NLN43: Formalizing A Foundation – Finding Focus & Building A Strategy with Sherrie Deans

In our podcast discussion this week, we are chatting with , Executive Director of the , the charitable arm of the NBPA – the Union for the nearly 450 current professional basketball players in the NBA. We discuss topics relating to her challenges as the first executive director for a foundation that had been in existence for 20 years. There was no real focus or funding priorities before she was hired so this had to be developed. She also had the not-so-common challenge of dealing with the non-monetary assets of the star power and influence of the players and the fact that these players were very young with little to no charitable experience.

Deans brings highly regarded C-Level expertise in celebrity philanthropic engagement as well as global financial services, having held posts with Living Cities, AIG, MBNA, and American Express. She holds a B.A. in economics and political science from Columbia University. Currently, she lives in the Bronx with her husband and son.

The NBPA Foundation provides strategic funding and support for players’ community engagement while also communicating their work to the world in order to accelerate and maximize its impact. The players’ work is global and collectively spans a wide range, from critical charitable initiatives to social entrepreneurship.

The key points covered in this podcast discussion are:

  1. Formalizing a Foundation: Shifting Funding to Priorities and Focus
  2. Recognizing – and Making the Most of – Non-Monetary Assets
  3. Changing the Conversation:
  4. A Recurring Question: What Difference are You Making?
  5. Never Get Comfortable: The Value of Innovation

Click here to view the transcript.

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