The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation was established in 1997 before the D-backs ever played a Major League game. The mission of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation is to support three main areas of need: homelessness, indigent healthcare and children's programs of all types, including education and youth baseball and softball field building and renovation, outreach programs and equipment. In addition, the Foundation has created strategic programs that address the needs of our community including veterans, police, teachers, firefighters and first responders - just to name a few.
The organization coined the phrase "D-backs Give Back" in 2012, a simple and concise phrase to explain the dedication and combined giving of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. To date, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation have made charitable contributions totaling more than $70 million to non-profit organizations and charitable programs across Arizona.
Of the $70 million total, $55 million has been distributed through the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. The majority of funds are raised through events and programs such as the annual Evening on the Diamond Gala, 50/50 Raffle, D-backs Celebrity Golf Classic, D-backs Race Against Cancer, Diamonds Back Field Building Program, License Plate Program, D-backs Authentics, Chase Field Tour Program, Mystery Ball, Online Auctions and major gifts from our players and partners in our community.
The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation distributes funds through our Program Grants, Ken Kendrick Grand Slam Awards, ‘Diamonds Back’ Field Building, Education Initiatives, Youth Baseball and Outreach programs, and strategic partnerships with key community partners and non-profit organizations.
Our Program Grants and Ken Kendrick Grand Slam Awards application process is conducted on a yearly basis. Any 501(c)3 non-profit organization in Arizona is welcome to apply. The grants are reviewed by a committee of Arizona Diamondbacks employees and the Executive Council who score the grants and make a recommendation to the Board. The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation Board of Directors, a 13-member voting board consisting of Arizona Diamondbacks and Maricopa County appointees, is responsible for annually approving all grant applications.
Since 2000, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation has built or refurbished 43 baseball and softball fields as part of the ‘Diamonds Back’ Field Building Program representing a charitable investment of more than $10 million. In partnership with APS and a charitable gift from individual players, the program has allowed children from across the state to play baseball and softball at quality facilities. The fields generally feature new lights, an electronic scoreboard, new fencing and backstops, new irrigation and new grass and dirt.
In 2012, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation partnered with the University of Phoenix to launch the D-backs School Challenge, a statewide grant program that challenged public, private and charter schools to "make their best pitch" for a $5,000 grant. By the end of 2012, $250,000 had been awarded to 51 schools from across the state. The charitable grants totaling over $1.1 million since 2012 have funded everything from library upgrades to robotics programs, literacy projects to school gardens, and so much more.
The D-backs Give Back Youth Jersey Program was launched in the Spring of 2014, providing youth baseball and softball leagues across Arizona with high quality jerseys and caps at no cost. The program has significantly offset diminishing resources and has allowed participating leagues to reallocate funds toward equipment, registration fees and facility improvements. Each year, more than 60,000 participating youth baseball and softball players from over 120 different leagues receive these uniforms.
The Arizona Diamondbacks take great pride in being recognized as a leader in community giving. Our commitment to the needs of our state will continue be a cornerstone of our corporate mission.