There are four components of the Office of Athletic Development:
Formed in 1946 (called Grants-In-Aid until 1988, and called Fighting Illini Scholarship Fund until 2002), the I FUND is the primary support group for varsity athletics at the University of Illinois. All private support for the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is directed through and managed by the I FUND offices in Champaign and Chicago. The purpose of the I FUND is to unite, in an organized effort, the alumni and friends of the University of Illinois in order to raise funds to meet the rising costs of athletic scholarships. In addition, it provides academic support services for student-athletes of diverse characteristics and backgrounds at the University of Illinois. We support the University's mission by providing student-athletes with exceptional educational and athletic opportunities that allow each student-athlete to grow as a total person, and better meet the challenges of a rapidly changing society. Scholarship expenses for student-athletes include room, board, tuition, fees, and books during the pursuit of a degree. The University of Illinois is one of only two Big Ten Conference institutions that fully fund their varsity sports (provides the maximum amount of scholarships allowed under NCAA rules).
In an ever-changing landscape here at the University of Illinois there is a lot of pressure and a definite sense of urgency to maintain the highest of standards. Through endowments we will have revenue to offset costs for our student-athletes.
In order to provide quality, state-of-the-art training and competition facilities for student-athletes, medical and rehabilitation facilities, coaches' offices and meetings rooms, proper recognition for student-athletes of past generations, and administrative office space on campus...private funding is required to make these projects possible.
Planned or deferred gifts provide substantial support for future use and represent a growing source of funding for Fighting Illini student-athletes. These gifts benefit the department at some future date and are the result of careful planning which integrates a donor's charitable gift into his or her overall financial, tax, and estate planning objectives.