R FUND Team Reflection

Not many college students know exactly what occurs in the field of higher education philanthropy. To have the opportunity to introduce such an impactful industry is something that is rewarding in itself. As a host for the Summer Internship in Donor and Alumni Relations, our office has been fortunate enough to provide two Rutgers students the chance to learn and gain firsthand experience in athletic development. Both Emma and Yvans have excelled in understanding what goes into fundraising for a Division I athletics department. From annual giving and premium seating to major gifts and special events, our SIDAR interns have gained a full understanding of all of the activities that must take place to engage, cultivate, and recognize those that support an institution.
With everything they have obtained throughout the time spent with our team, the athletic development staff has also learned a great deal from both Emma and Yvans. The two of them have been engaged in many projects and provided a new perspective for our team to consider. Their feedback has been beneficial on many levels, especially when discussing the engagement of young alumni. Both Emma and Yvans have become vital pieces of “R” team and will be missed when the summer program is completed.

Joe Levine
Associate Director of Athletic Development
Major Gifts and Premium Seating


Being a host for the SIDAR program has not only provided our team with extra hands to execute our busy calendar of solicitations, stewardship, communications, and summer projects, but has also expanded my mind. Through this experience, I’ve learned that every person can bring a different outlook on the fundraising process. Emma, our SIDAR intern who is a former gymnast for Rutgers, lent us a very specific point of view, and became our in-house expert on the student-athlete experience and how to use it to our advantage during fundraising. Yvans, our SIDAR intern who is a Rutgers Future Scholar and involved in a number of organizations on campus, lent us another specific point of view, and became our in-house expert on how the everyday-student interacts with our athletic department—and how we can improve that experience and use it to evolve.

By being engaged in our different projects and actively asking questions, both interns now have a keen understanding as to the amount of work that it takes to connect with people in the right way –in a way that makes them want to support our institution. By participating in the SIDAR process, Emma and Yvans are no longer just two sharply dressed student representatives, but they are young professionals with the tools to be strategic thinkers in fundraising or any field they choose to pursue.

Lucy Cruz
Athletic Development Assistant
Events and Stewardship

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