University of Iowa raised funds with One Day for Iowa online event


Ben Allan Smith

Members from the Levitt Center for University Advancement hand out cookies on the T. Anne Cleary Walkway on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 for the 1 Day for Iowa fundraiser. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)


On Wednesday, the University of Iowa reached out to alumni, members of the community, and anyone under the sun for the second One Day for Iowa fundraiser.

One Day for Iowa, built like an Internet crowd funding campaign, was run by the UI Center for Advancement; it allowed the public to donate online and choose between many areas on campus to help fund.

Some featured areas included Tippie College of Business, UI Stead Children’s Hospital, Division of Student Life, UI Libraries, and the College of Law.

In total, the event raised $941,948 for campus groups with 1,576 total gifts.

Dana Larson, the executive director of communications and marketing at the Center for Advancement, said that while the first year of the event focused on learning and building an infrastructure, this year focused on spreading the message.

“It’s very much a grass-roots social-media event,” Larson said. “Just another way for people to stay connected to the university.”

Ex-Hawkeye football star Nate Kaeding, a UI alum and an owner of local Iowa City businesses, stays connected to the community in many ways and says One Day for Iowa is important for all alumni.

“I know firsthand the university’s role in the community,” he said.

As an alum, he feels the responsibility to support students so they have opportunities as he had as a student.

“Once you’re a Hawkeye, you’re always a part of that family,” Kaeding said.

Part of the fundraiser’s novelty is the different challenges it offers for bonus prizes. The biggest challenge is the Participation Challenge, which offers a percentage of $40,000 to the 10 UI areas that receive the highest number of gifts during the fundraiser. The fundraiser’s website featured a “leader board” showing where each area ranked throughout the day.

Other challenges included a $2,000 Rush Hour challenge, which rewarded the featured area that received the most gifts between 7 and 8:30 a.m.; the $2,000 Parent Challenge, rewarding the area that receives the most gifts from parents between 6 and 7:30 p.m.; and the Every State Challenge, which aimed to get support from all 50 states in the U.S.

Lynette Marshall, the president and CEO of the Center for Advancement, said the fundraiser is “uniquely Iowa.”

During the last One Day for Iowa, one area made itself known in the fall 2016 fundraiser after not being listed as a featured area. The UI History Department received more than twice the average department donations through write-ins; it was included as a featured area this year.

Elizabeth Heineman, the chair of the History Department, said the department attracts donors by being transparent about how it helps its students, citing the stipend fund for unpaid interns, helping students work in fields relevant to their major.

“It’s really great to keep this sense of community,” Heineman said.

The History Department is no stranger to alumni participation. Heineman said alumni are often brought in to talk to history students about how they’ve been applying their major to their careers. Heineman called them role models who help students “imagine their futures.”

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