Frequently Asked Questions

Programs and Grant Process
Giving and Donations


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.

The Sharks Foundation's programs enrich the lives of thousands of youth. This year alone, our literacy program is helping more than 36,000 students learn about the importance of reading. $514,768 was donated through our annual grant process and an additional amount was distributed through our collection drives and special fundraisers. Since its inception, the Sharks Foundation has donated more than $7.2 million to over 120 organizations in Santa Clara County.

The San Jose Sharks are deeply involved with their neighborhood. As role models, we are committed to giving back to the community that so strongly supports us.

What is its mission?
The Sharks Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth and families in our community with an emphasis in the areas of Education, Health and Safety, and Character Development. The Sharks 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.

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 our mission of enhancing the lives of youth and families in our community. At no point do the Sharks receive any money from the Sharks Foundation.

Why was it created?
The Sharks Foundation was created in an effort to increase our organizational impact on Santa Clara County. As role models, we are committed to giving back to the community that so strongly supports us.

When was it created?
The Sharks Foundation was established in 1994


Programs and Grant Process

What are some of your programs?
The Sharks Foundation's programs enrich the lives of thousands of youth. Our Reading Is Cool Presented by Comerica Bank program reaches more than 36,000 students in over 1200 K-6 classrooms in Santa Clara and Southern Alameda Counties. This is one of the biggest literacy programs in the NHL and, over the years, has taught more than 250,000 students the importance of reading.

The Sharks Foundation's "Holiday Assist" party pairs Sharks players, coaches and front office staff with families in need during the holiday season. In 2013, over 40 underserved families were treated to a night of dinner, entertainment, skating and gifts in hopes of brightening their holidays.

In a partnership with the Stanford Blood Center, the 'Save A Life' Blood Drive has been an annual tradition for the past five years at SAP Center. In 2014, the drive had 350 registered participants, with 314 units of blood successfully collected by the conclusion of the drive. Additionally, 31 fans registered for the “Be the Match” marrow program and 5 donors registered with Donate Life. Combined, these figures equate to potentially saving the lives of over 1,000 individuals.

Each season, the Sharks Foundation—in partnership with the Good Tidings Foundation—identifies one local school and completely resurfaces their blacktop, transforming it into a street hockey court. In addition, sticks, balls, goals and goalie equipment are also donated to the school. Over the past three seasons, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, and Joe Thornton have generously donated their own money to help with this program and allow youth the opportunity to play hockey.

Our annual collection drives leverage our generous fan base and give deserving organizations much needed support. The Reading Is Cool presented by Comerica Bank book drive collected more than 1000 books and over $2,500 for our literacy program.

The Second Harvest Food Bank Food Drive collected food to provide 19 barrels of food and over $8,200 to help feed families during the holidays.

In 2013, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Drive collected more than 1,100 toys and over $15,300 in monetary donations, making it the Marine Corps Reserve's highest earning event of the year.

Our "Share the Warmth" Drive collected more than 400 blankets and jackets in addition to $4,800 in monetary donations. The warmth drive collection benefits Sacred Heart Community Services.

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 we receive 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?
Organizations interested in our grant process should 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?
To see a list of our current grant recipients, please click here.


Giving and Donations

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

Do you accept credit cards?
Yes, please 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 tax letter for their donation. If you purchase an item or win an auction through the Foundation, only a portion of the amount is tax deductible. The Sharks Foundation will send you a recipient letter, but we recommend consulting a professional tax advisor regarding the extent to which your contribution is tax-deductible.

How is my donation used and does it make a difference?
Every donation, regardless of the amount, helps. The more money raised by the Sharks Foundation, the more money we're able to give to non-profit organizations in Santa Clara County. All of the non-profit organizations the Sharks Foundation fund support youth and families in our community.

Can I see where my support goes?

Money raised throughout the year will be used to fund our annual Grant Process. To see a list of our current grant recipients, please click here.

Instead of giving to the Sharks Foundation, shouldn't I just donate to an organization directly?
For many people, there are organizations close to their hearts that they give directly to. But for many others, 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 our community. All groups selected by the Sharks Foundation support youth in the areas of Education, Health & Safety or Character Development.

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

To whom should checks be made payable and where should they be mailed?
Checks should be made payable to the "Sharks Foundation" and can be mailed to 525 W. Santa Clara St., San Jose, CA 95113.

If I donate a million dollars, will Joe Thornton 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.

Will I be recognized if I donate?
Yes. The Sharks Foundation will be establishing a new "Giving Wall of Fame" on its website. Donors who consent will be recognized on the page based on their giving levels.



Can I volunteer for the Sharks Foundation?
The Sharks Foundation appreciates the number of Sharks fans that would like to volunteer with our organization. One instance where the Sharks Foundation recruits volunteers is at our summer event, The Fitness Faceoff. Over 250 volunteers are needed for this event and all volunteers can register through the race registration page when it opens every spring.
All other volunteer opportunities are usually reserved for Sharks Sports & Entertainment 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 enhance the lives of youth in our community by providing vital programs and services and regularly depend on volunteers for success.

Can I work for the Sharks Foundation?
If any job or internship is currently available with the Sharks Foundation, they will be posted online at 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 accomodate 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 on the Concourse Level at both the North and South Entrances. Every puck is guaranteed to be signed by a player and 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 additional prizes. Because of the popularity of this fundraiser, fans are encouraged to arrive early, as most have sold out well before the start of the game. Pucks are just $20 each and net proceeds will benefit this season's Sharks Foundation Grant Recipients and community programming.

How do the Sharks Foundation's auctions work?
During each Sharks home game, the Sharks Foundation hosts auctions at the booth located at Section 118 on the Concourse Level. Items can range from autographed replica jerseys and framed puck packages to Zamboni Rides and Stick Kid Nights. Several special auctions will also take place throughout the season. With the exception of the Holiday Wish List Night, these special auctions will be held in the Blind Auction format. For detailed information on the auction format, please click here.

Will the Sharks Foundation donate tickets or signed items to my non-profit organizations?
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.). The Sharks 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 San Jose 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. Groups will be contacted at the discretion of the Sharks Foundation and may not requests specific events.

What if I have a question that wasn't addressed in the FAQ's?
If you have a question regarding the Sharks Foundation that wasn't answered in the FAQ's, please contact us here and we'll be sure to get back to you.


Thank you for your support of the Sharks Foundation!

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