Experiences inspire giving

Mike and Teresa Nickeson have given back to the community in many ways. Since moving to the Maquoketa area in 1986, the Nickesons have volunteered with the library, the hospital, the fine art center, faith groups, and many other organizations. While sharing their time and talent has always been a part of their lives, the Nickesons also began a practice of charitable giving early in their careers when their employers encouraged it.

In 2020, they gave to 17 nonprofits through funds hosted by the Community Foundation of Jackson County. “Through our involvement in the community, we’ve learned of different programs that need support,” says Mike. “Over time, the list of organizations we give to has grown.”

Their experiences inspire their charitable giving. For example, Teresa prepares taxes for clients of Hawkeye Area Community Action Program and understands the factors that impact local residents’ personal finances. As a former municipal utility manager in Maquoketa, Mike saw the way a low-income home energy assistance program helped families afford utilities.

“Everybody falls on hard times in life. We like to support organizations that are there to help when that happens,” says Teresa. “I work with people in those situations, and I know the kind of things they’re up against.”

The Maquoketa Community Cupboard has benefitted from the Nickesons’ generosity. It provides essential assistance weekly to hundreds of people in the Jackson County area to increase food security. “Gifts to the endowment ensure the long-term sustainability of this important human service organization by providing resources for capital improvements, utilities and special projects at our facility for years to come,” says Pastor Neil Harrison, organization president.

The Nickesons have leveraged the Foundation’s ability to accept complex gifts like 401(k) rollovers and stock, and have appreciated direct support from Foundation staff. “We appreciate the Endow Iowa tax credits, which allow us to give more by reducing our tax bill,” says Teresa.

Contact us to learn about how you can help meet the greatest needs in your Jackson County community.