Alexis de Tocqueville Society

Dewolf2014 chairs: Chris and Suzy Dewolf

The Alexis de Tocqueville Society is United Way’s top leadership giving group and was created by United Way of America in 1984 to recognize people who have rendered outstanding commitment to their community.  There are more than 25,000 members of the Tocqueville Society in the United States. Their gifts, which total $7 billion since 1984, have impacted countless lives.  Locally, 68 members donated nearly $800,000 ($794,956.50) in 2013, and we would like to recognize our local philanthropic leaders and volunteer champions who have devoted their  time, talent, and funds to create long-lasting changes by tackling our communities’ most serious issues.

Committed philanthropists in our community are invited to join the Tocqueville Society. Membership is granted to individuals who annually give $10,000 or more to United Way.

  • Membres de la Société - Tocqueville members who give $10,000 to $24,999.
  • Ordre dé Liberté – Tocqueville members who give $25,000 or more.

For new members, a “step-up program” is available. By participating in this three-year tiered pledge program, you’ll be recognized as a member of the Tocqueville Society upon enrollment and receive invitations to all events and programs.

  • Year One Pledge – $5,000
  • Year Two Pledge – $7,500
  • Year Three Pledge – $10,000

For more information about becoming a Tocqueville donor, please contact Lois Buntz at (319) 398-5372


As a member of this exclusive society, you join a network of philanthropic leaders who seek to create long-lasting, positive change. By partnering with a quality organization and dedicated staff; you ensure that gifts, voice and time are efficiently invested in our local community to maximize impact. You also are invited to exclusive Tocqueville Society events and recognized in United Way’s leadership directory.

Prior chairs:

2014/current – Chris and Suzy Dewolf
2013/2014 - Ted and Cathy Townsend
2012/2013 - Kevin and Kathy Knutson
2011/2012 – Tom Peffer, Shuttleworth & Ingersoll, and Carroll Reasoner, University of Iowa
2010 – Tim and Janice Charles
2009 – Tom and Sarah Anderson
2008 – Dick Johnson
2006 – Debbie Jones/Dick Johnson
2005 – Lydia Brown/Debbie Jones
2004 – Laura Dement/Lydia Brown
2002/2003 – Chuck Peters/Laura Dement
2001 - Terri Christoffersen/Kathy Eno/Barbara Knapp
2000 – Terri Christoffersen/Kathy Eno/Barbara Knapp
1999 – Barbara Knapp

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Alexis de Tocqueville History

Alexis Charles-Henri Clerel de Tocqueville was born in Paris, France, on July 29, 1805. In 1831, he accepted, with Gustave de Beaumont, a commission to examine the prisons and penitentiaries of the United States.

This journey provided him with material for his penetrating study of American society and politics, Democracy in America. This work, the first part of which appeared in 1835 and the second in 1840, won him a European reputation as an ardent reformer, as well as a seat in the French Academy. He entered politics in 1837 and from June to October was Minister of Foreign Affairs. He died at Cannes on April 16, 1859.

The Alexis de Tocqueville Society was created by United Way of America to recognize people who have rendered outstanding commitment to their community locally or on a national level. It also exists to promote voluntary community service and to recognize the value such service has to our nation.

The name was chosen because of Alexis de Tocqueville’s admiration for the spirit of voluntary association and effort for the common good, a spirit he observed in America and about which he wrote enthusiastically.

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