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The Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate program, the first and premiere program of its kind, provides a groundbreaking online curriculum tailored to the unique needs of those who work for professional sports teams, leagues, athletic foundations, sports-related companies with an emphasis on corporate social responsibility, non-profits using sports for social good and for individuals looking to enter the field. The program is in partnership with the GW Sports Management MBA Program, ranked the #3 postgraduate sports business program in the country by SportBusiness International Magazine.
Built around your busy schedule, the certificate includes 10 core online courses, guest calls with industry leaders and a capstone project that will bring together elements of what students learn during the program. The program also includes a two-day in-person residency at the beginning of each cohort. This residency will not only provide an opportunity for experiential learning but will allow time to meet fellow students and exchange ideas.
Dates for the next cohort are to be determined. Please check back in June for up to date information.
The Sports Philanthropy Certificate addresses the needs of people working with:
Guest speakers working for sport teams, leagues, foundations, non-profit organizations, sporting good companies, and corporate sponsors participate in conference calls to supplement lectures and expand networks.
In addition to the online curriculum, each student will complete a capstone project focused on either a personal or organizational challenge, goal, or research need. Based on individual topics, students are assigned to a faculty member to mentor them over the next 5 months. The faculty member will assist the student in researching and writing a plan on how to overcome their unique challenge or achieve their goal. The students will draw insights from the various courses plus guidance from faculty and alumni. For example, some students may be faced with financial challenges to keep their programs going, or some may be starting a non-profit and looking for the best organizational structure, while others are seeking a career transition into sport philanthropy. For those students who prefer, a project can be assigned that will test and enhance skill sets for professional development.
At the age of 27, Nicole Hawkins was named Public Relations Director for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Washington Wizards. Nicole made history as the first African American woman to be named Public Relations Director for an NBA franchise. While working with the Wizards, Nicole worked closely with players, coaches, staff and members of the media. She was responsible for all aspects of the running the department which included pitching and facilitating media interviews, traveling with the team to ensure all media relations requirements were met and ensuring that game night media operations ran efficiently.
Although she loved working for a professional sports team, Nicole always envisioned starting her own business. She was interested in continuing working in sports while expanding to other fields including non-profits and media. So at the age of 30, she founded Nicole Hawkins Communications (NHC). Since founding NHC, Nicole has worked with clients including current and former NFL players Lorenzo Alexander and Leigh Bodden, retired NBA player Jarvis Hayes, the Atlantic 10 Conference, the Capital Classic Boys High School All-Star Game, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, ABC 7/Newschannel 8, Panera Bread, AARP and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility.
Noticing a lack of media coverage surrounding athletes who are making a positive impact in their communities, Nicole founded Admirable Athlete in the fall of 2016. Admirable Athlete is a multi-media platform that focuses on only the good work athletes are doing off of the field of play.
Nicole serves on the board for the DC Chapter of Women in Sports and Events, the leading voice and resource for professional women in the business of sports. She is a member of ColorComm, an organization designed to unite diverse women in the communications industry and the Association of Women in Sports Media, an organization that supports the advancement of women working in various aspects of sports media.
Born and raised in Watertown, New York Nicole is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and currently resides in Arlington, Virginia.
Serving on the board of JDRF Tampa Bay, and co-chair of its two most successful annual fundraising galas, Rob first developed Athletes+Causes as a way to further bring attention to and raise money towards finding a cure for Juvenile Diabetes. He enlisted the support of others in the sports industry affected by Type 1 Diabetes, including Tampa Bay Lightning Forward BJ Crombeen, Rays Outfielder Sam Fuld, and Buccaneers Tight End Tom Crabtree and in January 2014 hosted the first Athletes+Causes event in the Chase Club of Amalie Arena. Sponsors and individuals took advantage of the opportunity to mix and mingle not only with the three professional sports hosts, but with the dozens of fellow Lightning, Rays, and Bucs players that showed up to support their teammates.
