UI to launch comprehensive fundraising campaign


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The University of Iowa is set to launch another universitywide comprehensive fundraising campaign in the next two years.

Officials said the campaign — which is at least a year away from launching — will raise money for general-education expenses, such as faculty hirings and student scholarships. The money would also be used for renovating and replacing flood-damaged properties like Hancher Auditorium, the Museum of Art, and studio arts facilities.

UI President Sally Mason told The Daily Iowan earlier this month officials are conducting studies to determine more details of the campaign. A specific monetary goal hasn’t been set yet.

“Many public universities like the UI are either in a comprehensive campaign, or if they are not in one, they are planning the next one,” said Forrest Meyer, executive director of strategic communications at the UI Foundation.

The last UI comprehensive campaign was a seven-year initiative that began in 1999. The campaign, titled “Good. Better. Best. Iowa! The Campaign to Advance Our Great University,” raised $1.05 billion for the university. An official brand has not yet been decided for this coming campaign.

“We’re still planning the studies, and we’re still gathering together people who will help us with this campaign, and it will also incorporate some of the smaller campaigns that are going on around the university now,” Mason said.

University officials said this universitywide initiative would coincide with other campaigns at the university, including fundraising for Carver-Hawkeye Arena, University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, and the Colleges of Medicine, Law, Public Health, and Dentistry.

Administrators from the UI Foundation will work with other university officials — including deans and faculty — as well as donors to plan the effort.

Meyer said the campaign is anticipated to last until 2016; most campaigns last three to eight years.

Though the university is continually raising funds for various reasons, the purpose of the comprehensive campaign is to “reprioritize the mission of the university” and include priorities stated in former Provost Wallace Loh’s strategic plan, said Dave Triplett, the vice president of development resources at the UI Foundation.

“We certainly want to build on those beliefs,” said Triplett, who worked on the UI’s last comprehensive plan.

One tactic to raise funds is to focus on attracting new donors.

“People make gifts because they believe in the organization and have a passion for it,” Triplett said.
He anticipates “going public” with the campaign by the end of 2012 or the start of 2013.

As early as this spring, Mason — who Triplett said is “the face and voice of the campaign” — will reach out to donors and alumni to spark interest and sponsors, though some gifts have already started to come in.

“The key thing is not how much we raise but what the impact [is] on campus,” Triplett said.

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