ISU Foundation raises record-breaking $867 million


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ISU Foundation raised a record breaking $867 million from its Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose fundraiser. The campaign began in July 2003 with a goal to raise $800 million. 

Sarah Clark

The only flooding Iowa State was concerned about this summer was the flow of money making its way to the university. June marked the cap of an eight-year fundraising effort that brought in a record-breaking amount of more than $867 million.

The fundraiser, Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose, began in July 2003 with a goal of raising more funds than any previous fundraising attempt.

The official $800 million goal was established for the campaign in 2007 and, by 2011, the annual fundraising production averaged $115 million, more than double the amount raised in 2002-2003.

“We set a very ambitious goal,” said ISU President Gregory Geoffroy. “Right at the beginning, we were positive that we were going to exceed the previous fundraising efforts.”

The eight-year campaign brought in more funds than any other fundraising effort and Geoffroy was pleased with the success.

“It was enormously successful in every way,” Geoffroy said. “The campaign raised funds for a number of major priorities for the university.”

Donors included more than 118,000 individuals pledging both gifts and funds. This campaign brought in several new donors as well, with more than 37,000 contributors donating for the very first time.

“We were delighted by the number of new donors to Iowa State,” said ISU Foundation President Dan Saftig. “Donors support causes and the fact that they are giving their hard-earned dollars to support students and faculty is credit to their belief in Iowa State.”

Gifts were received from benefactors in all 50 states, and more than 70 percent of the campaign total came from out-of-state donors.

“About 65 percent of ISU alumni live outside of Iowa, so it makes it more challenging to attract their support,” Saftig said. “So we took Iowa State on the road and brought the news of Iowa State’s accomplishments to them.”

More than $40 million was received from the phone center, online and direct mail donations alone while the faculty and staff donations reached $37 million.

More than 800 new scholarships were generated from the funds and 38 new faculty positions have been created as well. Both the scholarships and the faculty positions were distributed to programs all across the university, including several endowed scholarships.

“Somewhere around $260 million or more of new scholarship funds were raised,” Geoffroy said. “So that will help students with additional scholarships.”

More than 80 new endowed faculty positions were created with the funds as well.

“The faculty endowments improve the excellence of the faculty, which of course impacts the quality of educational programs,” Geoffroy said.

Several campus improvements have been made since the fundraiser began in 2003 including 25 new or renovated buildings.

“There are a number of improvements in campus facilities that were made possible with the fundraising campaign,” Geoffroy said. “Morrill Hall, for example, was completed 4 or 5 years ago and has been available for students’ use ever since.”

Morrill Hall, the Student Services Center and Curtiss Hall are just a few examples of where the campaign funds have been used. Some gifts have not been completed yet and are still ongoing.

Both Geoffroy and Saftig think the results of the campaign are a great indicator for the future of Iowa State.

“I think the campaign will have a significant impact on the university and thus lay a strong foundation for continued fundraising and continued excellence at the university,” Geoffroy said.

“Combined with enrollment increases, research increases and other really great indicators of Iowa State’s great programs, our donors follow suit,” Saftig said. “They see the value in an Iowa State education and how Iowa State and the ISU experience molds and shapes young people into very productive citizens.”