Having spent 25-years conducting strategic and economic analyses within sports and tourism, Rob is a highly-respected expert and thought leader in the industry. He has worked with hundreds of teams, destinations, and developers representing a multitude of initiatives including development, transactions, performance improvement, project feasibility, and strategic planning.
Rob previously served as Senior Advisor to Ownership for Vinik Family Office, following his position as Executive Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Prior to his work for the Lightning, he consulted on projects across the country involving the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Denver Broncos, Miami Heat, San Diego Padres, Oakland Raiders, Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Falcons, Washington Nationals, and dozens of other professional sports teams. He has also consulted on sports projects for Louisiana State University, the University of Oklahoma, Duke University, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State University, Texas Tech, The Ohio State University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of Louisville.
A sought-after speaker, connector, big thinker and trainer, Collinger has been behind some of the St. Louis regions’ key initiatives and celebrations including generating support for two professional sports venues in downtown St. Louis (Edward Jones Dome and Scottrade Center), returning professional football to St. Louis, opening the region’s light rail system, being responsible for two Super Bowl Post-Parties, and rebranding the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon and Family Fitness Weekend into GO! St. Louis. Her vision and commitment has been responsible for connecting multiple individuals and organizations, including creation of Coro Connected Women, the Diversity Awareness Partnership, and the Healthy Youth Partnership.
Formerly vice president of Fleishman-Hillard, Inc. and executive at the St. Louis Rams, she has received three Silver Anvils from the Public Relations Society of America, the highest award bestowed on communications professionals. The St. Louis Business Journal named her to the 40 Under 40 list in 2001. Collinger holds a B.A. from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, is a former Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and a graduate of the 1996-1997 Leadership St. Louis program. You can find her on Twitter @ahawkcollinger.
Prior to opening the doors at Postgame PR, Tara served as Director of Communications at the NBA Players Association and spent time on the corporate communications team for both Walmart and Deloitte. Earlier in her career she served as a senior vice president in APCO Worldwide’s corporate responsibility practice where she managed a portfolio of corporate and non-profit clients. Prior to APCO, she spent more than seven years in nonprofit communications with two youth development organizations: America’s Promise and Reading is Fundamental. Tara honed her communications skills while running the community relations department for the Washington Wizards (NBA) and Washington Capitals (NHL) from 1993 to 1998.
Tara graduated from the College of William and Mary with a business degree and earned a master’s degree in journalism from Georgetown University. When Tara isn’t working, she serves on the Board of Directors of 826DC, a creative-writing program for city students.
Andrew Morton is a Partner at Handler Thayer LLP and Chair of the firm’s Sports & Entertainment Law Group, serving a client base of professional athletes, Olympians, actors, entertainers, artists, chefs and other public figures who wish to maximize their social impact. His innovative practice operates at the intersection of celebrity and philanthropy, encompassing all aspects of high-profile philanthropic engagement and branding – from the initial formation of a tax-exempt organization, to ongoing oversight, compliance, governance and reporting consistent with legal requirements and best practices. With a deep understanding of nonprofit legal structures, Andrew often recommends alternative solutions when appropriate, such as establishing a fiscal sponsorship or donor advised fund (DAF).
Andrew’s breadth of experience in 501(c)(3) governance enables him to intervene at the eleventh hour to support crisis management strategy, and remedy operational issues that may threaten an organization’s tax-exempt status. Over the past decade, he has successfully obtained numerous retroactive reinstatements of tax-exempt status revocations, and waivers of IRS penalties for tax filing deficiencies. Based in Washington, DC, Andrew also has led the development and execution of public policy efforts, ranging from organizing and overseeing highly-visible appearances before congressional committees, to arranging targeted private meetings with key members of Congress and the Administration. Leveraging his depth of experience and relationships within professional sports leagues, Hollywood and Washington, Andrew helps clients navigate the political landscape and integrate public policy into his clients’ long-term business strategies.
Suzanne oversees the AFH University program, connecting University athletes to charitable opportunities across various communities. She was most recently the Executive Director for the Autism Society of Texas. She serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Texas, Austin School of Social Work and is Faculty at the George Washington University Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate Program.
