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  • Brendan Fraleigh

How To Start A Foundation: A Moment Guide For Professional Athletes

Professional athletes are constantly the center of attention. TV, social media, name it. With this attention comes a responsibility.

Sports give professional athletes the stage to be something bigger than themselves. This impact can go beyond their play on the field.

In this article, I am going to break down how professional athletes can start a foundation.

Foundation for Professional Athletes

What is a Professional Athlete's Foundation?

To begin, we need to understand what a foundation is: A foundation is an organization that supports charitable or giving activities. Foundations make an impact for the common good of others.

These giving activities can include:

  • Education

  • Culture

  • Religion

  • Sports

  • Rare Diseases

Simply put, they are charitable organizations with the goal of shining light on areas of need.

A foundation can be created individually or as an organization.

If done as an organization, it can include:

  • Family - i.e. The Moment Family Foundation

  • Corporation - i.e. Moment Private Wealth Foundation

  • Team - i.e. Moment Private Wealth Team Foundation

There is no right or wrong way to give back. A charitable foundation gives the athlete the framework to do so.

Below is a step-by-step guide to starting a foundation.

The Steps Needed to Start A Foundation

Starting a foundation as a professional athlete is a meaningful way to give back to society. It can positively impact on the world. The key is having a qualified team specializing in athlete wealth management to ensure the proper steps and actions are taken.

Here are the steps a professional athlete should take when starting their foundation:

  • Find Something You Are Passionate About

  • Define Mission and Goals

  • Research Areas of Need

  • Create a Brand

  • Hire Board of Directors

  • Outline Programs

  • Develop Budget and Fundraising Plan

  • Build Relationships and Partnerships

  • Engagement

  • Evaluate and Grow

Find Something You Are Passionate About

Step 1 is determining the cause or issue you are passionate about and want to support.

The foundations that thrive are the ones that spark an interest in making a change. It is a place that grounds even the best athletes to focus on something that goes beyond the sport they play.

Consider something that is personal; something that hits home. Think about what others value or a place of need in the area you live.

Here are a few specific examples:

  • Autism

  • Cancer

  • Access to Athletics

  • Catholic Charities

Foundations for change start with a platform and a passion.

Foundation for Professional Athletes

Define Mission and Goals

Step 2 is defining your mission statement.

Every foundation needs to have a defined mission, unique to their goals and easy to identify.

Here is our mission at Moment Private Wealth:

Help professional athletes and high-growth entrepreneurs build and protect wealth.

A foundation needs something similar.

This mission statement is the gameplan for the foundation. It is the playbook for change.

Research Areas of Need

Step 3 is thoroughly researching areas of most need.

Look around the area. Where is society hurting? Where is positive impact needed?

Once narrowed, find a foundation you admire. What are they doing well? How can it be replicated?

With the right research, athletes can create a foundation that will have an impact.

Create a Brand

Step 4 is creating a brand.

Most, if not all professional athletes already have a personal brand.

Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Lebron know their personal brand.

A personal brand creates an identity and tells a story. A foundation also needs a brand. This is the identity of the foundation. Create a name, a logo, a website, and other marketing tools that spread awareness.

The brand needs to align with your mission and goals. The closer these align, the more it will attract supporters. More importantly, these supports will help raise awareness of your cause.

Board of Directors

Step 5 is hiring a Board of Directors.

Most, if not all non-profit organizations need a Board of Directors. This is an important step in starting a foundation. The board of directors is the strategy behind the foundation. Think of them like the coordinators in football. They put together the strategy that goes into the game plan.

Make sure the board is committed to your cause. They will provide guidance and support the foundation's activities.

Outline Programs

Step 6 outlines the programs and initiatives of the foundation. The programs and initiatives carry out the foundation's mission.

These are the events where the mission is implemented and value is created. Think of giving back to the community events. Visiting kids in the hospital with rare diseases. Starting sports camps for those that cannot afford it. The programs add value to the mission of the foundation.

Develop a Budget and Fundraising Plan

Step 7 is developing a budget and fundraising plan.

Like any company, fundraising is one of the hardest, but most important steps in the process.

It starts with creating a budget. Specifically, the resources needed to operate the foundation. These include:

  • Donations

  • Grants

  • Sponsorships

  • Partnerships

Budgeting and fundraising are the bloodline of any organization. Without it, the programs won't exist.

Build Relationships and Partnerships

Step 8 is building relationships and partnerships.

Everything in life is built around relationships. A professional athlete's foundation is the same. It starts with the board of directors and those you want to support your mission. This could be family, friends, teammates, coaches, or business partners. Who will join you in spreading awareness for your cause? Further, create relationships with donors, volunteers, and supporters who believe in the mission. These people can grow and impact the goals of the foundation. No foundation is built by one person. It takes a village to raise awareness.


Step 9 is engagement.

Effective foundations engage with those around them. This could be a specific community or the city a team plays. Engage those around the community that care and understand the cause.

People will support the foundation because they support the athlete. Another way to engage is to get involved with other foundations. A professional athlete helping a fellow athlete's foundation brings more engagement. Engagement leads to further contributions and impact.

Evaluate and Grow

Step 10 is measuring the impact of your foundation.

The foundation has been created. The board of directors have helped build the strategy. The programs have been outlined and initiated.

The next step is evaluating the impact of the foundation.

