Partnering For Generosity Across Generations: The Nist Family
At Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, we’ve seen how much more we can accomplish when we work together. Since 1981, community members have shared their commitment to a thriving Pierce County by partnering with GTCF to bring their vision to life and build a legacy for future generations. In our 2018 yearbook, Pierce County Partners, a few of our partners shared their lessons and insights from working to strengthen Pierce County.
“There is always more that we can do.” That’s the lesson Mike Nist learned from his father when he was a kid. The Nist family has been passing down wisdom and values for a long time, “Jacob
Nist was my great, great grandfather. He started the company in 1889. And his son, Michael, and then Michael’s son Ferdinand, and now we are the sixth generation of our family.”
“There is always more that we can do.”
At the company’s 120th anniversary, Mike proposed the family think bigger about their philanthropy, “We have done baseball tournaments, we have done golf tournaments — but I think we saw as a family it is time to grow that into something larger that will go on for many generations and help support different causes and needs whether it is in Pierce County, King County, or Snohomish.”
Mike’s cousin-in-law Sylvia remembers, “Everybody was kind of doing their own thing.
And we didn’t have anything as a family, other than weddings and funerals, where we all get together. We decided, instead of going on a retreat as a family, why don’t we take whatever money that we would spend doing that, and let’s do something impactful.”
“It [Pierce County] felt like we could have an impact and be a part of that. It just was so welcoming. And this is one of the reasons we landed here at Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.”
Sylvia and Jeannie, Mike’s daughter-in-law, researched how their family could take that next step. Jeannie found, “a different feeling in Pierce County. It felt like we could have an impact and be a part of that. It just was so welcoming. And this is one of the reasons why we landed here at Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.”
To guide their philanthropy, the Nist family developed a mission statement, “the mission of the Nist Family Fund is to support and sustain vibrant and healthy communities in the greater Puget Sound region. To accomplish its purpose, the fund invests in strong, community-based organizations that provide resources and services to families in our community that enhance their quality of life.”
“The mission of the Nist Family Fund is to support and sustain vibrant and healthy communities in the greater Puget Sound region.”
Jeannie is involved with the Northeast Tacoma Healthy Kids’ Coalition, which the Nist family supported last year, “Volunteers provide weekend meals to students at Northeast Tacoma, Browns Point, Crescent Heights Elementary Schools, and Meeker Middle School. We are packing food, putting it in kids backpacks, and sending it home for the weekend. We raised funds for the coalition and then provided gifts to 90 children in the Northeast Tacoma community. My kids got to be really involved in shopping for gifts. And then organizing and wrapping. That was really hands on for them. It was a great experience.”