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R Fund launches new campaign “The Bells Must Ring”

After a successful Big Ten Build, the focus of this fundraising drive is the student athletes

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, Rutgers Senior Associate Athletic Director of Development Carly Northup, who lead R Fund, announced a new fundraising campaign with a focus on the student athletes and growing the donor base. After a successful Big Ten Build campaign that eclipsed the $100 million mark earlier this year, this new campaign labeled “The Bells Must Ring”, is focused on improving facilities for Rutgers athletics

Rutgers Nation makes those bells ring by building a championship culture,” Northup said. “Every gift, of every amount, gets our student-athletes one step closer in their climb to the top. Just as we celebrate national championships, we will celebrate each gift that helps our Scarlet Knight student-athletes claim victory in academia, their professional paths and in the community.”

The press release cited that the goal of this campaign is “to grow the total donor count to R Fund on an annual basis in support of Rutgers Athletics.”

“With the tremendous support of the last three years to the B1G Ten Build, we have some real momentum going,” said Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs. ”Now is a great time for everyone to get in the game to support our Scarlet Knight student-athletes. There is strength in numbers, and with our alumni base, there’s no limit to what we can do together.”

In addition to the press release, Hobbs sent an accompanying email to Rutgers fans and alums, something that has become a staple during his tenure as athletic director. From the email, Hobbs stresses the desire to climb the Big Ten rankings in regard to the amount of donors that Rutgers has had. He elaborated here:

“This new campaign is about the impact of participation. Every person and every gift makes a difference in the lives of Scarlet Knight student-athletes. At present, Rutgers is ninth among our Big Ten Conference peers in its number of donors. “The Bells Must Ring” initiative is designed to increase our donor numbers on a yearly basis in support of annual operating dollars. It will support athletic scholarships, The Big Ten Champions Fund, Leadership Development & Strategic Partnerships, and program specific giving. Our pursuit of excellence, and climb to the top of the Big Ten, starts with every single member of Rutgers Nation.”

Hobbs took over an athletic department that was miles behind its Big Ten peers in regard to facilities and generated more interest and financial contributions with the Big Ten Build than ever before. The results have been impressive, from the multiple football facility renovations, the RWJBarnabas Health Athletic Performance Center, which is the practice facility for both basketball programs, wrestling, and gymnastics set to officially open in September, and the Gary and Barbara Rodkin Academic Success Center, which recently broke ground, among others. Even with over $100 million generated from that campaign, it was clear Rutgers needed to improve it’s volume of donors long term.

Several of the big projects built during Hobbs’ tenure have come from large, one family donations, with the Rodkin’s, Brown’s, Towers’, and Garutti’s all contributing millions of dollars, and in multiple ways. Without their support, the progress made so far with facilities would have never happened. However, if Hobbs and Northup want to truly change the culture around Rutgers athletics and make it sustainable, getting regular donations of any monetary value is key in rising to Big Ten standards in regard to financial support from alums and fan base.

In addition to the formal communication by the athletic department, there has been a large presence on social media to announce this campaign, with every Rutgers program’s twitter account and coaches tweeting out the link and asking for support. It’s a coordinated effort that highlights the cohesion currently existing in the athletic department.

Here is the homepage for “The Bells Must Ring” and to donate to this new campaign, click here.