Just one year after being created the NBA Foundation has announced 22 new grants totaling $6 million that will go towards creating employment opportunities, furthering career advancement, and driving greater economic empowerment for Black youth. This is the third round of grants for the NBA Foundation. Though initially launched as a ten-year project, NBA Foundation Executive Director Greg Taylor believes this venture will operate in perpetuity.
The NBA Foundation has awarded 40 grants totaling $11 million to nonprofit organizations in the last year. These grants are an aid to help enhance impactful programs “in alignment with the NBA Foundation’s mission to provide skills training, mentorship, coaching, and pipeline development for high school, college-aged, job-ready, and mid-career individuals in communities across the United States and Canada.”
“We’re thrilled to celebrate our one-year anniversary by awarding 22 deserving recipients with new grants that will further their efforts and our shared mission to create short- and long-term opportunity for Black young people,” said Greg Taylor, NBA Foundation Executive Director. “The commitment shown by NBA players, teams, and governors in our inaugural year has been inspiring, and we look forward to deepening our efforts and operating with the intention to reach more youth in additional cities in the years to come.”
The NBA Foundation is expanding in every market, creating new partnerships and building on relationships with affiliated charitable organizations. The NBA Foundation started with a collective $30 million annual commitment from the NBA Board of Governors and continues to grow using additional funding sources.
When asked what he wished more people knew about the NBA Foundation Taylor replied, “That we are open for business!”
Taylor explained, “I would love for folks to understand we are open for business. NBAFoundation.com. We have a pretty rigorous selection process but we are a brand new entity announced during the pandemic…We still have work to do for folks to understand who we are and what our mission is and our value add moving forward. We work every day to build that brand recognition and reputation.”
“We are in this for the long haul. We recognize that while we have an initial stated ten-year commitment that in no means is meant to imply this program is wrapped up in ten years. We know there are historical and oftentimes intractable issues affecting the communities we are working in and with the young people we hope to support. We are in this humbly and want to add value in helping accelerate outcomes and economic opportunities.”
Taylor takes the responsibility of getting the NBA Foundation on solid ground seriously. He respects the NBA’s history of being an agent for positive change in the country. Taylor said, “I think the notion of being a part of an organization that has a history, the NBA has a rich history around social justice and civil rights. I feel the NBA Foundation is a continued extension of that history. To be in a position to help get the first-ever NBA Foundation off the ground, to be able to promote outcomes for black kids ages 14-24 around employment opportunities, It’s just a labor of love. I’m humbled to be a part of it and it’s a deep passion of mine.”
These organizations are community hubs the same way the NBA arenas are on game days. This new round of grants will go a long way to helping more organizations reach more kids for years to come. After talking with Taylor is became obvious that the end result of this investment is priceless. The grants from the NBA Foundation do more than build fanbases, they build communities. They help organizations help people acquire skill sets, build lives, and support families. In many ways, after only a year of operations, the NBA Foundation is one of the most important staples that hold the NBA family and their communities together.