-sufficiency for those who contribute so much to their home communities.

The foundation’s aspirations are as ambitious as the growth John Deere expects to achieve over the next decade. The foundation is currently making good on a commitment made in 2021, exceeding the goal of awarding at least $200 million over the next decade. The subsequent impact and the numbers behind it are astounding.

  • $68 million in total giving awarded to date
  • 42 million meals provided to families
  • 290,000 youth in marginalized communities served through educational programs
  • Support for 7 million smallholder farmers to increase income and productivity
  • Supporting these communities is a group effort. John Deere matches employees' generous donations to nonprofits and supports and enables them to volunteer for causes close to their hearts. John Deere employees have helped guide more than $20 million in foundation funds to their home communities since 2021. The impact of these employee efforts includes:

  • 559,000 hours of volunteerism — 260,000 in 2023 alone
  • $10.3 million in matched personal donations from employees
  • $8.9 million in rewards through employee volunteerism
  • More than 6,000 nonprofits 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.

    As it looks ahead to the next 75 years, the foundation will focus on opportunities to generate bigger impacts, such as providing unrestricted support to the most needy nonprofits.

    For decades, John Deere’s charitable efforts have fostered stronger communities that have driven business growth. As always, we’ll also support our customers and communities through world-class equipment and tools, which we’re more than happy to help you find at a local John Deere dealer.