The Tocqueville Society recognizes the generosity of individuals and families contributing at the highest levels of personal giving. These caring philanthropists exemplify an outstanding commitment to improving the quality of life within our community.

Since its inception in 1984, Tocqueville Society members have contributed cumulatively over $50 million to United Way of Central Iowa. Last year alone, they contributed $7.1 million. These funds are strategically invested to create measurable and lasting change in our community’s most urgent issues.

Tocqueville Society Members

Aaron - ty email

Your Investment Transforms Lives

Every gift to United Way of Central Iowa is invested to improve lives right here in our community. Your generosity is amplified through a collective impact process that unites our community around tackling our toughest challenges.

As a Tocqueville member, you can elevate that work so that more of our students graduate from high school, more local families are financially stable, and more of our neighbors lead healthy lives.

How We Invest


Become a Game-Changer

Tocqueville members are the game-changers who empower our community to meet its Goals for 2020 in Education, Income, and Health.

In addition to creating lasting impact in central Iowa, Tocqueville Society members can:

  • Meet and network with central Iowa’s most influential leaders and philanthropists
  • Benefit from charitable giving tax savings (a great resource to contribute appreciated assets)
  • Make a direct investment to impact the people of central Iowa with expert-driven strategies
  • Share leadership, expertise, and influence through various committees and events
  • Gain new business and career opportunities by demonstrating community leadership
  • Give to causes you care about most in a way that significantly amplifies your impact
  • Enjoy special society events including an annual celebration
  • Annual recognition of all Tocqueville Society members in the Business Record
    See the 2020 Des Moines Business Record Recognition Ad)
hubbell family
Tocqueville Society members Debbie and Mike Hubbell and family pack food donations for struggling single-parent families at a holiday volunteer event.
Craig Pahl Vertical

Join the Tocqueville Society

You are invited to join the Tocqueville Society, an exceptional group of individuals and families who give $10,000 or more to United Way of Central Iowa each year. There are many options to grow your giving and create long-lasting impact.

Download the Brochure  Tocqueville Enrollment form

Step-Up Program

TS Step Up

The Tocqueville Step-Up Program starts with a minimum personal contribution of $5,000 in the first year, followed by an annual gift increase to reach $10,000 by the third year. You receive full membership benefits starting in year one. Click below to download the PDF enrollment form.

Leave a Legacy

By endowing your gift for perpetuity, you will ensure United Way of Central Iowa is there to tackle our community’s challenges for the next 100 years. We work closely with the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines so that you can manage your legacy securely and conveniently through the Endow Iowa Tax Credit Program.

Learn about Legacy Giving


Tocqueville Society members are often as generous with their time as they are with their donations. United Way of Central Iowa offers excellent opportunities to give back as a volunteer throughout the year. Click below to download a PDF of the volunteer calendar, and visit our Volunteer page to look for specific opportunites.

Volunteer Opportunities


2020 Chair and Co-Chairs

Emily Abbas is chairing and Jake Christensen and Susan M. Fitzsimmons are co-chairing the 2020 United Way Tocqueville Society campaign.

Emily is Chief Marketing and Communications Officer and Chief of Staff at Bankers Trust.

Jake is the Owner of Christensen Development.

Susan is the Vice President and General Counsel at Christensen Development.

Emily Abbas
Emily Abbas

Jake Christensen
Jake Christensen

Susan Fitzsimmons
 Susan M. Fitzsimmons

2019 Tocqueville Society Award: Kim & Rich Willis

2019 Tocqueville Award - Rich and Kim Willis - for hubspotRich and Kim Willis have been honored with the prestigious 2019 Tocqueville Society Award. This award is United Way of Central Iowa’s highest honor, given annually to an individual or household who exemplifies inspirational and sustained leadership and service to the central Iowa community through United Way.

Tocqueville Society, United Way's premier philanthropic society, recognizes the more than 450 households who annually contribute $10,000 or more into the community in the areas of health and human services.

A committee of past Tocqueville Society awardees selected Rich, owner of Willis Auto Campus, and his wife Kim as this year's Tocqueville Society Award Winner and they were presented with the award at the annual Tocqueville Society celebration on October 7 at the Westfield Building in West Des Moines, sponsored this year by R&R Realty Group and the Rupprecht family.

“Rich and Kim exude contagious optimism for our community's future,” said Nora Everett, chair of United Way of Central Iowa’s board of directors: “Their deep and personal connections have inspired all of us to give back in even greater ways. Their influence and hard work mean central Iowa is more prepared to tackle our challenges and to make our community better for everyone who lives here.”

Together, Rich and Kim have given at the Tocqueville level since 2004. In 2016, they formed a United Way Endow Iowa Fund to give at this level in perpetuity. They have served in a variety of roles to raise essential funds for United Way, including the Tocqueville committee, workplace cabinet, and most recently as chair of the United Way Campaign. In these roles, they have inspired companies and leaders to give at higher levels and have become involved in volunteer efforts, such as Graduation Walk and HOPE for the Holidays basket assembly. 

“Rich and Kim bring a personal touch to everything they do, and they challenge our community to give more to provide those who are struggling a better chance,” said Elisabeth Buck, president of United Way of Central Iowa. “Their generosity has raised incredible funds to support the fight for health, education, and financial stability of all central Iowans. The Willis legacy will live on through their endowment.”


Tocqueville Society Award Recipients:

2019 - Rich & Kim Willis
2018 - Nora Everett
2017 - Tom Mahoney
2016 - Lynn Graves
2015 - Cathy Lacy
2014 - Dan & Joanie Houston
2013 - Debbie Hubbell
2012- Michele I. Griswell
2011 - Cara Heiden
2010 - David & Barb Hurd

2009 - Steve Chapman
2008 - Fred & Charlotte Hubbell
2007 - Steve Lacy
2006 - Patty & Jim Cownie
2005 - Suku Radia
2004 - Roger K. Brooks
2003 - J. Barry Griswell

2002 - Sunnie Richer
2000 - John R. Grubb
1995 - Evelyn Davis
1994 - Johnny Danos
1992 - Bob Burnett
1991 - Robert E. Larson
1990 - William C. Knapp

1989 - Robert Houser
1988 - Maddie Levitt
1987 - David Kruidenier
1986 - Robb Kelley
1985 - Marvin Pomerantz

"The Tocqueville Society represents some of the most dedicated, influential members of our community. It is a pleasure to work with them to have a positive impact on the lives of central Iowans."

Sara Kurovski

Sara Kurovski
Tocqueville Society Director   (515) 246-2510