At a time when government spending is being spread increasingly thin and public universities are more self-supporting than ever, University of Iowa fundraisers are calling on staff and faculty to step up and help.
The UI Foundation on Monday launched “We Are Phil,” a giving campaign geared toward boosting philanthropy among university faculty and staff. The promotion coincides with a larger UI fundraising campaign, “For Iowa. Forever More,” aimed at bringing in $1.7 billion.
The staff-and-faculty-giving push could go a long way toward furthering the larger campaign, which so far has raised $1.124 billion – or 66 percent of its goal, according to Dana Larson, UI Foundation executive director of communications and marketing.
“This is the first time we have done a campaign like this,” she said. “The idea is to grow participation and awareness numbers going forward.”
In the 2013 budget year, about 2,400 of the about 16,500 UI faculty and staff members gave to the university – about 14.5 percent. The “We Are Phil” campaign aims to boost awareness about ways to give and encourage more people to do so by making it easy to donate to hundreds of UI departments, programs and funds.
Through the campaign website, UI faculty and staff can make online contributions or have donations taken out as payroll deductions on a one-time or recurring basis. Donors can search and select from hundreds of programs and funds – from Hancher Auditorium to the libraries to named faculty positions or specific athletic teams – and share a personal message about why they give.
“By supporting and giving to the UI, we can nourish and empower college students to become an innovative and outstanding part of society,” UI food service and nutrition worker Michael O. Chan said in a video on the campaign website.
Chan has worked in UI food services for 18 years and in 2010 – after putting his children through college – he earned his own UI degree at age 69, according to foundation officials.
Georgina Dodge, associate vice president and UI chief diversity officer, said gifts big and small can make an impact for the university and its students. Last year, for example, 71 percent of gifts to the UI – or 65,589 donations – were $100 or less. They accounted for more than $3.1 million.
“By giving even a little, you’re demonstrating that you support the work that’s being done,” Dodge said in a news release.
Among the UI areas listed for faculty and staff to give are 1,769 scholarship funds, 475 research funds, 443 faculty support funds, 213 named faculty positions, 200 areas of study and 24 athletic teams.
“Whether it may be education, athletics or the arts and sciences, there are literally hundreds of areas to support at the UI,” said Joni Troester, co-chair of the We Are Phil campaign and UI human resources director.