About Matt Kupec
Matt Kupec is a fundraising professional with 35 years of significant development experience as the chief development officer at institutions in higher education and healthcare. Here is just a sampling of what has been accomplished under his leadership:
· Nearly $5 billion has been raised to support people, programs and facilities
· He has directed three successful major fundraising campaigns
· The Carolina First Campaign at UNC-Chapel Hill was the 5th most successful university campaign ever in US history.
· Development programs have been recognized as being among the finest in the country.
· Secured many seven and eight figure gifts, including four $50M+ gifts
Matt’s leadership style has been shaped by the many experiences in his lifelong journey as a professional fundraiser. His interactions with leaders in higher education, health care, business, government and the non-profit sector – and even his role as the quarterback of his college football team – have helped to inform his leadership style.
What drives Matt in his work is his belief that philanthropy does play an important role in providing critical resources to help an organization fulfill its objectives. Fundraising has an impact. Gifts that are secured can truly transform the lives of thousands of people. Matt sees this as a window of opportunity to really make a difference in the world we live. This mentality and vision shapes his overall passion and work ethic each and every day.
One of Matt’s favorite quotes about team playing within an organization is that “when you want to go fast, go alone. But when you want to go far, we must go together.” And you’ll see throughout his experiences, Matt has always been a champion that team building may be the most important part of developing a very successful fundraising program.
Significant Work Experiences that have shaped Matt’s Leadership
The really wonderful aspect of fundraising is that you learn lessons each and every day. Dealing with donors, volunteers, development staff, and senior management is a work in progress. It has to be cultivated, nurtured and cared for each and every day. How well you succeed in addressing all of these areas will be the answer to what “culture of philanthropy” you are able to establish within your organization. And the stronger that culture, the more successful your fundraising program will be.
Here are three work experiences in three different industries that have significantly shaped Matt’s wisdom and style in fundraising and fundraising management:
Higher Education: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel is one of the top-ranked universities in the country. As the nation’s first public university, the University has as its mission teaching, research and public service. Over the years, UNC has been strongly supported by state’s general assembly with significant state appropriations but over the years the percentage of the budget that is covered by appropriations has fallen below 10%.
Despite its standing as the nation’s first public university and with a proud and loyal alumni base, UNC had never made the commitment to secure significant philanthropic dollars. That changed with the launch of the University’s 1st comprehensive campaign – the Bicentennial Campaign for Carolina – that Matt directed to a successful completion.
At UNC, Matt led and managed the Office of University Advancement which included the fundraising and university relations offices. His responsibilities included providing fundraising leadership for all 24 academic and healthcare units of the University including the UNC Medical Center. He managed a budget of $27 million with 200+ employees. Matt also served as the Executive Director of the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation and as a member of the $2.8 billion UNC-CH Endowment Investment Fund.
· Successfully directed two major fundraising campaigns
o The $2.38 billion Carolina First Campaign
o At the time of completion it was the 5th most successful university campaign.
o $950 million (40%) of the campaign total was designated to support the UNC medical center and other healthcare initiatives.
o Secured four $50M gifts, the largest gifts at the time in UNC’s 225 year-old history.
o The $440 million Bicentennial Campaign for Carolina
o Finished $120 million over goal
o UNC’s first university-wide capital campaign
· UNC was the recipient of 12 Council for the Support & Advancement of Education (CASE) Outstanding Fundraising Performance awards, the most received of any University in the country
· Annual cash flow increased from $62 million to $285 million
· Created the Women’s Philanthropy Council, one of the first such efforts in higher education
· Created the Alumni Committee on Race and Ethnic Diversity
· Longest serving vice chancellor in University’s 223-year old history; served five Chancellors
Health Care: Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center is one of the leading cancer research institutes in the country. It is an organization with a single purpose to prevent and find the cure for cancer. Moffitt was founded in 1986 and had no significant fundraising history or success. Philanthropic dollars had been raised but nowhere the level the level that other freestanding cancer centers like Memorial Sloan Kettering and MD Anderson had enjoyed over the years. Matt was brought on to turn that around and build an operation that would secure the philanthropic dollars needed to support in Moffitt’s mission to find a cure for cancer.
Matt led and managed the Moffitt Foundation, the fundraising arm of Moffitt Cancer Center. The foundation raises significant and diverse gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations, in support of Moffitt’s funding priorities, and stewards all gifts according to the highest standards of care, respect and fiscal responsibility.
· Raised the entire FY18 fundraising goal in six months
· Cash flow increased from $13M to $37M in one year
· Secured seven major gifts ($1M+) in twelve months, a 250% increase over the historical average of 2 major gifts per year
· Secured the two largest grateful patient gifts ($3.5M and $3M) in Moffitt history
· Introduced a metrics system for fundraiser performance evaluation
Not-for-Profit Charity: HelpMeSee
HelpMeSee, a non-profit organization committed to ending the global health crisis of cataract blindness for the 20 million individuals world-wide who are needlessly blind due to cataracts. A simple surgery exists to restore sight but there is a shortage of trained specialists in the third world to deliver this procedure. HelpMeSee’s technological solution includes the development of the first ever high scale simulator-based medical surgical training system to train thousands of specialists to perform cataract surgery.
Matt led and managed the development and marketing efforts for HelpMeSee. His principal duties included strategic planning, major gift fundraising and overall leadership to build a development operation.
Only five years old at the time, HelpMeSee received the 2016 Classy Award as one of the ten most innovative charities and social enterprises in the United States.
Cash receipts reached nearly $10-$20 million annually with a file of 50,000 active donors.
Restored sight for over 250,000 individuals.
The Early Years: Educational Experience
Matt has always been a leader throughout his life. Born and raised in Syosset, NY on Long Island, he enjoyed a prolific high school career as an outstanding student-athlete. A three sport star – football, basketball and baseball – Matt earned many honors and awards including prep All-American in football where he led his Syosset HS football squad to an undefeated season and #1 ranking as the top High School team in the entire New York state.
With many full scholarship offers to choose from following his successful football career, Matt chose to accept a full scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill because of its high academic standing and strong football program.
At UNC, Matt was the starting quarterback for four years and led the Tar Heels to bowl games in three of the four seasons. He was named Most Valuable Player in the Liberty and Gator Bowls.
Matt set 19 season and career passing records while a UNC quarterback. In fact, two of those records – most consecutive games throwing a touchdown pass and most wins as a starting quarterback – remain standing nearly 40 years after his playing career. Matt earned a reputation for being a “winner” during his UNC career.
About this Site
$390 billion was given to charities in the United States in 2017! Yes, $390 billion! These dollars came from individuals, corporations and foundations to non-profit organizations. Fundraising continues to become more important for all charities throughout the land due to ever increasing pressures to increase revenue. On this site you will find articles, blogs, and informational videos that can help you in your journey to build a fundraising program that is providing you with the philanthropic resources needed to help your organization meet its ambitious goals.