We spoke with Gerard Littlejohn, Executive Director of the Steven Smith Family Foundation, Patrick Walker, CEO of the Australian Sports Foundation, ran down top plays in sports philanthropy, as well as brought you new MVPs in this month's edition.
the 38 foundation
Lizeth grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and cultivated her love for sports at a young age. She played three sports throughout high school and continued her athletic journey at Loras College. There she was a dual-athlete, playing golf and basketball. Upon graduation, Lizeth found her true calling as a youth basketball coach and continues to mold the minds and souls of student athletes. While being passionate about coaching, she has also been involved in different non-profit organizations. Lizeth was most recently involved as a co-chair of the Blondes vs. Brunettes organization, fundraising money for the Alzheimer’s Association. As a former athlete and a young professional, Lizeth is passionate about giving back to the community and to young athletes.
the 38 foundation
Mackenzie – known to her friends as Mack – grew up in South Florida where, through a series of fortuitous events, she began rowing in her junior year of high school. Falling in love with the sport, she was determined to continue her athletic journey in college. After months of hard work, determination and the help of some amazing advocates, she was recruited to row at the University of Virginia. At UVA, she went on to be a 4x ACC and 2x NCAA champion, as part of the first Title IX sponsored-team to win a national championship in rowing. After college, Mack coached rowing in Boston. She also served as a mentor at an organization focused on developing entrepreneurship skills in kids in under-resourced communities. Mack counts her teammates and coaches as some of the most influential people in her life. As such, she feels particularly inspired to support other kids in achieving their athletic and academic potential. The 38 Foundation has been the obvious next step in achieving that goal.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Danielle has been involved in philanthropy from a young age. In high school, she served as the school's community service representative on student government and founded her high school's chapter of a local Baltimore non-profit.
After high school, Danielle attended Syracuse University, where she majored in Sports Management and minored in Public Communications. After she graduated from college, she worked in New York, New York and Minneapolis, Minnesota before moving to South Florida. She has recently earned a Sports Philanthropy Certificate from George Washington University.
Danielle has worked in the sports industry for more than five years, managing philanthropy programs that engage professional athletes and entertainers in community activities around the world.
She previously worked with The Brewer Group and their CSR arm, The Jack Brewer Foundation, where she served as Managing Director to provide further access and opportunities globally for the firm, its clients and partners. She coordinated various international mission trips to countries such as Haiti, Malawi, China, Egypt and Guatemala with professional athletes and entertainers to raise awareness for their favorite causes. She also coordinated and managed events at high-profile venues such as the United Nations and Super Bowl Week.
Danielle has also had experience in the corporate sports world, including communications and marketing roles with the Syracuse University Athletics Department, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Baltimore Orioles.
Her experiences throughout her career have led her to start her own sports philanthropy consulting firm, DB Consulting, which focuses on advising professional athletes in the areas of sports philanthropy and post-career transition. The firm focuses on helping professional athletes navigate the world of sports philanthropy and athlete activism so they can learn how to master their brand and make an impact in the world around them.
Founder & principal
With 20 years of experience in the field of philanthropy, Jennifer Dobossy guides professional athletes, coaches, and teams on how to “give back” in smart ways that create maximum positive impact.
Her firm, JDC, LLC, creates personalized strategies based on philanthropy’s best practices and builds her clients’ capacity for high-impact community engagement in the future. JDC provides strategic direction and guidance on community engagement planning, partnership development, charitable vehicle identification, professional infrastructure and administration.
For nearly a decade, she worked with one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious philanthropies, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. While in their National Program Affairs Office, she helped create and launch multimillion-dollar national programs, led the application and review process, provided key management tools and program support.
For five years, she worked with a prominent athlete to conceive, implement, and manage the start-up years of an innovative, impactful foundation. Under her leadership, it earned recognition in 2016 as Non-Profit of the Year and received a Community Angel Award in Georgia. Her efforts helped her client achieve recognition as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Charlotte Business Journal.
Some of her recent projects include a national movement funded by the NFL Foundation to reclaim the purpose of youth sports as the human growth and development of students and connecting them to caring adults in their learning community. Other projects have been in a range of areas including diversity and inclusion, rural philanthropy, anti-bullying and post-secondary education among others.
She also serves as an Advisor to the Global Institute for Responsible Sport Organizations (GIRSO). Jennifer earned her MPA from New York University and Sports Impact Leadership Certificate from Johns Hopkins. Learn more about Jennifer at www.dobossy.org.