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The Official Site of the San Jose Sharks

Mission Statement

The Sharks Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the lives of underserved youth and families in the community with an emphasis in the areas of education, health and safety, and character development.

The Foundation supplies emergency aid when appropriate, executes unique and relevant programming, supports the advancement of youth hockey, and provides financial support and resources to organizations that enrich the lives of those in need.

Doug Wilson - Honorary Board Director

John Tortora - Honorary Board Director

Doug Bentz - President

Ken Caveney - Officer

Mary Grace Miller - Secretary

Jennifer Birmingham

Cara Browning

Amber Cottle

Monte Chavez

Mike McCarroll

Jon Root

Richard Rocha

Dan Rusanowsky

Neda Tabatabaie

Sharks Foundation Staff:

Heather Hooper

Jenné Johnson

Alexandra Dunlap

Monica Niskanen

Click here to learn more about the Young Professionals Board.

In 1994, the San Jose Sharks established the Sharks Foundation as the official charity arm of the team. Each year the Foundation partners with individuals, corporate partners and funding partners in the community, who support its efforts to improve the lives of youth and families in the Bay Area. Funds received are allocated to the Foundation's annual Giving Campaign. During the 2016-17 season, the Sharks Foundation donated a franchise-record $1.8 million in funding to support the Bay Area. Since its inception the Foundation has given more than $12 million to thousands of high-performing non-profit organizations serving youth and families in need.


What is the Sharks Foundation?
The Sharks Foundation positively impacts the community in two ways (1) implements effective programming that changes the lives of youth and families and (2) raises funds and redistributes the money back into the community.

Why was it created?
The Sharks Foundation established in 1994 and was created in an effort to increase the San Jose Sharks' overall impact on Santa Clara County. As role models, the Sharks and the Foundation are committed to giving back to the community that so strongly supports them.

Is the Sharks Foundation a 501(c)3?
Yes, the Sharks Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization recognized by the federal government.

Does any money go back to the Sharks?
No. The money donated and raised by the Sharks Foundation stays with the Sharks Foundation and is used to further the mission of enhancing the lives of underserved youth and families in the community. At no point do the Sharks receive any money from the Sharks Foundation.

Programs and Grant Process

What are some of the Sharks Foundation's programs?
The Sharks Foundation's programs enrich the lives of thousands of youth and families in the community. Programs include:

  • Grant Process
  • Goals for Kids
  • Stick to Fitness
  • In-Game Collection Drives
  • Holiday Assist Party

When does the Sharks Foundation's grant cycle open?
The Sharks Foundation's grant cycle typically opens in the fall each year. 

How does the grant process work?
Each eligible grant received is carefully read and scored by a panel of reviewers based on an established rubric. The grants are ranked accordingly, with each panel making recommendations as to which groups should receive funding. The narrowed down list is presented to the Sharks Foundation Board, who meet, discuss and collectively determine which groups will be selected.

How do I know if my group is eligible to receive funding?
Click here to determine eligibility.

Why didn't my group receive funding?
The Sharks Foundation recognizes that all of the groups which request funding are deserving organizations that make a positive difference in the community. Unfortunately, the Sharks Foundation grant cycle is a highly competitive process. We receive an average of 90 grants per year and are only able to fund a select handful. Please know that failure to receive funding is in no way indicative of the merit of your organization.

Who are the Sharks Foundation's current grant recipients?
Click here to see the list of current grant recipients. 

Giving and Donations

How can I contribute to the Sharks Foundation?
The Sharks Foundation accepts cash, checks, and credit card donations.

How do I donate by credit card?
Click here to donate by credit card. All credit card donations are processed through a secure website.

Are donations to the Sharks Foundation tax deductible?
Yes, monetary donations to the Sharks Foundation are tax deductible. Donors will receive a receipt for their donation. 

If you purchase an item through one of the Foundation auctions, only a portion of the amount is tax deductible. The Sharks Foundation will send you a tax receipt, but you should consult a professional tax advisor regarding the extent to which your contribution is tax deductible.

How is my donation used?
Monetary donations collected throughout the year will be used to fund the Sharks Foundation's annual Grant Process. 

Instead of giving to the Sharks Foundation, shouldn't I just donate to an organization directly?
For many people who don't have a specific cause in mind, determining which organization they want to give to can be a difficult and time consuming process. The Sharks Foundation acts as the liaison between our donors and non-profit organizations, using a careful and thorough Grant Process to select organizations that will make the biggest impact in the community.

Is there a minimum donation amount?
We accept all amounts. No donation is too big or small.

How do I make a donation by check?
Checks should be made payable to "Sharks Foundation" and can be mailed to:
525 W. Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA 95113

If I donate one million dollars, will a player from the team come and cook a pancake breakfast for my kids?
We can't guarantee any player appearances in return for a donation, but special arrangements can be made for any donations of that caliber.


Can I volunteer for the Sharks Foundation?
The Sharks Foundation appreciates the number of Sharks fans that would like to volunteer with the organization. One instance where the Foundation recruits volunteers is at the Fitness Faceoff in June. Over 300 volunteers are needed for this event and all volunteers can register through the race registration page when it opens in spring. All other volunteer opportunities are usually reserved for Sharks employees and their families. For this reason, we ask that anyone interested in further supporting the Sharks Foundation do so by donating their time with one of our many grant recipients. These non-profit organizations provide vital programs and services and regularly depend on volunteers for success. 

Can I work for the Sharks Foundation?
If a job or internship is available with the Sharks Foundation, it will be posted on the Sharks Sports & Entertainment Job Board. All unsolicited resumes will be discarded upon receipt. Please do not email your resumes to any email address listed on our website. Due to the volume of resumes received for posted positions, we are unable to accommodate individual inquiries regarding resume receipt, status, or hiring process status by phone or email.

What are Mystery Pucks?
Mystery Pucks are one of the Sharks Foundation's biggest fundraisers. At specific home games, a limited number of specially designed themed pucks will be sold for $20 each on the Concourse Level at both the North and South Entrances. Every puck is guaranteed to be signed by a current player and every player signs the same amount of pucks. Pucks will be individually wrapped so the player's identity remains a surprise until after purchase. During each sale a select number of pucks will be labeled "WINNER" and the lucky fans who select these pucks will win an additional prize. MP's typically sell out before the start of the game, so fans are encouraged to come early on our Mystery Puck dates.

How do the Sharks Foundation's in-game auctions work?
During each Sharks home game during the regular season, the Foundation hosts an in-game auction at the Sharks Foundation Booth located at Section 118 on the Concourse Level. Items can range from autographed jerseys and framed photos, to unique and exclusive Sharks experiences. Several special auctions will also take place throughout the season. For detailed information on standard and special in-game auctions, click here.

Will the Sharks Foundation donate tickets or signed items to my non-profit organization? 
While the Sharks Foundation provides monetary funding to various community groups throughout Santa Clara County, many organizations are often in need of in-kind items for fundraising purposes (silent auctions, raffles, etc.). Regretfully, the Foundation cannot provide groups with these types of items. Groups seeking an in-kind donation must contact the San Jose Sharks Fan Development Department. 

The San Jose Sharks and the Sharks Foundation are generally not able to provide tickets to Sharks games or other events occurring at SAP Center, either for fundraising or group outing purposes. On the limited occasions when tickets are available, only current and past Sharks Foundation grant recipients are eligible. In this situation, groups will be contacted at the discretion of the Sharks Foundation and may not request specific events.

Have a question for the Sharks Foundation? Please complete the following form or email: