By Tom Luicci
PISCATAWAY, N.J. (July 23, 2014) – Donors to Rutgers Athletics now have a new, comprehensive annual giving program to support all 24 sports, with the school announcing today the launch of R Fund as it ratchets up its readiness for the Big Ten.
Among its features, R Fund offers supporters automatic membership into the program and donors have the option of designating their gift to one or more of three priorities: The R Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to student athletes; the Big Ten Champions Fund, an unrestricted fund to support the sport of the giver’s choice, and the Big Ten Build Fund, which will help underwrite facilities and capital improvements.
The R Scholarship Fund is replacing the SASF.
An annual gift of $100 or more made between July 1 to June 30 to any of the three priority funds qualifies donors for membership in the R Fund and a variety of benefits. As the contributions increase so do the benefits.
Guide books with detailed information on the R Fund and its benefits are currently being sent to active donors. The pamphlet can be viewed in flip-book form on line at http://rutgers.uberflip.com/i/349994.
Financial contributions advance the overall mission of Rutgers Athletics while providing student-athletes the resources they need to compete on a national stage. All gifts to athletics are made through the Rutgers University Foundation and can be designated to any athletics area of choice through the three priorities of the R Fund.
“Now, more than ever, our supporters are the key to our success,” Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann said. “Our six-year wait to become full financial members in the Big Ten means we are competing in the best academic athletic conference in the nation without new resources.
“To compete, this is going to require everyone who loves Rutgers football, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, whatever the sport may be, to step up for us in closing the gap.”
Rutgers recognizes 10 different donor levels, with donations impacting priority points for improved season ticket options for football and men’s and women’s basketball, as well as reserved parking for all three of those sports. There are a dozen other perks accompanying R Fund membership, including an invitation to watch men’s or women’s basketball practice, a private invitation to the spring football game and a 10 percent discount on Rutgers merchandise at the Rutgers Team Store on line.
“Whether it’s $100 or a $100,000 gift, it counts,” Hermann said. “We have more than 600 exceptional student-athletes we are moving toward graduation. The R Scholarship Fund allows us to ensure that critical financial aid support.”
Additional information about priority points and priority seating and parking for football and basketball is available in the R Fund guide book.
Rutgers is also prompting current supporters to increase their donations by at least 10 percent through a “Go 10% Bigger Challenge.” Donors who meet the challenge will be entered in a drawing for two Audi Club tickets for a mutually agreed upon 2015 football game or two premium floor seats for a mutually agreed upon 2015-16 men’s or women’s basketball game at the RAC.
“Our Rutgers supporters have been and will be the key to our success in the Big Ten,” Hermann said. “Our student-athletes have an overall average GPA of 3.1, including 233 Dean’s List honorees who proudly wear the R while working to get a degree from the 33rd-ranked institution in the world. R Fund members are critically important toward fully funding each of our programs to the NCAA maximums and can assist us in filling that gap with a pledge.”
For further information about the R Fund, call the Department of Athletic Development at 848-932-7629, visit ScarletKnights.com/development, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or donate through http://support.rutgers.edu/bigten.