Suzanne has broad nonprofit and foundation experience, and worked as a funder for over a decade. Suzanne previously worked as a Program Manager for OneStar Foundation, LIVESTRONG as the Program Officer for Community Grants, and in San Diego at the San Diego Workforce Partnership as the Youth Program Manager overseeing the design, implementation and evaluation of federal Youth Workforce Investment Act funds.
Suzanne is a graduate of San Diego State University with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She also received dual Masters in Social Work and Masters in Public Health with an emphasis on Maternal and Child Health and is a Licensed Masters Social Worker.
Dean Osaki currently manages his own consulting group specializing in sports, corporate philanthropy and cause-related marketing initiatives. Most recently, Dean worked for the national retailer Target in their Community Relations Department, where he managed the Western and Southwest Regions developing their community relations strategies and enhancing Target’s brand by creating relevant local community sponsorship initiatives. Prior to Target, he was the Director of Marketing for the Examiner, a newspaper owned by Philip Anschutz. One of his responsibilities included forming marketing alliances with all the professional sports teams, creating unique content and building brand loyalty among its readers. Over a twenty year span, Dean has worked with Olympic Gold Medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and established Kristi’s own charitable entity, called the Always Dream Foundation. Under Dean’s leadership, ADF has received national recognition for their innovative program and cause-related marketing initiatives. His experience and passion for integrating sports philanthropy and community began during his career with United Way of Silicon Valley, where he worked on community partnerships with the likes of Jerry Rice (SF Niners) and Barry Bonds (SF Giants).
In May of 2017, Golden State Warriors named Joanne Pasternack Executive Director of the Warriors Community Foundation and Vice President of Community Relations. In this role, Joanne oversees the Warriors Community Foundation and all day-to-day management of the Warriors community relations efforts.
Prior to joining the Warriors, Joanne worked with the San Fransciso 49ers as Vice President and Executive Director of Community Relations and the 49ers Foundation for the San Francisco 49ers. In this role, she oversaw all community relations functions for the team, creating and managing high visibility programs based on the 49ers objectives and areas of focus, leveraging the power of community involvement to share the importance of respect and its central role in helping young people become outstanding community citizens. In her role with the Foundation, she works with team ownership to facilitate signature fundraising events and the donation of funds to non-profits that support the Foundation’s mission of keeping kids “Safe, on Track and in School.” In 2016, the Foundation donated $4 million to Bay Area charities, including $1 million to support the expansion of the 49ers STEM Leadership Institute, and has donated nearly $40 million since its inception in 1991.
Prior to joining the 49ers in 2008, Joanne served as a Senior Analyst for the City of Mountain View. Before working for Mountain View, Joanne was the Manager of International Corporate Relations for Special Olympics, Inc. at their headquarters in Washington, DC.
Joanne holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She also has a law degree from Santa Clara University and completed the Executives in Non-Profit Leadership program at Stanford Graduate School of Business. Additionally, she serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Sports Management programs at the University of San Francisco and George Washington University and has guest lectured at Stanford University.
Marj Snyder is currently a consultant in nonprofit management, research, evaluation, and program development. She serves as the Sr. Director of Research and Programs for the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), and is the Research Project Director for a study on attrition in youth sports for the Aspen Institute’s Project Play.
Previously, for 20 years, she was the Chief Program and Planning Officer for the WSF where the award-winning GoGirlGo! Program, which has served more than one million girls, was developed under her leadership and where she had primary responsibility for research and evaluation.
She began her career as a high school social studies teacher, college professor and coach. She is a graduate of Kalamazoo College (B.A.), UCLA (M.S.), and Temple University (Ph.D.).
Kat Craig is the founder and CEO of Athlead, the UK’s first not-for-profit consultancy specializing in sports philanthropy. Kat is an attorney with almost 15 years’ experience helping clients make a lasting difference in society. She is passionate about empowering professional athletes to use their platform to improve the lives of others, and make the greatest social impact where it is needed most.
