The athlete philanthropist
Philanthropy is defined as the desire to promote the welfare of others. Who better to be a philanthropist than a star athlete? Athletes are loved, admired and in a position to raise awareness and funds for a good cause. Many athletes already set a great example as social entrepreneurs. Think of Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali and Roger Federer.
Roger Federer: the athlete philanthropist
The video by Credit Suisse below gives an insight into the Roger Federer Foundation and philanthropy in general. Involved in helping disadvantaged people and promoting sports, the Roger Federer Foundation is a great cause led by a man who the World Economic Forum announced as one of the Young Global Leaders of 2010.
It would be fantastic if more athletes get (more) actively involved in social entrepreneurship. After all, they really are in a great position to make a difference. Unfortunately not all athletes’ charities are genuinely an act of philanthropy or remotely efficient. ESPN published an interesting article about this earlier this year – Athlete charities often lack standards – that is worth a read. This incapability of managing a strong and sound charity can be due to a lack of business skills. Skills athletes are not expected to have. It is therefore important that the right person with the right skills is running things.
Not just athletes
Philanthropy in sports should by no means be limited to just athletes. It has become a prerequisite for large corporations in sports to make philanthropy an integrated part of their mission. Customers expect, sometimes demand, companies to make a difference, give back and be socially responsible. Companies indeed react, as more and more companies stress social responsibilities (including environmental issues).
It is beautiful to see how ‘giving back’ by athletes and organisations positively affects the world. But could it be happening on a bigger scale? Definitely and it should!