NBA Player Charities Often a Losing Game

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Many professional basketball players have created charitable foundations that are aimed at helping kids from disadvantaged backgrounds similar to their own. But for every successful NBA player charity, there are others that are inadequately financed, poorly managed and largely ineffective, according to an analysis by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Foundations launched by nearly 100 current and former NBA players, including stars such as Alonzo Mourning, Carmelo Anthony and Tim Duncan, have generated at least $31 million in revenue between 2005 and 2007, with much of the proceeds targeted for underprivileged kids.

The newspaper’s analysis found a handful of well-run, well-financed player foundations. They include:

-Alonzo Mourning Charities, created by the Miami Heat All-Star center, gave more than $4.5 million from 2005 through 2006 to community charities that help needy children.

-The Carmelo Anthony Foundation, founded by the Denver Nugget’s All-Star forward, donated more than $400,000 in 2006 to programs for underserved youths in his hometowns of Baltimore and Syracuse, N.Y.

-The Tim Duncan Foundation, established by the San Antonio Spurs forward, has given more than $300,000 to promote sports, education and health awareness among children.

Many NBA players’ charities, however, struggle to attract donations, lack full-time staff members to run daily operations, and host lavish fundraising events that spend far more money than they generate in donations. As a result, only 51 cents of every dollar raised by player-run foundations goes to charity, well below the 65-cent threshold that watchdog groups recommend, according to The Tribune’s analysis.

The special report includes detailed profiles of the players’ charities, as well as financial summaries and links to tax documents. Dec. 30,