Remember, the programs and initiatives carry out the foundation's mission.

The foundation should bring awareness to the cause. Evaluating the impact will help the foundation grow.

Influence Beyond the Field

The foundation is off and running. Board of Directors in place. Programs are outlined.

The goal of the foundation is impact and positive change.

However, it is worth mentioning the numerous benefits for a professional athlete.

Social Impact - A foundation is an opportunity to make a positive impact in the community. It starts with the platform and resources afforded an athlete. An athlete's impact can change communities in most need.

Brand Building - Professional athletes are constantly in the public eye. With that comes brand recognition and a public image. Philanthropic giving can strengthen an athlete's reputation in a positive way. In turn, an athlete can differentiate themself from peers.

Personal Fulfillment - This goes without saying...foundations can be personally fulfilling. Helping others can provide a sense of purpose and satisfaction. More importantly, an athlete has the opportunity to make a difference in the world.

Community Engagement - An athlete can have an impact in their own back yard. A foundation is an great way to give back to the local community.

Networking Opportunities - Growth comes in numbers. That starts with a network of people. A foundation is a platform to raise that awareness and grow in numbers. With others, the impact can spread to a broader group of those in need.

Tax Benefits - A foundation is another way for a professional athlete to save on their taxes. While this isn't the sole purpose, it certainly plays a role. Depending on the foundation, there are many ways to save on taxes. Consult your tax professional.

Inspiration for Others - Impact comes in many forms. Inspiration is one that gets overlooked. Professional athletes have the opportunity to lead by example. This starts with inspiring others.

Philanthropic Legacy - A legacy is something passed on. A professional athlete's legacy can last beyond the playing field. Starting a foundation is a great way to build that legacy.

Look around the community. I guarantee there are people and places in need. Unfortunately, time is undefeated. There will come a day were the helmet or cleats will no longer be worn. That doesn't mean a professional athlete's impact has to be over.

Consider starting a foundation. This could be the beginning of a legacy that could last for forever.


If you are a professional athlete who is looking to better understand what it takes to start a foundation, schedule a call, and talk with a Moment founder.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to questions I received frequently about Moment Private Wealth.

  1. Are you a fiduciary? Moment Private Wealth serves clients as a fiduciary 100% of the time.

  2. How does Moment Private Wealth make money? We are only paid in one transparent way, by our clients. We receive no kickbacks or participate in any profit-sharing arrangements. Our fees are simple, transparent, and clear for our clients.

  3. How are you different than other financial advisors? We are specialists in working with professional athletes and business owners. We limit the number of new clients we take on. This allows us to provide unparalleled value and highly personalized service to professional athletes and business owners. We work as a team to service our clients. We believe in building a team of “A” players. This ensures our clients receive world-class tax, estate, insurance, and investment strategies. We focus on educating first, then executing.

  4. Where do you hold my investments and how can I see them? Moment Private Wealth uses Fidelity Investments as a third-party custodian for our client investment accounts. As a third-party custodian, Fidelity safeguards and provides reporting to you and the IRS each year. Clients can also access all financial information via the Moment Private Wealth Client Portal.

  5. How do you work with other members of my team? We believe in the power of the team. For most of our clients, their team consists of Moment Private Wealth, an accountant, an attorney, a banker, and an insurance specialist. We help our clients build out their team of individuals or work with existing partners clients have. Our goal is to ensure every family has a team of experts to protect their interests.

  6. How do you choose investments for clients? As independent financial advisors, we can gather research and make recommendations based on all available options. We determine clients’ portfolios in partnership with some of the largest asset managers in the world. Each quarter, we have calls with teams of CFAs (Chartered Financial Analysts) to ensure our clients are receiving the most up-to-date strategies and recommendations.

  7. What does your average client look like? Our clients are nearly all athletes and business owners. Our average client has a net worth greater than $5M. The strategies, solutions, and planning that we implement have a high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth client in mind.

  8. Does Moment Private Wealth help you pay less in taxes? Taxes are going to be your largest lifetime expense. Our goal is to help you pay the least amount possible and never leave the IRS a tip. Our team of specialists understands this and works to reduce your taxes today and in the future.

  9. Can Moment Private Wealth help business owners with succession planning? Yes, this is part of creating a roadmap for your goals. Having first-hand knowledge of selling a business will allow you confidence throughout the process. Many business owners get one chance to sell a business. Having a firm that can help is key.

  10. Why should I consider hiring Moment Private Wealth? Great question! But first, let us explain why you shouldn’t hire us. If you’re looking for an advisor who will pitch shiny object investments or be a “yes man” you are in the wrong place. Why? Because we believe in being truth tellers and only giving advice that we take ourselves. The investments, strategies, and planning we do are all things our advisors do with their own money. If you are an athlete or business owner interested in things like lowering your tax bill, investing smarter, and finding a trusted partner we might be a good fit.

Financial advisors for professional athletes







2 Cityplace Drive
2nd Floor

St. Louis, MO  63141

(314) 597-8350


Become a part of the Moment community and join us in building enduring wealth and a legacy of impact.


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Become a part of the Moment community for and join us in building enduring wealth and a legacy of impact.






2 Cityplace Drive
2nd Floor

St. Louis, MO  63141

(314) 597-8350


Become a part of the Moment community and join us in building enduring wealth and a legacy of impact.

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