Dead Giveaways

Kudos to Kevin Youkilis, whose foundation "Hits for Kids" has raised nearly $750K and given away a third of that, all in its first year.  Youk’s charity, which focuses on the health and well-being of children, looks to be a great success story, at least so far.  While many athletes and other celebrities establish charities as vanity projects, tax write-offs, or are simply naive about the effort it takes to run these organizations efficiently and with focus, we are glad to see at least one athlete paying attention.  Unfortunately, and unsurprisingly, there are many players who don’t

4 comments… add one

  • It seems as if it’s almost a lose/lose situation for athletes to start foundations like this. Obviously the $ goes to an amazing cause so that’s a win, but it seems like such a slippery slope if things don’t work out/last (Mo Vaughn/Nomar.) I would think it’s almost better for the players to pick an existing cause that they support and donate a lump sum.

    John - YF June 27, 2008, 11:41 am
  • I wonder if there’s some ego involved in starting your own foundation with your own name. Far be it from me to question the motives of people doing far more for charity than I’ll ever even have the opportunity to do, but I agree with John that donating the equivalent money to the Jimmy Fund or an existing child-development group would be an easy way to avoid the headaches when free agency almost inevitably results in changing cities.
    Perhaps six years seems like so far away, the athletes just don’t think ahead to what might happen after they’re hundreds of miles away and perhaps wanting to start charities in their new cities.

    Paul SF June 27, 2008, 12:03 pm
  • I wonder if there’s some ego involved in starting your own foundation with your own name.
    You wonder “if”?! Of COURSE there is! But realize that without the fame, there is no wealth, and without the wealth, there is no foundation, and without the name, there is not nearly the easy name recognition. The name recognition is important, it drives publicity and therefore money. In other words, Josh Beckett can give the JF 100K. And that’s the end of it unless he becomes a spokesperson for the JF. Or, he can start a foundation, pay someone to run it, raise more than 100K from other sources, and drive money towards causes he wants to support that have no benefactor. It’s a laudable thing as long as it is carried out smartly and with dedication. If done right, Beckett can raise more money and help more causes through a foundation (and with the help of others, obviously) than through giving just his own money away.
    I think catch-all foundations are different than focused ones, as in Curt’s SHADE. Sometimes there aren’t good, capable foundations dedicated to specific causes. When Katrina hit, people were urged to give to the Red Cross, but then it turned out that the Red Cross was horribly inefficient, it was like giving cents on the dollar because of their waste. So sometimes a foundation may be started to deal with a specific issue in better, more focused manners than those that exist. And sometimes, maybe a lot of the time, it’s ego.

    SF June 27, 2008, 12:34 pm
  • Good for Youk. His charity has almost raised the equivalent of a third of his 2008 salary.
    Compare that to A-Rod, who is incredibly stingy.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/07/sports/baseball/07roberts.html

    Pandyora June 27, 2008, 1:27 pm

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