She holds a Postgraduate Executive Business Certificate in Sports Philanthropy from George Washington University, a first-class Postgraduate Diploma in Law and an undergraduate in Social Anthropology and Development Studies. Kat has won numerous awards for her work and is a published author, appearing regularly on national and international media. Kat and her team are now working with a range of athletes, from ex-Premier League footballers to Paralympians, all doing great things for their communities.
Heather Darney joined the Baltimore Ravens in 2011 and currently serves as the director of community relations and the executive director of the Ravens Foundation, Inc. In this dual role,
Heather is responsible for overseeing all community relations functions for the team including developing and implementing strategic outreach efforts to support the Baltimore community.
Additionally, she manages and directs all fundraising, grant programs and initiatives executed by the Ravens Foundation, the team’s charitable arm. Heather graduated from Towson University with a degree in Sports Management and recently completed George Washington University’s Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate program.
Dr. Nita Evans is an education activist who has over fifteen years of college teaching experience. With a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stony Brook University she has spent much of her career dedicated to closing the opportunity gap in higher education for minority students from under-resourced communities. A seasoned presenter and organization development consultant, Dr. Evans is CEO of GLC Consulting Group, LLC. In this role she has led and managed diverse projects and teams in educational strategic planning.
After completing a Certificate in Leadership from the National African American Women’s Leadership Institute, Dr. Evans launched Second Half Boss™, a lifestyle brand for women of color, 40 and better, that empowers them to master balance and business, all while making second half the BEST half of life.
A graduate of George Washington University’s Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate Program, Dr. Evans combined her expertise in education and race, with her love of sports, to start a non-profit. Catch Education strengthens the college and career readiness of Black male athletes and their families by providing them with the skills to develop high-performance habits to excel in college, career and life.
A social change agent, Dr. Evans embodies the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Jim Leonard is Senior Vice President Government Relations and Foundations for the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center in Newark New Jersey. In this role he directs multi-faceted government relations initiatives and Foundation philanthropic programming for New Jersey’s NHL organization and the arena where they play.
He is responsible for strategic planning and coordination of interaction between the team, the arena and elected/appointed government officials. Jim is also responsible for coordination of fundraising and community events for Devils Care, the non-profit Foundation for the Devils and the Prudential Center. Prior to assuming the Government Relations/Foundations role, Jim created and implemented the team’s employee based volunteer initiatives and spearheaded the Community Investment program.
Before joining the New Jersey Devils in 2013 he served government as both an employee and an elected official. He was Chief of Staff for the New Jersey Department of Treasury and worked for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as senior policy advisor for economic development and job growth. He also served for 15 years as a member of the Branchburg Township Committee, holding the position of Mayor four times.
Jim serves on the advisory Board for Hockey in New Jersey, a program designed to inspire youth to develop life skills, succeed academically and create positive relationships through the sport of hockey. He also serves as a Board Member of the Newark Regional Business Partnership, the Greater Newark Holiday Fund, and the University Hospital Foundation. Jim is also a Commissioner on the Somerset County (NJ) Parks Commission.
Jim lives in Branchburg New Jersey with his wife Patty and their daughter Elizabeth, a senior studying Speech Pathology at Loyola University Maryland.
Lisa McAlister is the Principal and Founder of With Good Cause, Inc., a public relations agency specializing in Corporate and Sports Philanthropy. Her passion for helping businesses and people of influence to impact social change for good is the driving force behind her work with companies and professional athletes. Her expertise includes community engagement, media relations, project management and special programming promotion. She holds an Executive Certificate in Sports Philanthropy from The George Washington University.
Her own work in the community is central to her business values and mission. Lisa has been active on the Board of Directors for the “I Have a Dream” Foundation, The Public Interest Internship Experience at The University of Colorado and The Eye Health Institute. She currently serves as Chair of the Denver Better Business Bureau Foundation where her focus is ethics education for youth. She also serves as PR and Media Advisor to Von’s Vision, the foundation created by Denver Bronco, Von Miller.
