The George Shinn Foundation, Inc. is a charitable, tax exempt 501(c)3 organization dedicated to improving individual’s lives through community initiatives which promote families, education, health and spiritual wellness while advocating volunteer participation.


As a young man in the small North Carolina town of Kannapolis, George Shinn worked in a textile mill, at a car wash and even as a janitor in a school that he would eventually own. Lessons learned in those humble beginnings would soon pay off when in 1975, at the age of 34, Shinn was the youngest person ever awarded the prestigious Horatio Alger Award, which recognizes “rags-to-riches” business leaders who achieve success while maintaining values in patriotism, faith and civic involvement.

For a lifetime of achievement in business and higher education, Shinn was one of twelve to receive an American Success Award from President Bush in a White House ceremony. He also holds six honorary degrees in humanities.

Shinn’s purchase and development of the Rutledge Education System and its chain of proprietary business schools would form the cornerstone of his fortune and eventually lead him to real estate developments, auto dealerships, publishing ventures and professional sports franchises, including the Charlotte Knights AAA minor league baseball team, the Charlotte Checkers and the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies of the East Coast Hockey League.

In 1973, The George Shinn Foundation was founded with a mission to provide scholarships to deserving students based on need. Since that time, the foundation has continued to serve as a pillar of the community. It has expanded the foundation’s original purpose of providing education to encompass several worthy charitable causes.

While in Charlotte, George Shinn was called upon by community leaders to help raise funds for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Shinn’s donation of $100,000 saved the Symphony and kept them from having to close their doors. Shinn also played a significant role in establishing the George Shinn Shelter for Men which provided a place for homeless men to live while working to reestablish themselves into the community. After two Charlotte police officers were slain while on duty, Shinn pledged funds to pay the salaries of two additional police officers and the purchase of a new police vehicle.


As the owner of the Hornets franchise from its inception and the subsequent 14 seasons in Charlotte, Shinn officially filed an application with the NBA on January 17, 2002, to move the Hornets to New Orleans, LA, beginning with the 2002-03 season. Four months later, the NBA’s Board of Governors unanimously endorsed the Relocation Committee’s recommendation to move the team from Charlotte and the New Orleans Hornets were born.

Upon the Hornets relocation to New Orleans, George Shinn continued his lasting commitment to the community through the Shinn Foundation continues his long commitment of giving back to the community through his generosity and caring. As a champion of the causes of education and responsible corporate citizenship, Shinn takes great pride in creating, implementing and supporting a variety of initiatives that leave a positive and lasting impact in New Orleans.


Shinn’s generosity is never ending and not just through the team and the George Shinn Foundation, but also through his personal giving. When New Orleans Police officer LaToya Johnson was killed in the line of duty, Mr. Shinn personally donated $10,000 towards a college scholarship for her 10 year old daughter Raven.

Throughout the Hornets Season of Giving, Shinn and his wife, Denise, make it an annual commitment to serve the New Orleans community. Annual holiday events include shoe giveaways, bike giveaways and a Christmas luncheon for 1,000 seniors citizens. On his birthday each May, Shinn spends the day visiting mothers at local hospitals who gave birth on that day. Shinn showers both mother and baby with gifts to welcome them into the world- as Hornets fans, of course.

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Shinn was one of the first to commit to rebuilding New Orleans. He recognized that one of the most critical areas of need would be housing, building affordable homes as well as getting people back into their devastated homes.

In partnership with the Hornets and Habitat for Humanity, the Hoops for Homes initiative was created through the Shinn Foundation. The purpose of Hoops for Homes is to assist with building new homes in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity and provide teachers with grants to complete repairs on their homes after Hurricane Katrina.

With the help of partners like Neighborhood Housing Services, NeighborWorks America, Salvation Army and the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, the Shinn Foundation has raised $2.5 million which has resulted in 15 new homes for families and funding for 49 teachers to repair and move back into their homes. The goal is to eventually assist 100 families.
More Information on Hoops for Homes

Shinn and Denise were married in New Orleans on March 8, 2003. Denise Shinn is the President of the Shinn Foundation and is responsible for fundraising efforts and setting direction for donations and giving.

The George Shinn Foundation works in partnership with the following organizations and charities:

Bridge House
Crescent House
Habitat for Humanity
Housing Authority of New Orleans
Jefferson Parish Council on Aging
Jefferson Parish School District
Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation
Meals On Wheels
NeighborWorks America
New Orleans Recreation Department
Orleans Parish Council on Aging
Orleans Parish School District
Recovery School Districts
Salvation Army
St. Bernard School District
St. Charles School District 
St. Tammany School District
Susan G. Komen


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