Interview with Seth Rosenzweig, Executive Director of Team IMPACT
Tell us a little about your organization.
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with local college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Through our program, a child is drafted to a college athletic team for two years, becoming a full-fledged member of the team, attending practices, games, team dinners and more. The child gains a team of support as they battle illness and college athletes learn lessons on courage and resiliency that can’t be taught in the classroom or on the playing field.
How did Team IMPACT get started?
Team IMPACT was founded in 2011 by a group of Tufts University alumni and former student athletes, including Board Co-Chairs Dan Kraft of The Kraft Group and Jay Calnan of J. Calnan & Associates. These individuals wanted to harness the power of team to help children battling illness, and in their first year, drafted 17 children to athletic teams at colleges and universities throughout New England. Today, nearly seven years later, we have matched more than 1,400 kids to college athletic teams at 500 colleges in 48 states, positively impacting nearly 50,000 student athletes.
What has been the most fulfilling part of your work so far?
Meeting the courageous kids and families and the college athletes who support them has been amazing and so fulfilling. Every day I feel close to our organizational mission. Developing the vision and roadmap for our future has also been very exciting, as it will allow us to significantly grow our impact across the nation.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Prioritization – where to start and what to tackle next. In a lean organization that has big impact, every day we weigh decisions around growth to ensure we don’t move too slowly or too quickly. Balancing our ambitious vision, while also trying to be fiscally responsible is a challenge.
What are your dreams for this organization over the next three to five years?
It is our dream that every child and family facing a serious or chronic illness knows about Team IMPACT and how to get involved, and that every student athlete enters college knowing they will have a courageous Team IMPACT child on their team. To get there, we’ll need to enhance our program, prove our impact, get to scale, become a household name, diversify our revenue, and build the necessary regional infrastructure to support our growth nationally. We strive to develop more partnerships with athletic conferences, pediatric hospitals and the NCAA. We will continue to diversify our revenue sources and have started to endow the program so it will exist in perpetuity. By 2022, we aim to draft more than 1,000 kids to college teams per year, positively impacting countless kids, families and student athletes across the country.
My favorite part of the day is _____ because _____ .
My favorite part of the day is when I get to see our work in action, especially seeing our amazing staff at work.
About Team IMPACT:
Team IMPACT is a national nonprofit that connects children facing serious and chronic illnesses with college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes. Since 2011, Team IMPACT has matched more than 1,400 children with more than 500 colleges and universities in 48 states, reaching over 50,000 participating student athletes. The child joins the athletic team and the student-athletes join the child’s support team – from Draft Day to Graduation. Throughout the journey, the child gains strength, camaraderie and support while the student-athletes experience lessons of courage and resiliency they can’t learn in a classroom. Team IMPACT has more than 1,200 teams across the country waiting to be matched with children, ages 5-16, who have been diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness and who could benefit from becoming a member of the team. If you know a child who may be eligible, visit Team IMPACT’s website for more information.