Matt Kupec’s Football Career
Matt Kupec grew up with five brothers, each focused on sports ranging from basketball, football, and more. The competition was palpable; each of the brothers pushed the others to play harder and smarter. Matt had always been partial to football, and when his older brother Chris became UNC’s starting quarterback, Matt wasn’t far behind. He was voted a high school All-American out of Syosset High School where he also won the Thorp Award (Nassau County MVP) in 1974 before taking over for his brother as the UNC starter.
However, before Matt could begin his career as the UNC starting quarterback, he suffered torn ligaments in his during a preseason practice. He returned home to Long Island and considered transferring to a school closer to home, but decided to persevere. He spent the next year rehabbing with the team surgeon for the New York Jets and readied himself for what would become a record-setting college career.
When Kupec Was Quarterbacking at UNC
he wound up starting at quarterback for all four years, from 1976-1979, setting 19 career and season passing records, including most games in a row with a touchdown thrown and most wins as a starting QB. He was voted the MVP of the 1977 Liberty Bowl (UNC vs. Nebraska) and the 1979 Gator Bowl (UNC vs. Michigan), while also taking home a Student-Athlete Award in the 1977 Liberty Bowl.
After Matt 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. Today, Matt believes that the game of football has undergone vast changes. The formation and style has become more QB-centric, with more passes and receivers. From an athletic standpoint, the players are bigger and faster and the speed of the game has sped up dramatically. Along with the increase in pace, the hype around the game has skyrocketed, with young kids facing pressure from coaches, scouts, and parents to become the best football player possible.
Despite these changes from when he played, Matt still loves watching and dissecting football games. Check out the blog page to learn more about what stands out to Matt!
Matt Kupec’s Fundraising Career
As the Vice President for Development and Marketing at HelpMeSee, Inc, Matt is responsible for leading and managing a talented team of development and marketing professionals. Much of his management expertise comes from his twenty years at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Three years into Matt’s tenure at UNC Chapel Hill, he was promoted to Vice Chancellor for University Advancement in 1995. Over the next seventeen years, the longest tenure of any Vice Chancellor in the school’s 220-year history, the school’s cash flow increased from $62 million to $285 million in 2012, earning UNC twelve CASE (Council for the Support and Advancement of Education) Outstanding Fund Raising Performance awards, the most any university has received in the United States.
During his seventeen years as UNC-Chapel Hill Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, Matt Kupec also served as the executive director of the UNC-Chapel Hill Foundation with over $250 million in assets. He created the Women’s Philanthropy Council, which is one of the first efforts in higher education to further engage women with their university and served as a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Investment Fund Board, which managed the investing of UNC’s $2.8 billion endowment.
After his time with the Tar Heels, Matt took his talents to build his own non-profit organization, Text2Give, which harnessed the power of mobile communications for the purpose of facilitating donor engagement and fundraising for schools, universities, nonprofits and churches. To start this company, he successfully raised $1.8 million in venture capital, helping to plant the seed to help Text2Give become one of the leaders in the mobile giving space. Today, Text2Give campaigns give organizations the opportunity to raise funds from over 300 million wireless users with a simple text message.
But even before all of this success, Matt had been developing his leadership skills as a starting quarterback.
Kupec’s Passion for Football
Football is the ultimate team sport. On offense, you have eleven men on the field to, in effect, prevent any carnage from taking place. This teaches you the importance of committing to a team mentality, sharing goals and sacrificing selfish play for the sake of team success. As a quarterback, one has to show a willingness to learn and work to understand schemes before the game, and execute under mental and physical pressure. At any position, one is taught that success is earned only through discipline and hard work. All of these lessons have helped Matt Kupec lead teams big and small: to motivate, to recognize when to push hard or back off, to lead by example and, most importantly, to inspire and share a vision for success.
What Matt Kupec is up to now.
Since wrapping up his career in football, Matt has been devoting his time to efforts that help affect positive change in the lives of others. He both founded and presided over a charity called Text2Give, Inc. which is a mobile technology company that helps various nonprofits and fundraisers use the power of mobile communication in their fundraising efforts. After leaving Text2Give, Matt Kupec joined HelpMeSee as their Vice President for Development and Marketing. Launched in 2010, HelpMeSee is a worldwide campaign that strives to eliminate blindness caused by cataracts in under-resourced and under-privileged communities around the world. Here, Matt’s contributions included planning and executing all of the sales, public relation activities, and marketing for the fundraiser.
Matt was recently appointed as the Executive Vice President & Chief Philanthropy Officer at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute located in Tampa, Florida. Here, he uses his extensive fundraising knowledge and passion for giving a voice to the voiceless to work closely with high level executives and those in leadership positions to craft a calculated vision for the philanthropic outreach at Moffitt. He works to better the surrounding community — and society as a whole — with the philanthropic priorities of the institution close at heart.