Corporate social responsibility, in the form of giving back to the local community, is a priority for many professional sports teams. It brings awareness to organizations that may not have otherwise received support and heightens the sense of comradery between the team and its fans. Plus, it makes everyone feel good.
The San Francisco Giants take giving back to a whole new level. The amount of initiatives they support, events they put on, and non-profits they host in their ball park is astounding. It’s as if the local community is an extension of the team itself. The players, front office, and staff all make it a priority to stand up for issues that matter and give back as much as possible throughout the year to support the San Francisco community. Their community.
In order to gain a little more insight into what makes social responsibility such an important part of the Giants organization, we spoke with Community & Player Relations Manager, Bobby Baksa.
When asked which CSR/philanthropy initiative sticks out to him the most, he couldn’t narrow it down to just one. The Giants are involved in so many worthwhile causes, making it impossible to choose, but he was able to narrow it down to a handful.
“One of the programs that I look forward to every single year is one I helped start when I was an intern back in 2006. Challenger baseball is a program for kids with disabilities and we partnered with them to host a mini clinic for kids with special needs and have a few Giants players and coaches join to play with the kids and their families..”
Baksa said this program started out as an intern project and has grown every year since then. A few years later the Giants were approached by Fantasy Camp for Kids in Colorado. “We partnered with Fantasy Camp for Kids to provide more kids the opportunity to participate. They have been a great partner with us and many teams in MLB.”
The clinic has gained so much recognition that it caught the eye of ESPN, who came out to do a segment one year. This year, an estimated 100 kids with disabilities from throughout bay area came to two clinics, along with Giants players and coaches.
The Heading Home Campaign is another initiative that stuck out to Baksa. The Giants have partnered with Airbnb and Hamilton Families to help end family homelessness in San Francisco. This is a city-wide initiative that will bring in $300,000 in donations at the end of the season.
Another stand out initiative is the Giants’ Pediatric Cancer Awareness program, which is largely lead by their All-Star athlete, Buster Posey. The Giants host children from hospitals in the Bay Area at the ballpark once a month to watch a game and have the chance to meet with Buster and his wife Kristen. Buster also visits various hospitals in the Bay Area to meet with patients who are unable to make it out to the park.
The Giants are also committed to education and spreading awareness in the local community whenever possible. They bring non-profit organizations into the stadium so they can reach a wider audience and let fans know how they can get involved. “We’re trying to create a platform to take on the many needs in this community,” said Baksa, “and there are so many worthy organizations out here.”
When asked about feedback from the community and the staff, Baksa said it has been overwhelmingly positive. “We encourage the players to use social media as a platform to show our fans what we are doing and the feedback that we get is definitely positive,” said Baksa, “In general you talk to a lot of people that want to be involved with our organization or just people here in San Francisco, they know that the Giants are out in the community. Overall the positive feedback has been great.”
It is clear that the San Francisco Giants are an organization that truly cares about giving back to their community. The next step for them, according to Baksa, is tracking the impact of their initiatives to see how their efforts are really affecting the community. With so many different programs, partnerships, and events, seeing the overall impact can be difficult. That’s where DonationXchange is proud to help make it easier. Working with organizations like the Giants to not only help manage some of these programs, but to also provide the means to evaluate their effectiveness and overall impact on the community.
To learn more about the San Francisco Giants community programs, visit: http://mlb.mlb.com/sf/community/index.jsp
To learn more about DonationXchange and our services visit: https://www.donationx.org/