Nubia Murray has worked in sponsorship and partnership marketing for over a decade, spearheading various global properties including the Corporate Challenge running series, which she managed in the US, Frankfurt, South Africa, Sydney and Singapore. Capitalizing on this experience, Nubia recently joined the Global Marketing team at McDonald’s Corporation, contributing to the strategic oversight of the Family Experience in 120+ countries and 36,000 restaurants worldwide. Her role also includes brand alignment and relationship management of McD’s nearly 30 different licensing partners including Universal, DreamWorks, SONY and 20th Century Fox. Serving over 3B family customers annually, inclusive of 1B kids meals, the iconic Happy Meal and the family experience is central to the McD business.
In former roles, Nubia guided partnerships with national reach including FC Dallas Soccer, the Arizona Diamondbacks, NY Giants, NY Jets, the PGA Tour, and Madison Square Garden, inclusive of the Rangers, Liberty, Knicks and the Westchester Knicks. While at JPMorgan Chase, as a result of Nubia’s leadership, the firm was awarded the Community Partner of the Year and Most Valuable Partner awards by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Nubia’s work leveraging sports to positively impact communities was featured in a national television commercial highlighting Chase, the US Open, and the NYC Parks Department’s collective reinvestment in communities impacted by Superstorm Sandy.
As much as Nubia has gotten out of her professional experiences, she has given back tenfold. As a Junior League Volunteer, Nubia trained community leaders to be effective board members by facilitating the Forum for Non-profits annual conference. Her focus on impactful civic engagement is also exercised through her involvement with the Council of Urban Professionals as a CUP Fellow, a highly competitive development program designed to prepare selected applicants for civic involvement. Nubia is active in Delta Sigma Theta, including a two-year tenure as North Manhattan Alumnae’s Fundraising Chair and current Strategic Planning Chair. Crediting sports for opening doors to educational opportunities as well as developing her strong work ethic and competitive drive, Nubia competed in Track & Field at Howard University and completed both her fifth Olympic-distance triathlon and second New York City Marathon in 2016. Nubia calls both Chicago’s Southside and Harlem, NY home.
Gina Scott’s expertise in sports marketing and sponsorships spans the professional sports, collegiate, public and corporate sectors. Scott is a multi-talented professional with diverse experience managing the development and implementation of sponsorship marketing strategies on behalf of a diverse portfolio of clients, as well as experience encompassing corporate partnerships, brand management, talent procurement, marketing, and live entertainment production.
As the head of partnership marketing for the NFLPA, she oversees development for new and existing partners in the area of strategic partnership, business development, NFL club marketing activations, and consults on player activation and integration strategies for many leading brands. Scott’s responsibilities include expanding off-the-field opportunities for NFL players. Scott is a graduate of the University of Florida.
Eric Shainock works for FCBX, a sports marketing agency as an Account Executive. His team manages CenturyLink’s sports sponsorship across 11 professional sports teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB and MLS. This includes creative, in-venue activations, in-market amplification programs as well as out of home advertising.
Eric is also the Co-Founder of Philanthropy Playmakers, a website aimed at building a community around sports philanthropy. Each month, Philanthropy Playmakers sends out a newsletter featuring executive interviews, best practices and highlighting up and coming stars in sports philanthropy. Philanthropy Playmakers has interviewed Missy Franklin, Coach Tom Coughlin, Kevin Martinez of ESPN, Mary Davis of Special Olympics as well as executives at the team and league level.
Previously, Eric worked for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as an Account Representative in their Strategic Partnerships division. He was responsible for working with corporate partners through pinup campaigns to raise money for the hospital. Eric managed all of the internal operations including budgeting, vendor relations and reporting on the program success. As a team, Eric helped raise over $7 million for St. Jude annually.
Before he worked for St. Jude, Eric was an Assistant Account Executive with Intersport, focusing on client work with GEICO and Taco Bell. Eric worked on GEICO’s NCAA, NFL and PGA mobile marketing sponsorships activating at events across the country. In addition, Eric worked on Taco Bell’s College Football Playoff initiative, bringing to life the Live Mas Student Section during the semi-finals and national championship.
