Silicon Valley Athletes, Teams and Business Leaders Convene at Stanford

Sam Williams, Michelle Knox and Devard Darling

STANFORD, Calif. – Good things happen when people passionate about helping others come together. That philosophy went into action on Monday, when All Sports United held its Silicon Valley Sports Philanthropy Workshop at beautiful Stanford University.

The workshop, which was hosted by Stanford Graduate School of Business brought together athletes, sports industry insiders and Silicon Valley business leaders to discuss timely issues in sports philanthropy. Participants at the invite-only event were able to soak in strategic advice and stories of inspiration from three panel groups, as well as network with potential partners.

All Sports United promotes the philosophy of sharing resources, which is why we’ve highlighted lessons from the workshop which you might find helpful in fulfilling your philanthropic mission.

From “Using Social Platforms for Good”

  • When deciding what to share on social media, put your community’s goals ahead of your own.
  • Make sure your platform’s audience aligns with the campaign you’re running. Facebook represents the world demographics, while other platforms, such as gaming-focused, may house a more defined demographic.
  • Physical events, like golf tournaments, have relatively limited ROI. Using crowdfunding, an online event’s ROI can be in the tens of thousands.

Check out:

  • Ginx. The social media tool gives people the ability to view and vote on the most pertinent visual images around an event in real time.
  • Google Ad Grants. Nonprofits can receive $10,000 a month and free ads on Google.
  • Tiltify. Combining crowdfunding and gaming, Tiltify allows foundations to stream game-a-thons to raise money for their causes.

From “How Athletes Can Collaborate with Their Colleges and Teams”

  • For younger generations, philanthropy needs to be a two-way street. To capture the youth demographic, look for ways to let them benefit from their participation.
  • It’s in a team’s best interest to support players’ philanthropic efforts.
  • Encourage a senior player to bring a junior player along to a charity event to expose the athlete to a broader set of issues.
  • It is important for teams to be thorough in picking the right player to support particular causes. Athletes will have more impact when they understand why they were chosen. After the event, show the athlete the results of the appearance to help them further understand the reasoning.
  • Even when colleges can’t raise money for their former student-athletes’ causes, they can still put the athletes in a position to push their initiatives. Colleges can derive long-term benefits for their philanthropic initiatives by engaging former students that are now professional athletes.

From “Inspirational Sports Philanthropy, Examples of Great Work”

  • “Your foundation has to be heart-felt and inspire you. When you have a foundation and throw money behind it just to have one, it shows. People won’t support it. It must truly mean something to you, so even when you’re done playing it’s going to carry over. I feel like this what I’m placed on Earth to do, to inspire others.” – Devard Darling, As One Foundation
  • “To give to a child and watch them grow, you maximize your dollars.” – Michelle Knox, Forever Young Foundation
  • “I will always remember when Ronnie Lott and other players visited my school in the fifth grade, before I even played football. Just by going and talking to kids you can have a lasting effect on them.” – Sam Williams, Tackling the Odds

All Sports United will continue to conduct private sports philanthropy workshops around the country in the future. If you are a team, university or foundation interested in hosting a workshop, please email

– Special to All Sports United
Correspondent Anthony Baldini

Comments are closed.

All Sports United Twitter

All Sports United, Inc. ("ASUI") is a Delaware nonprofit corporation operating through a fiscal sponsorship with Inquiring Systems, Inc. (Federal Tax ID: 94-2524840), a California not-for-profit public benefit corporation with federal tax-exempt status from the IRS under Section 501(c)(3). Contributions to ASUI are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.