Illinois State University’s Redbirds Rising campaign has crossed the 50,000 donor mark with 200 new endowments established.
At the end of March 2019, more than 50,000 donors from all 50 states have made contributions to Redbirds Rising. Donors are comprised of ISU alumni, friends, foundations, corporations and private support.
Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship Jamie Wood said those donors have attributed to the campaign’s success.
“So, the campaign has been going on for a few years now, we started in a quiet phase initially so funds raised counted towards the campaign and donations did, but it wasn’t until September of 2017 when we went public with it,” Wood said.
“We then let everyone know we have this big campaign, we publicized it more, we had a big kick off with it and so it’s really been a combination of alumni, friends, businesses and various supporters who have shown up and supported us to hit that 50,000 mark,” she said.
The endowment funds are established with a gift of at least $25,000, which then go toward a variety of things at ISU.
“Once the endowment is created, it lives forever, invested and then the dividends we receive from that endowment then goes towards the university,” Wood said.
“A majority of them are for scholarships for students but there are also endowments that support other areas as well such as faculty, programs. We have facility funds too,” she said.
“The majority go towards scholarships, so of those 200 endowments, 180 went towards scholarship student-related funds, which is what they support. That means when we get that distribution it is usually awarded to student scholarships, but it can also support our buildings, faculty awards and research.”