Matt Kupec is the Vice President for Development & Marketing at HelpMeSee, Inc, a nonprofit whose mission is to provide basic vision-saving care to populations that are at risk for preventable blindness. An expert in fundraising and managing private equity, Matt has previously helped UNC-Chapel Hill raise $5 billion and private company Text2Give (mobile fundraising) over $1.8 million in venture capital.
Building a Career in Fundraising
Matt Kupec’s strengths in fundraising lie in his experience and ability to develop a strategic plan, mobilize a community, recruit volunteers, then execute the plan to raise money. He knows the value in developing a relationship and trust with donors, allowing him to openly and effectively demonstrate how donations will make a difference and change lives with new opportunities. While there has been a tendency to increase focus on analytics, Matt’s learned that the ‘art’ of fundraising remains just as important, if not more so. This means developing an ability for improvisation and engaging a donor in the right way by presenting the right opportunity. Without this skill, it will be hard for potential donors to realize the full benefit of their donations and will feel less inclined to participate.
After Matt Kupec graduated from UNC as an all-star quarterback, he signed a contract with the Seattle Seahawks, but quickly realized his passion laid more in Higher Education than professional sports. This stems from his belief in Higher Education for its value and the impact in can have on individuals and their families. His first foray into development was at the University of Bridgeport, where he joined the Alumni and Advancement Department.
Pursuing a degree in Educational Administration, Matt Kupec returned to his native area of Long Island to enroll at Hofstra, where he wound up earning his Master’s and working in their development office for ten years and helped to raise $32 million in his first fundraising campaign. Soon thereafter, he received a call to return to his alma mater at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he spent the next twenty years raising billions of dollars for the university.
Fundraising at UNC-Chapel Hill
At UNC, Matt Kupec’s main goal was to garner donations to provide for students and faculty. Each dollar he could raise would provide an opportunity in scholarship for a talented youth who didn’t have the resources to go to school and would support great teachers and researchers who could lead a classroom and engage their students. With the support of an enthusiastic alumni base, Matt directed two enormously successful campaigns: the Campaign for Carolina ($2.4 billion) and the Bicentennial Campaign ($440 million).
To learn how you can help raise funds for your organization, check out Matt’s blog.