Corporate companies partner with INHF

By Mary Runkel on December 8, 2015 in Blog

Corporate philanthropy programs are doing remarkable things to create positive impact for Iowa's land, water and wildlife. They're influencing the present as well as the future, and doing so with great enthusiasm.


A Nationwide employee smiles during a humid summer day brush collection.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR), though not a new initiative, has gained significance in recent years. According to Forbes, companies are now competing “based on who has the best CSR strategy and who makes their employees feel good on a community service level.” High CSR standards have become a priority in many company cultures, and non-profits are expanding and achieving at greater capacities.

INHF has experienced the impact of these conscience–forward companies both through financial and “hands-on” giving, as companies offer their employees paid time off for volunteering.


Sponsored by Thrivent Financial, Luther students work on Heritage Valley to restore the prairie.

Since 2013, individuals from Principal Financial, Unitypoint Health Clinic, RBC Wealth Management, Wells Fargo, Nationwide Insurance, General Mills, USG and Thrivent Financial have volunteered with INHF to protect Iowa's wild places:

  • Principal's Waterloo and Mason City offices have participated in four separate local work days to restore woodlands
  • Nationwide and USG participated in oak savanna prairie brush removals
  • RBC Wealth management, Unitypoint Health Clinic and General Mills employees participated in seed collections to help expand local prairies
  • Wells Fargo employees planted over 900 trees, removed brush from natural areas and collected prairie seed. They also regularly post INHF volunteer events on their internal website
  • Thrivent Financial sponsored 30 Luther College football players to remove brush from a prairie/oak savanna ecosystem near Decorah to help expand it.

Principal volunteers from the Waterloo Office pick up buried trash from the Ingawanis Woodland.

The contributions from these combined efforts total over 840 hours, or over $17,600 if translated to per-hour rates the state of Iowa sets for volunteers (hours do not include contributions made by board members from these companies).

But even more importantly, these interesting and new partnerships mean more natural areas are getting restored and more people are connecting with the land. And to quote the great Iowa naturalist, Sylvan Runkel: “If we get acquainted with natural communities we feel at home. Anyplace we feel at home, we feel like protecting.”

We're excited about our continued partnership with these corporations and are honored they have chosen to spend their time at INHF. 

To learn how your company can volunteer with INHF or support INHF’s work, contact Mary Runkel at or 515-288-1846.