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Release: May 15, 2001

Private giving to UI continues key role in funding partnership

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- At a time when state budget allocations to higher education are being trimmed, alumni and friends of the University of Iowa continue to show their support for the university, setting new records for private giving in 2000. "While private gifts can never take the place of state funding," UI President Mary Sue Coleman said, "this remarkable level of private support provides us with a margin of excellence as we seek new and better ways to serve all Iowans."

In the public-private partnership that provides key resources for the University of Iowa, more private contributors than ever before made a record number and amount of gifts to the UI last year, according to University of Iowa Foundation officials.

Total private gift productivity recorded by the UI Foundation and the UI reached nearly $172 million during calendar year 2000, an all-time high and nearly 17 percent above the 1999 figure of $147 million. The total includes outright gifts and those committed in 2000 to be received in future years.

In announcing the 2000 fund-raising performance figures, UI Foundation President Michael J. New thanked contributors for their generosity at all levels and said he was impressed as well by the breadth of UI programs receiving private gift support.

"Every area of the university benefited from private giving in 2000. Nearly 97 percent of private gifts we receive for the university are designated by donors for specific UI programs and purposes, and foundation staff work closely with alumni and friends to match their interests with the university's needs," New said. "We believe that the record level of giving in 2000 is a vote of confidence by donors both in the University of Iowa and in the foundation's ability to be effective stewards of their gifts."

Coleman added, "There can be no doubt that this kind of private support makes it possible to enhance and elevate our mission to our students and to Iowa. Private gifts build upon and provide strategic augmentation to state support. The state's continuing commitment to adequate funding for the University of Iowa will signal our contributors that their gifts will have even more impact, thus attracting increased levels of private support."

Outright gifts to the UI Foundation in 2000 reached $65.4 million, 14.3 percent above 1999. When outright gifts received by the foundation in 2000 are added to $24.2 million in outright private support received directly by the UI last year, the total is $89.6 million. Future commitments recorded by the foundation in 2000 totaled $82.2 million, 27.3 percent above 1999.

Other 2000 highlights:

Gifts to the foundation came from 52,602 contributors, a record number. Nearly 15,262 contributors gave to the foundation twice or more during the year, bringing the total number of individual gifts received to 87,119. Alumni and friends in every state and from 31 other countries sent gifts to the foundation in 2000.

The $65.4 million received in outright gifts by the foundation in 2000 included $30.2 million from 27,762 alumni; $18.9 million from 22,871 non-alumni; and $16.2 million from 1,969 businesses, foundations and other organizations.

Of the outright gift total, 15.6 percent was designated by contributors for student financial aid; 11.9 percent for buildings and equipment; 17.4 percent for faculty development; 51.9 percent for collegiate, departmental, research and special project funds; and 3.2 percent for unrestricted use (wherever the need is greatest).

Nearly half of the total gifts in 2000 were designated as endowed funds—resources that assist the UI permanently in donor-specified areas. The foundation now manages $445 million in endowment, up 9.8 percent over Dec. 31, 1999.

"The year 2000 marked the end of a 10-year bull market," said Tiffani K. Shaw, the foundation's vice president for finance. "For the calendar year 2000, the S&P 500 returned -9.1 percent, Russell 2000 -3.2 percent and the NASDAQ -39.3 percent. We are pleased that our long-term pool investments returned a positive 9.59 percent and significantly outperformed these major stock market indices."

The University of Iowa Foundation is the preferred channel of private support for all areas of the UI. Foundation staff work with the university's administration, colleges and departments to set fund-raising priorities; expand the base of contributors; provide stewardship to multiply funds already raised and conduct a variety of activities and fund-raising campaigns that advance the university's strategic goals.

For more information on the UI Foundation and its support of the UI, go to its web site at