Policy on Safeguarding

To achieve its mission and goals, the foundation must earn and maintain the trust of past, present, and future donors. For alumni and friends to support the foundation’s mission, they must be fully comfortable that personal confidences and private circumstances shared with the foundation will be professionally and appropriately preserved.

Stewardship Foundation Donors May Expect

Alumni and friends give when they are confident their generosity will be directed to benefit the University of Iowa in the manner they have specified. Foundation donors may expect that the foundation’s stewardship of their gifts will include:

  • Maintaining privacy and confidentiality relating to personal and financial circumstances as well as gift and estate planning, as described in this policy;
  • Acknowledging their generosity in appropriate ways;
  • Respecting requests for anonymity;
  • Fulfilling designations as to how gifts are to be used to benefit the university;
  • Administering and investing endowed funds prudently; and
  • Maximizing private support while operating efficiently within a professional environment of integrity and accountability.

The foundation adheres to the Donor Bill of Rights policy developed by Council for Advancement and Support of Education, American Association of Fundraising Counsel, Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, and Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Disclosure of Information about the Foundation, its Operations, and Donors

Donors’ trust in the foundation is enhanced by openness and communication that demonstrates it is fulfilling donors’ expectations. Therefore, the foundation makes publicly available various types of information regarding its organization and operation, fundraising and advancement activities, and benefits provided through private support of the University of Iowa through the foundation. This information includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Annual Report on Giving to the University of Iowa, which includes for the reporting period a description of fundraising activities, funds raised, and endowment performance
  • Donor Intent Policy, adopted by the Board of Directors to assure that all gifts are used as donors designate
  • Donor recognition information, such as qualifications for membership in the Presidents Club and other recognition groups, and guidelines for creating endowed funds to support university priorities, such as scholarships and professorships
  • Organizational chart, mission statement, governing documents, conflict of interest policy, and names of current and past members and officers of the board of directors
  • Audited annual financial statements
  • Investment Policy Statement, adopted by the board of directors to direct investment of endowment funds
  • IRS determination letter for tax-exempt status

In addition, the foundation will disclose certain information upon request as may be required by law, including the following:

  • Articles of Incorporation and Amendments filed with the Iowa Secretary of State
  • Annual federal information returns (IRS Forms 990 and 990-T) filed with the IRS
  • Original application for federal tax-exempt status (IRS Form 1023) filed with the IRS
  • Biennial Nonprofit Corporation Reports filed with the Iowa Secretary of State
  • The donor name (unless requested anonymity), and amount and date of a specific donation or donations
  • Any donor-designated use or purpose of donation(s), and any other donor-imposed restrictions on the use of the donation(s)
  • A description of any privilege, benefit, employment, program admission, or other special consideration from the university provided as an express condition of a pledge or donation by the donor or a member of his/her family
  • Portions of records relating to the receipt, holding, and disbursement of gifts made to the university through the foundation, including but not limited to written fundraising policies and documents evidencing fundraising practices

If a request involves identifying specific donors and their personal information, the foundation will make a reasonable effort to contact the donor(s) before disclosure whenever possible.

The foundation does not sell any donor information. It may disclose limited donor information as is reasonably necessary to further its mission, and then only after appropriate safeguards are taken to preserve confidentiality. The foundation also may disclose donor information in special cases when it has reason to believe that disclosing the information is necessary to identify, contact, or bring legal action against someone who may be causing injury to or interference with (either intentionally or unintentionally) the foundation’s rights or property or anyone else that could be harmed by such activities.

Foundation and Donor Information Not Subject to Public Disclosure

To respect donors’ expectation of privacy with regard to confidential personal and financial information, comply with legal requirements, and help assure the foundation’s success, the foundation does not share publicly (except as required by law) certain information including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • Alumni biographical information (such inquiries should be directed to the University of Iowa’s Division of Alumni Records)
  • Personnel records of foundation employees, and other information that might infringe on an employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy
  • Plans, work product, lists, data, and other confidential and/or proprietary information not generally known to the public that is useful to the foundation in fulfilling its advancement and fundraising objectives and is either protected under the Iowa Trade Secrets Act or, if publicly disclosed, might jeopardize the foundation’s ability to most effectively and successfully fulfill its mission
  • Portions of records that disclose a donor’s or prospective donor’s personal, financial, estate planning or gift planning matters
  • Records received from a donor or prospective donor regarding such donor’s prospective gift or pledge
  • Records containing information about a donor or a prospective donor in regard to the appropriateness of the solicitation and dollar amount of the gift or pledge
  • Portions of records that identify a prospective donor and that provide information on the appropriateness of the solicitation, the form of the gift or dollar amount requested by the solicitor, and the name of the solicitor
  • Portions of records disclosing the identity of a donor or prospective donor, including the specific form of gift or pledge that could identify a donor or prospective donor, directly or indirectly, when such donor has requested anonymity in connection with the gift or pledge. (This paragraph does not apply to a gift or pledge from a publicly-held business corporation.)

Foundation’s Shared Institutional Advancement Database

The foundation maintains for its internal use in fulfilling its mission a database system of alumni and friends of the university, referred to as the Foundation’s Institutional Advancement Database. Pursuant to specific agreements between and among the university and the University of Iowa Alumni Association, some of their select employees may access the database upon a showing of a need consistent with the foundation’s mission and purposes, and subject to appropriate safeguards. Foundation confidential information regarding its past, present, or prospective donors and other confidential, proprietary, and/or trade secret information of the foundation remains foundation property.

Iowa Public Records Law

Public records in the Foundation’s possession are subject to the Iowa Open Records law and are available upon request.  The foundation responds to all requests for information and, in coordination with the UI, will disclose any public records in its possession, except those that the law requires to be kept confidential.

Response Time and Fees

Requests for information will be processed in a reasonable length of time. If the request is for a large volume of records, requires programming, and/or determination of whether the record is confidential, additional time may be necessary.

The foundation may charge a reasonable fee for expenses associated with retrieving, copying, and supervising the examination of public records. As a general rule, the foundation requires advance payment of the estimated fee. Checks may be made payable to the University of Iowa Foundation.

Foundation fees are as follows:

  • $30/hour for actual time spent retrieving and copying documents and/or for supervising the examination of public records. There is no charge if the time spent on those tasks is less than one hour.
  • 25 cents per page for copies if more than 20 pages must be copied to complete a request. The charge for scanning into an electronic format rather than hard copies will be at this same rate.
  • There is a minimum charge of $75 for records that must be extracted from computer databases. For requests that take more than one hour, the fee is $75/hour.


Questions about this policy should be directed to Dana Larson, executive director of marketing and communications, at (319) 467-3661 or dana-larson@uiowa.edu.