Our commitment to our university and our donors
July 6, 2012
Throughout the past several years, the University of Iowa Foundation has connected thousands of generous donors with tens of thousands of students, countless programs, and numerous life-changing educational discoveries at the University of Iowa. It’s no exaggeration to say that our donors have transformed the UI landscape in profound and meaningful ways.
For example, the rebirth of our arts campus will begin soon, enriching the experiences of our students and having a lasting and meaningful impact on our community. Philanthropy will play a vital role in these rebuilding efforts, which is why the University of Iowa Foundation is conducting a $30 million campaign, Arts & Minds, to sustain the UI’s rich tradition in the arts. This initiative will provide vital private-gift support for replacement facilities for Hancher, the UI School of Music, and the UI School of Art and Art History.
Beyond the Arts & Minds campaign, we continue our work on several other significant initiatives, including the planning for the largest comprehensive campaign ever undertaken in the state of Iowa, and in the University of Iowa’s history, which publicly will launch in May 2013.
The foundation’s mission—advancing the University of Iowa and fulfilling the aspirations of those it serves—has never carried more importance, as public universities are being asked to become more entrepreneurial and self-supporting. Today, successful fundraising for major universities requires different thinking—and innovative new strategies.
One such strategy is the expansion of our donor base beyond alumni support. A recent outreach approach has resulted in nearly 3,500 new donors for the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center and more than 3,200 new donors for UI Children’s Hospital during the last three years. Through their generosity, these donors will have a lasting impact on patient care, both now and in the years to come.
While these strategies have enabled us to advance our mission, it is imperative that we continue to improve and expand our efforts to connect donors with opportunities and to bring value to the University of Iowa.
That’s why we’ve launched a number of initiatives that help us instill in future generations the value of giving back. Our Student Philanthropy Initiative (SPI), now in its fifth year, educates UI students about the importance of private support and engages them in all aspects of philanthropy.
In addition, we’ve established a Student Philanthropy Group that teaches undergraduate students about the principles of leadership and the importance of private support, and we’ve created Phil’s Day—an annual, on-campus event that demonstrates how philanthropy touches every part of the UI experience.
Even as we continue to implement new approaches to fundraising, and seek new ways to nurture a culture of giving within the UI community, one thing won’t change: our commitment to integrity and to earning the trust of our donors every single day.
Our most important obligation is to these dedicated contributors, whose inspiring generosity has touched people on the UI campus and far beyond, funding everything from student scholarships, breakthrough research, and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach, and global education.
Those of us who have the privilege of working on behalf of public higher education do so because we believe deeply in its transformative power. Our lives have been touched by its mission, and we are proud to work with others who want to make the world a better place.
President and CEO of the University of Iowa Foundation.