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Grizzlies Foundation History and Mission

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Grizzlies Foundation History and Mission

A military serviceman and his family stand for applause during a Grizzlies home game.

Joe Murphy/NBAE/Getty Images

The Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation is committed to serving Memphis youth through education and mentoring. Since December 2001, the Foundation (and the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Fund, which preceded the Foundation) has donated over $21 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations. Tens of thousands of individuals have directly benefited from these funds, resulting in new facilities, programs and outreach, including Memphis Athletic Ministries’ Memphis Grizzlies Athletic Center, Memphis City Schools’ Grizzlies Academy, Memphis Grizzlies House at St. Jude, and the Boys & Girls Clubs’ LifeLine Mentoring Program.

Beyond the cash contributions, what distinguishes the Grizzlies Foundation among other professional sports teams’ foundations are the partnerships created and cultivated with all agencies receiving funding.

A relationship is born from each cash transaction, and combined with ongoing, hands-on involvement, significant outcomes are achieved.

The Grizzlies Foundation facilitates player and coach involvement, provides promotional support, special event and technical assistance, ticket donations, and creates programs that address partners’ needs. Engaging these individuals and resources enable these organizations to maximize the grants they receive


  • 2008 Crystal Award for Outstanding Foundation, by the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Memphis Chapter
  • 2007 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Sports Philanthropy Project
  • 2006 Corporate Volunteer Council Partnership Award, by Volunteer Memphis

Over $21 Million donated since 2001

  • $6.1 Million: Memphis Athletic Ministries for Memphis Grizzlies Athletic Center, a first-class public gymnasium available to neighborhood youth; home for program with >12,000 youth in sports leagues and 6 satellite centers
  • $5 Million: Memphis Grizzlies House, a short-term family residence at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • $1.5 Million: Grizzlies Academy, a “second-chance” public high school for teens 2+ years behind grade level
  • $1.5 Million: Stax Music Academy, an after-school and summer program offering tutoring, music instruction and music performance opportunities to Soulsville neighborhood youth. The Academy is also the beneficiary of “Staxtacular,” a Grizzlies player-led annual fundraiser at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music
  • $1 Million: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, to establish 1:1 youth mentoring program in all six Memphis clubs