What exactly is the Atlanta Braves Foundation?

Some have speculated the Atlanta Braves Foundation is a slush fund for the front office to dip into but what exactly is the purpose of this foundation?
Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals
Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals / G Fiume/GettyImages

When the Atlanta Braves sign someone to a contract, they'll often include something in the press release stating that the player has agreed to donate a small portion of their contract to the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Usually, this amount equals one percent of their salary.

It's become a running joke that the Atlanta Braves Foundation is somehow a money laundering scheme that the Braves use to buy talent. While it is seen as an innocent joke by most, I'm sure there are some who think that is truly the case.

The Atlanta Braves Foundation is a very important part of the "Braves Way" and helps impact many lives around the community.

So... what does the Atlanta Braves Foundation benefit?

According to the mission listed on the Atlanta Braves website, the mission of the Atlanta Braves Foundation is to build community through baseball engaging Braves Country, reaching vulnerable populations, and improving equity and access in sport, health, education, and well-being outcomes for children, families, and communities.

The Atlanta Braves Foundation has focused on 5 key areas:

  • LIVE – programs and initiatives focused on health and wellness, awareness, and support for those battling cancer and other life-altering illnesses
  • LEARN – investing in teachers and students across Braves Country
  • PLAY – addressing equity and access in baseball and softball and providing opportunities to play the game we love
  • SERVE – honoring those who serve and creating opportunities for service in our communities
  • SUSTAIN – caring for our environment and building a sustainable future

The foundation has a grant program that benefits non-profits that operate within the community and aligns with the 5 pillars mentioned above. You can view past recipients of this grant program here.

Also found within the Atlanta Braves Foundation is the Henry Louis Aaron Fund. This fund was created after the passing of the Braves legend to ensure his passion for creating more opportunities for minorities to play baseball and occupy roles in the front office. As a promise to continue his vision, this fund is committed to focusing on four key areas: Pathways in Baseball, Education, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Social Justice.

Braves Care is also a part of this foundation and gives front office employees, their families, and corporate partners with ongoing volunteer opportunities throughout the year. This ensures the front office isn't just some faceless entity that makes business decisions. They are active parts of the community that they serve.

Fans have multiple ways to donate to the Atlanta Braves Foundation if they choose to do so. This includes a 50/50 raffle during games, personalized messages on the LED board at Truist Park, purchasing individual engraved bricks outside the ballpark, gameday/online auctions, purchasing a state-issued Atlanta Braves license plate, and individual donations.

One of the most recent things the Atlanta Braves Foundation helped support was a Family Cupboard to help Cobb County battle food insecurity during the Thanksgiving holiday and in the future.

The team also recently featured the Warrior Classic which hosts local military veterans and allows them to interact with former players, engage in on-field activities, and more.

These are just a couple of recent examples showing how great the Atlanta Braves Foundation is. Players donating a small percentage of their salaries toward this cause is nothing more than partnering with the community that they interact with.

While the jokes are often humorous and get a nice chuckle from me on occasion, there isn't anything nefarious going on behind closed doors. This is a wonderful way for the Braves organization, its players, and employees to give back to such a special community.

You can check out all of the great causes supported by the Atlanta Braves Foundation by following them on social media via Instagram and X.

So, the next time the Braves sign a player and you see the 1% donated to the Atlanta Braves Foundation, you'll know that money will be going towards a great cause.

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