IPTAY used to stand for, “It’s Probation Time Again, Y’all”.
As we await the kickoff to our ACC brethren’s attempt to claim their second national championship, I thought that you would be interested in this fantastic piece from ESPN.
Founded in 1934, IPTAY is one of the driving forces behind Clemson football’s renaissance. At a public school and in a town where combined enrollment and population is just over 30,000, Clemson is unique in its support. Its booster group describes itself as being wider than it is deep. With roughly 15,000 members, IPTAY has created a sense of ownership among a significant portion of the Tigers’ fan base, as opposed to having its wheels greased by a few deep-pocketed boosters.
Dabo Swinney has shown a willingness to do what it takes to aid IPTAY, Clemson’s grass-roots fundraising group. AP Photo/Richard Shiro
“South Carolina was a very rural, agricultural state in 1934,” said Joe Todd, president of IPTAY’s board of directors. “So you had people that could donate $10; they might send props, just to make their contribution. It’s been that way, and we really want to hold on to that so we don’t have a handful of big donors like some schools that can really drive that whole fundraising piece.”
IPTAY has 700 volunteers throughout South Carolina and a 10-person board of directors, with each member representing a district — seven in state, one in North Carolina, one in Georgia and one at large.
“People usually give to things they feel about,” said longtime Clemson employee Bert Henderson, now the associate athletic director of planned giving. “We don’t want to be in front of church or their family, but we want to be right there, and we want to feel good about it, because I think you and I give to things we feel good about, and that’s a part of relationships. That’s where IPTAY comes in.”
IPTAY donations reached a record $60.1 million last year, with annual giving accounting for $25.5 million of that figure. A $10 million indoor practice facility was built in 2013 and paid for by IPTAY donations and athletic department revenue.
In the fall of 2015 alone, IPTAY bought a reported $4.5 million private jet for athletics (after receiving legislators’ permission in the spring) and helped Swinney break ground on a $55 million, 140,000-square foot football facility.