Donation kiosk. Photo: Emīls Trauliņš.

"Donating is stylish!" - is written on “ziedotne” or the donation kiosk which is located in the foyer of the central building of the University of Latvia (UL). Just a year ago, the UL Foundation introduced this machine to provide the opportunity for the university’s visitors to support UL projects in more convenient and modern way. Figures show that this initiative has been successful.

“Ziedotne” is the first donation kiosk among the Baltic States universities, where donations can be made with bankcards. It provides upgraded, customized, and expanded opportunities for university’s visitors to donate. Foreign experience and practice show that these type of solution is very popular and soon will replace the existing donation boxes. On the touch screen of the donation kiosk, you must select the purpose of the donation and then make it by using your bankcard. The activity is based on the donation portal, where you can support online one of the seven current campaigns: scholarships, trainings and research environmental development projects, as well as reconstruction projects. In addition, people can also donate to the webpage remotely from any place where the Internet connection is available.

Statistics shows that 79 donations of €2,492 were made during the year. It can be seen that, on average, every five days a visitor to an UL central building carries out a kind of charity ritual and supports one of the active campaigns. Donations ranged from €5 to €300.

“The donations to UL science, education, sport and infrastructure projects in the portal are also investments in Latvian society as a whole. Miracles happen rarely, so we should smile that the day of the expected five donors a day has not came in the first year. Anyway, dear colleagues, students and just good people – we can do much more than it’s already done today. Good luck tomorrow!” says Prof. Ivars Lacis, chairman of the Board of the UL Foundation.

The donation portal is though out. It is possible to donate by choosing PayPal, credit card payment or one of the three largest and most well-known Latvian banks online banking services. In total, 45,675 euros were donated for various purposes over a year through the portal. The biggest individual donations were made to support the construction of the University of Latvia's Alumni Trail. It will be located in the UL Botanical Garden, with a total cost of 45,000 euros. At present, EUR 24,468 have been donated to clean up the site, assess trees, geotechnical exploration, building construction preparation, as well as a partly built trail that requires most of the expenses.

Each of us can support the development of Latvian higher education area. The UL Foundation is regularly updating the UL portfolio of project ideas that are waiting for patron support.