Phoenix Suns Charities was founded in 1988 with the mission to benefit organizations that assist the needs of children and families in Arizona. Due to the generosity of fans and sponsors, and underwriting by the team, Phoenix Suns Charities has experienced steady growth and now distributes more than a million dollars annually to hundreds of local charities. Since its inception, Phoenix Suns Charities has donated more than 21 million dollars to worthy Arizona organizations.
Phoenix Suns Charities was the vision of original Phoenix Suns Chairman and CEO Jerry Colangelo. Upon his purchase of the team in 1987, he began to assemble a board of community leaders to oversee the formation and operation of a charitable effort that would reflect the Suns mission to be a constant leader in improving the quality of life in our community. Current Suns managing partner, Robert Sarver, has extended the reach of the charity by involving additional community stakeholders who work in partnership with Phoenix Suns Charities to further leverage and steward the donations that come in to the foundation.
Funds are raised during the NBA season through special events such as The Jump Ball, the Suns Golf Classic, Suns Charities 88, the SLAM DUNK street party, the SunsAssist Employee Giving Campaign, through scoreboard messages presented at Suns home games; game night auctions and sales; and through special projects such as Suns license plates. Finally, many generous fans and community organizations designate Phoenix Suns Charities as the recipient of their giving lead by a group of donors known as Playmakers who pledge $100,000 over four years to the charity.