Over the past two years, Eric has been a columnist for The Migala Report and has been a guest columnist for Sports Business Journal and Partnership Activation, focusing on the intersection of sports and philanthropy.
Eric received a Sports Philanthropy Executive Certificate from The George Washington University in 2016. He received his Master of Sport Administration and Master of Business Administration from Ohio University in 2014, and he is a 2012 graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his spare time, Eric loves to read and bike around Chicago.
Tyler Steinhardt is the Founder and Executive Director of Shootout for Soldiers, a 24-hour lacrosse event benefiting wounded American veterans. The event has raised over $1.5 million since inception and has expanded to 12 locations nationwide. Steinhardt is also the General Manager of The Lacrosse Network, part of the Whistle Sports family. Steinhardt previously served as the GM for the Uganda Men’s Lacrosse Team as well as a Project Manager for Fields of Growth International in Uganda.
Brett Taber is the Executive Director of Social Impact for the Minnesota Vikings and has been with the organization since 2007. He oversees all community engagement and philanthropic efforts for the Vikings. Brett graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Anthropology and Ancient Civilizations.
He received his Master’s in Sports Administration from the University of St. Thomas and was a graduate from the inaugural cohort of the George Washington Sports Philanthropy Certificate program.
In her current role as Vice President of Community Relations for the Portland Timbers and Thorns, Kristel oversees the club’s community partnerships, programs, and philanthropic activities under the Stand Together platform, including the Portland Timbers Community Fund and Fields For All, the local field building initiative. Kristel transitioned into the position after managing the day-to-day marketing, creative development, media buying, outreach and grassroots programming as the team’s Hispanic Business Development Manager. Prior to joining the Portland Timbers, Kristel ran her own advertising firm, Picante Solutions, Inc. and created the Familia, Salud, y Vida Latino Health Fair in Portland. In addition, Kristel has worked with KUNP Univision and Comcast Spotlight in advertising sales, as well as the J.R. Simplot Company in Boise. Kristel graduated from Linfield College with a degree in International Business. In her free time, Kristel enjoys spending time outdoors with her family.
To be admitted to the Sports Philanthropy Certificate program, students must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program. The application form should be filled out and e-mailed to George Washington University at [email protected]. Your application will be reviewed for approval by the program staff.
The enrollment fee for the Certificate in Sports Philanthropy is $4,000. This covers access to the online course system, 10 courses taught by experts in the industry, all course materials, attendance at the in-person residency, access to university resources, and individual support from the program director.
For each cohort an early bird rate of $3,750 is available. Please inquire about deadlines.
Payment plans are also available for those who register in advance.
Register two or more students from the same organization and take advantage of the discounted rate of $3,500 per student.
*Please note that students are required to cover the cost of personal travel to the residency, as well as lodging and transportation.
Because the Sports Philanthropy Certificate program is a non-degree program, federally funded student loan programs are not generally available and the program is not eligible for deferment of such loans. But private lending institutions may be able to finance your education.
Classes for the Sports Philanthropy Certificate program are held on-line with the exception of the residency which will be held in a location where best practices in sports philanthropy can be experienced first hand.
The George Washington University reserves the right to postpone a cohort prior to the beginning of the cohort. If the University deems postponement necessary, registered students will be informed at least 30 days prior to the residency and their enrollment will roll over to the following cohort of the program.
The Sports Philanthropy Certificate program is a five-month program. After the residency, you will have five months to listen to onlin·e course lectures and to complete your capstone project. If for some reason during the five-month period you need an extension, you can request one by forwarding a letter of explanation to [email protected].
Staff will review your request and determine if it will be granted. You can only receive one extension for a maximum of five months.
All financial oblications to The George Washington University must be met to recieve a certificate.
If a student withdraws form the program 30 days before the start date, refund is 100% of tuition minus a $100 withdrawal fee. If a student withdraws from the program within seven days of the start date, no refund is granted. A student who withdraws between the 30- and seven-day will either receive a full credit to the program the following year or a 50% refund.
For more information on courses, faculty, residency or other general questions, contact the Sports Philanthropy Certificate program at [email protected]
2201 G Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20052