Q. Why does a state university need private support?
A. Although UNI is a public institution with a mandate to serve the people of Iowa, the State of Iowa does not fund all the costs of a UNI education. In fact, over the past thirty years, the percentage of these costs funded by the State has decreased — and at a greater rate than educational costs have risen. Today, State funding covers only about 61.2% of the cost of a UNI undergraduate education for Iowa residents. The remainder is covered by tuition, state and federal grants, and gifts from private donors.
To give UNI students the highest quality learning environment and to ensure that a UNI education continues to be affordable, private support has taken on an enhanced significance. The UNI Foundation is committed to providing the necessary resources to assist the University of Northern Iowa to be the nation’s finest comprehensive university, known for high quality learning environments and a genuine sense of community.
Q. How do UNI students benefit from the funds raised by the UNI Foundation?
A. Because UNI puts its students first, the Foundation addresses the challenges that face students in gaining access to the best education and services the university has to offer. During the ten-year period of 1992-2001, the UNI Foundation has received:
- $20,690,404 for scholarship support
- $ 4,257,931 for capital projects
- $9,909,978 for academic and student service programs
For the same period, the UNI Foundation has provided to the University:
- $11,724,118 in scholarship support
- $14,971,468 in capital projects
- $23,696,819 in academic and student service programs
Q. What impact does private giving have on student scholarships?
A. During the past ten years (1992-2001) the UNI Foundation received $20,690,404 for scholarship support. A significant part of this amount was designated for scholarship endowments, which fund scholarships through the interest they earn. In 2000-2001, gifts and endowments in the UNI Foundation paid $ 2,314,817 in scholarship support for UNI students.
Q. What are the Foundation’s fund-raising priorities and who sets them?
A. The UNI Foundation’s fund raising goals reflect the goals of the University’s strategic plan. The goals for the Foundation’s $75 million Students First Campaign were developed in consultation with UNI’s president, provost, deans and directors with the concurrence of the Foundation’s management group and Board of Trustees. The Campaign’s goals include:
- $36 million for scholarships
- $16 million for program support
- $23 million for facilities
These goals encompass all aspects of the University. Foundation staff will be pleased to work with donors interested in making a gift to support any program or project that fits within the University’s mission and plan.
Q. If the Foundation is raising so much money, why is the University raising tuition?
A. Most private support at UNI is restricted by donors for the purposes they have selected. These funds should not and cannot be redirected to other purposes, no matter how urgent or important they may be. The UNI Foundation holds this intent as its highest priority.
It’s important to remember that many gifts to the UNI Foundation are deferred gifts, meaning the gift itself won’t be available to the University until after a specified period of time or will be given to the UNI Foundation as a bequest.
Q. Who are the Foundation’s donors?
A. In 1999-2000, 94 percent of the Foundation’s donors were individuals; 5 percent were corporations; less than 1 percent were foundations, and less than 1 percent were other entities.
Q. Why do I get requests for contributions more than once a year?
A. UNI Alumni and friends are contacted annually by the Greater University Annual Fund to request unrestricted gifts that can be used as needed to support various areas of the University. Other academic departments and student groups also reach out to alumni requesting support specifically for their programs such as Deans’ Funds for Excellence or the UNI Athletic Club.
Q. What is the difference between the request I get from the Annual Fund and the one I get from the Alumni Association?
A. The Greater University Annual Fund consists of unrestricted gifts used to support a variety of programs and services at the University. Dollars contributed to the Annual Fund are tax-deductible as a charitable contribution.
The University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association is a dues paying organization for friends and alumni of UNI. The Association serves as the catalyst for connection to and involvement with the University of Northern Iowa students and alumni. Its mission is to provide alumni and friends with quality programs and services that support and promote the University as a whole. Association dues are used to support programming for alumni nationwide. Dues paid to the Alumni Association are not tax-deductible as they are made in exchange for membership benefits. A gift to the UNI Foundation does not qualify as an Alumni membership. For more information on the UNI Alumni Association