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Two-thirds of Carson King gift received by children's hospital

Busch donation still in process; 2.5 percent going to foundation

Carson King high-fives Camdyn Reisner, 13, during an Oct. 11 event in Iowa City thanking King for the money he raised for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The UI reported $1.9 million of the $3 million King raised has been received. (David Harmantas/Freelance)
Carson King high-fives Camdyn Reisner, 13, during an Oct. 11 event in Iowa City thanking King for the money he raised for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. The UI reported $1.9 million of the $3 million King raised has been received. (David Harmantas/Freelance)

IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, to date, has received more than $1.9 million of the $3-plus million raised by an Iowa State University fan whose beer sign during the Iowa-Iowa State football game morphed into a national campaign.

More than 35,000 donors from all 50 states and Puerto Rico gave $920,112.10 to Carson King’s Venmo account — after King, 24, initially sought help replenishing his Busch Light supply with a hand-printed sign shown during ESPN coverage of the game.

Surprised by the donations rolling in, he announced he was redirecting the money to the children’s hospital.

As the money began to pour in — along with good will from thousands and national media attention — Venmo and Anheuser Busch committed to match the total King raised through the end of September.

Including last-minute gifts that came in after the campaign’s close, the total reached $3,004,202.14.

Of that, more than $1.9 million has been received, according to the UI Center for Advancement, the university’s independent fundraising arm.

That total includes all the payments made to King’s Venmo account and the Venmo matching gift, according to Center for Advancement spokeswoman Dana Larson, who said the Busch match remains in process.

“We continue to work with donors to facilitate the remaining gifts,” she said.

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When Busch and Venmo first committed to matching King’s fundraising efforts, giving was under $10,000.

The center typically uses a portion of donations for “the university’s ongoing fundraising efforts,” Larson said. In this case, less than 2.5 percent of the King gift — about $75,000 — will be used for that.

That is typical for a gift of this size and type, Larson said, and “is in line with best practices for university foundations.”

The center determines its percentage of each gift based — in part — on whether it is endowed or nonendowed, Larson said.

The King donation is nonendowed.

“This will allow us to continue to fundraise for UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and other areas of the UI that need donor support,” she said.

King’s weekslong campaign involved many twists and turns — including since the campaign’s close — with members of the public slamming the Des Moines Register for its coverage of King, and the Register-run RAGBRAI staff resigning over the company’s efforts to stifle their speech on the King story.

Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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