UI Launches "We Are Phil"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
We Are Phil graphic

We Are Phil—a new faculty and staff giving program announced by the University of Iowa and the UI Foundation—highlights the transformative power of philanthropy and has UI faculty and staff talking about why they make financial contributions to support the university.

Michael O. Chan has worked as a food service and nutrition worker for University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for the past 18 years. In 2010, after putting his children through college, he realized a lifelong dream by earning his own college degree: a B.A. in psychology from the UI, at the age of 69.

“By supporting and giving to the UI we can nourish and empower college students to become an innovative and outstanding part of society,” Chan says.

Hundreds of areas to support

The goals of We Are Phil include increasing awareness throughout the university about philanthropy and encouraging more UI faculty and staff to “be Phil” (short for "philanthropy") by making a gift to support any area of the university they choose. UI employees’ contributions to We Are Phil also help advance the UI’s comprehensive campaign, For Iowa. Forever More.

Portrait of Joni Troester
Joni Troester

“At the UI we all have many opportunities to be part of philanthropy,” says Joni Troester, We Are Phil co-chair and director, UI Human Resources. “Whether it may be education, athletics, or the arts and sciences, there are literally hundreds of areas to support at the UI.”

Georgina Dodge, associate vice president and the UI’s chief diversity officer, emphasizes that gifts of all sizes can create a positive impact. “By giving even a little, you’re demonstrating that you support the work that’s being done,” says Dodge.

Last year, 71 percent of gifts received—or 65,589 gifts—by the UI Foundation were $100 or less. Those gifts added up to more than $3.1 million in support for the UI and its students.

UI faculty and staff can make contributions via payroll deduction or use the UI Foundation's online giving page to support all areas of the university.

Making giving easy

Launching October 21 through November 1, We Are Phil is designed to streamline giving for employees on an annual and ongoing basis, collectively recognize the contributions of faculty and staff, and make giving more of a community experience. UI employees can search and select from hundreds of programs and funds to support on the program’s website and share a personal message about why they give.

Portrait of Jerry Schnoor
Jerry Schnoor

“Lives are changing at the University of Iowa, as students go through a metamorphosis of education and learning, says Jerry Schnoor, We Are Phil co-chair, professor and Allen S. Henry Chair, College of Engineering. “I give back to the University of Iowa because of what students do, and what they will do in the future, and that’s a very powerful reason for giving.”

Portrait of Matthew Howard
Matthew Howard

“There are so many very important and valuable undertakings here at the university that everybody can chip in and have a significant impact on how our university goes about pursuing its mission,” says Matthew Howard, We Are Phil co-chair, professor and John C. VanGilder Chair in Neurosurgery.

UI employees can learn more about We Are Phil, find a fund to support, view video messages from their colleagues and peers, and tell their giving stories here.

About the University of Iowa Foundation

The UI Foundation’s mission is to advance the UI and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach, and global education.

The UI and UI Foundation are conducting a historic comprehensive $1.7 billion fundraising campaign, For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa, which will secure the UI’s status as a world-class institution for future generations.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa. For more information about the foundation and the campaign, visit the foundation website.