Johnson family named Outstanding Philanthropists by South Dakota fundraising chapter

September 27, 2023

Dave and Jan Hovey Johnson of Watertown and Sioux Falls, owners of Reliabank, were named the state’s 2023 Outstanding Philanthropists by the South Dakota Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals at a luncheon in Chamberlain on Monday, Sept. 25.

The Johnsons were recognized for their significant support of the Goss Opera House in Watertown, the Estelline Bandstand and Gazebo Park, and the historic Farmers State Bank in Hazel.

Significant organizations they have helped include Augustana University, Lutheran Social Services’ Adoption Services, their home church, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Watertown, Friends of South Dakota Public Broadcasting and countless others.

Most recently, Jan Hovey Johnson provided funding for a new Center for Western Studies publication, Old Trails and New Roads in South Dakota History, released in January 2023.

Their support of Lutheran Social Services Adoption Services has expanded the organization’s ability to facilitate successful adoptions.

The Johnsons collaborate with their children, who also play important roles in Reliabank’s business, when it comes to philanthropic giving, developing a family-centered approach to long-range planning.

“Our giving really is a family affair,” said Jan Hovey Johnson.

Because their giving crosses from the personal to the business side important discussions are also held with the bank’s staff and governing board. Input from a broad perspective is solicited, listened to and incorporated into a final plan.

The Johnsons know that a successful, sustainable philanthropic effort is a team effort.

By building their team, the Johnsons philanthropic leadership has caused many of their employees and friends to start creating their only philanthropic plans.