Jim Mowrer has been a dedicated Iowanian community member for decades. He is a father, philanthropist, veteran, consultant, professor, and much more. Since his early life in the Des Moines area, he was instilled with the importance of being an involved and dedicated member of the community.
He was a farm boy growing up, in a traditional midwestern upbringing. He lost his father at a young age to a farming accident, and his mother moved Jim and his siblings into town. This was a difficult time for his family, but today he looks back on it as a deeply formative moment in his life. To this day, he stresses the importance of empathy and support systems for families in need.
After 9/11, Jim Mowrer entered the National Guard, driven by the sense of national community. Within two years, he had worked upwards to the rank of Sergeant – and was soon after deployed to Iraq. Jim was an Intelligence Analyst, locating IEDs and roadside bombs for removal. He was required to have keen senses, and be a close observer of not only his surroundings but of the people within them. After 24 months of service, his unit served the longest deployment of any unit in the Iraq War.
In 2009, he returned to civilian life. Finding a close-knit community in the veteran’s advocacy groups, he worked as the Veterans Outreach Director to the Biden for President campaign. He was a strong supporter of increased veterans’ benefits. Jim Mowrer’s work opened the door to a DoD position as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army. This was his job for 3 years, and he was proud to represent the army to all 54 states and territories.
In 2013, he left to run as a Democratic Nominee for Congress in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District. His campaign was highly visible for its impressive fundraising efforts, totaling more than 2.2 million dollars. This was even more than a 6-term incumbent was able to raise.
Though he lost his race at this time, he was able to find a place for himself in the political field, and he would continue to serve the community at large through his service as the Vice-Chair for the Iowa Democratic Party, in addition to other consultation services. His military experience and knowledge made him a valuable asset to many.
Jim Mowrer’s focus throughout the next few years would be on his political career, which he still believes in whole-heartedly. He ran again in the 2015/16 race, this time in the 3rd congressional district. Though this campaign was unsuccessful in earning him the position, he was proud of the efforts of his staff, and he continues to believe that he has the skills, experience, and abilities to provide the state with a congressman of the people.
Today, much of Jim’s work is as a political science professor with Grand View University, as well as his consultancy work with political and veteran advocacy groups across the state and nation. When not sharing his thoughts and knowledge, he can be found with his wife and children, cherishing their time together.
Jim Mowrer on Ways for Des Moines Small Businesses to Become More Philanthropic
Here in Des Moines, small businesses are expected to both support and be supported by their community. When building relationships with the community, running small philanthropic campaigns can help everyone involved – building business, raising funds, and bringing a community together. To help jump-start the philanthropy strategizing and planning process, take a look at a few of these ideas for philanthropic tie-ins that almost any small business can lead.
Provide Your Service to the Disadvantaged
You likely have a small business because you and your employees can do something very well – why not do good while doing it? Offer your service to low-income neighborhoods by running a lecture series, conference, or courses – a financial organization could provide financial literacy guidance for instance. If you are a manufacturing or supply chain, offer supplies to local charities. The simplest way to give is to give freely.
Initiate Mentorship Projects
Underprivileged youths of all ages can benefit from a strong figure in their lives, and your business could be the place they find such a figure. As a small business, every member of your team likely has authority and experience in their position. Offer this experience to students to help provide them with valuable resume-building experience that could launch them into an entirely new career.
Encourage Employees to Participate in Charity
A very easy way to provide the community with valuable labor and volunteers is to give employees a day or two off a year that they can use for volunteering. Many small businesses make this a company-wide day off to help plan their output around it. This is an excellent way to push employees to volunteer and can give them the freedom to choose a charity of their own to support.
These are just a few of the ways that hundreds of small and medium businesses are giving back to their communities around the country and the world. And while business owners want to rationalize every action as a way of supporting their own ends, building capital, and supporting growth, don’t neglect the importance of simply doing good for good’s own sake. After all, a rising tide raises all boats.