The Business of Giving Back

Theisen’s More For Your Community Corporate Giving Program

This story is part of our Transforming Together series, which highlights 20 key moments in our Foundation’s first 20 years. Read more stories in the series.

Theisen’s Home • Farm • Auto stores are staples of communities in Northeast Iowa. Founded in Dubuque, Theisen’s has been a purveyor of essential products for daily life since 1927.

The company doesn’t just serve communities through retail, though. The Theisen family’s commitment to supporting thriving families and towns is what drove them to establish the Theisen’s More For Your Community corporate giving program, a partnership with the Community Foundation. Since 2009, Theisen’s has donated nearly $3.4 million back to the communities it serves through the program.

“People buy from people, not companies,” says co-owner Jim Theisen. “That is why we believe we need to support the people and nonprofits in the communities that we serve.”

Theisen’s has 24 stores across Iowa and parts of Wisconsin, and organizations within 60 miles of each store that help address food, shelter, health care, safety and education are eligible to apply for grants. Today, the program grants about $350,000 to nearly 200 nonprofits each year.

“For many years, Dubuque has grown stronger thanks to the generosity of the Theisen family and their company,” says Faye Finnegan, the Community Foundation’s former director of philanthropy who has worked closely with the Theisen family on the grant program and other efforts over the years. “With this corporate giving program, other communities also have seen the benefits that Theisen generosity can generate”

The More For Your Community program is an example of the Community Foundation’s extensive experience working with local businesses to strengthen communities through philanthropy and partnerships. Since the Theisen’s grant program began, the Foundation has worked with more companies, including Cottingham & Butler and Crescent Electric, to start their own giving programs.

“Nonprofits and local businesses like Theisen’s play critical roles in building strong communities,” says Peter Supple, director of nonprofit relations for the Community Foundation. “We are so grateful to Theisen’s for facilitating the More for Your Community grant program and to the organizations receiving funding for the important work they do each day.”

Learn more about the Theisen's More For Your Community program