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University of Iowa Foundation News Release

Dec. 16, 2005

Online Giving To UI In 2005 Passes $1 Million Mark

The online fund-raising site for the University of Iowa ( has passed the $1 million mark for the first time during a calendar year. As of Dec. 15, online visitors have given $1.17 million to colleges and programs throughout the university in 2005.

More than 2,800 supporters have used the site to make 4,414 gifts to the UI so far in 2005. Of those, 13 percent are first-time givers to the UI; their contributions total more than $100,000.

With two weeks of the calendar year remaining, the UI's online gift total for 2005 is twice that of 2004.

"Online giving is a crucial and fast-growing tool within the UI's overall fund-raising strategy," says Charles M. Kierscht, interim president of the UI Foundation. "Our Internet site provides a convenient way for individuals in Iowa and across the world to financially support the areas of the university that matter most to them.

"The University of Iowa Foundation recognized the potential for Internet fund-raising early on, and we continue to designate resources to grow online gifts. We are pleased that this investment has yielded such impressive results and that the UI is acknowledged as a leader in this field."

The UI joins a small group of higher-education institutions that have surpassed the $1 million mark for online fund-raising in a single year. According to a "Chronicle of Philanthropy" survey of 2004 online giving results (the latest data available), only nine other universities raised more than $1 million online. Seven of those schools are private institutions; two are public universities.

In that survey, the UI ranked 15th nationally in total online donations. Penn State was the only Big Ten school with a higher ranking.

UI Foundation staff members created and maintain the online giving site, through which $2.4 million has been given since it debuted in 2000. It is a portion of the Foundation's award-winning Internet site, Staffers responsible for the site have spoken at numerous conferences throughout the U.S. about the development of and continuing plans for the UI fund-raising site.

The UI's online giving site features "shopping cart" functionality, which allows contributors to support many areas of the university at one time. Online gifts may be made to more than 300 accounts that support UI colleges and programs. Credit card transactions are processed immediately and securely; users also may select their areas of support, then print a customized form and mail their donations.

Contributors may designate their gifts in honor or memory of an individual. This year, 243 such gifts have been made via the site.

Although the online giving totals represent a small percentage of the overall fund-raising statistics for the UI, the rate of growth for online contributions has been significant. Each year since its debut, the UI's online giving site has experienced annual increases of more than 60 percent.

Online contributions are part of the UI's $1 billion comprehensive campaign, which will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort is raising private funds to help launch a variety of initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" campaign, visit its web site at



2005 UI online donation statistics (through Dec. 15, 2005)

Total dollars -- $1,174,360

Total gifts -- 4,414

Average gift -- $266

Largest gift -- $7,500

Smallest gift -- $5

First-time gifts -- 594 gifts totaling $100,299

Memorial/honorary gifts -- 243 gifts totaling $44,115

Total donors -- 2,802

Alumni donors -- 1,451

Non-alumni donors -- 1,351

2004 Online Fund-Raising Survey Results

"The Chronicle of Philanthropy," June 2005

1. Duke University -- $2,116,610

2. Stanford University -- $2,058,630

3. University of Notre Dame -- $1,952,190

4. Columbia University -- $1,648,810

5. Pennsylvania State University -- $1,458,340

6. Princeton University -- $1,430,760

7. Dartmouth College -- $1,324,260

8. Auburn University -- $1,287,350

9. University of Pennsylvania -- $1,262,840

10. Brown University -- $935,641

11. Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- $800,387

12. Georgetown University -- $670,642

13. University of California at Berkeley -- $643,609

14. Harvard University -- $613,996

15. University of Iowa -- $549,918

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilery Livengood, Director, Web Strategies; 319-335-3305