Getting more people to give to Rider in a philanthropic way in order to continue academic excellence is a top priority for the recently hired director of annual giving.
Mathieu Nelessen, who joined Rider’s ranks on Nov. 5 to supplement the Office of University Advancement, also aims to raise money to promote the best possible learning experience, he said.
“The Office of Annual Giving is responsible for fundraising and alumni participation,” he said. “The raising of unrestricted dollars goes to essentially provide further scholarships, better academic resources and to update and improve facilities.”
The unrestricted dollars are raised from alumni, parents, friends of the University, trustees, former trustees, corporations and foundations.
Nelessen hopes to see alumni participation increase, since “only a combined 12 percent of Rider and Westminster alumni give donations.”
“We need everyone to know we need to increase participation to the Rider annual fund and the Westminster annual fund,” he said.
When compared to other colleges and universities with the same size and academic performance as Rider, the University’s alumni donations are low. Many other schools are in the high teens to the 20-percentile range, according to the director.
A New Jersey native, Nelessen went to Rutgers and majored in psychology and English. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at Rider.
Prior to joining Rider, he worked for the Special Olympics of New Jersey and was the director of law enforcement sponsorship. Within the department, Nelessen said he was responsible for fundraising $2 million a year.
“I am thrilled to join the Office of University Advancement at Rider and I look forward to joining a team which will help take the University to an even higher level of prominence,” Nelessen said in a press release from the Rider University Newswire.