Case Studies


The US Olympic & Paralympic Foundation (USOPF) supports the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee, which works to empower Team USA athletes both on and off the field by providing stipends, health care, career and education services, and many other programs.


The United States is one of the only countries that does not provide federal dollars to support Olympic athletes, so private funders must step up to fill the gap. “One hundred percent of gifts to the USOPF supports Team USA athletes and the programs that help them be their best,” says foundation President Christine Walshe. Funding goes toward athlete stipends, mental-health and sportsmedicine services, and a variety of comprehensive programs. These include the foundation’s Technology and Innovation Fund, which supports projects to help athletes improve performance. One such project is known as Athlete 360, a wellness database that collects athlete data to help coaches make better decisions and help prevent—and sometimes even predict—injury. USOPF’s Athlete Career & Education program aims to set athletes up for success after they retire from their sport, providing scholarships for higher education, entrepreneurship workshops and events, and more. “Our Olympic team is a very diverse group,” says Sarah Cantwell, the senior director of major gifts. “We have athletes who are fully employed, unemployed, who have degrees, who don’t have degrees. So when we build programming, we need different things for different participants.” Additionally, the foundation supports the 50 governing bodies of individual sports, such as USA Track and Field. Each sport has its own 501(c)(3), and USOPF helps them build their athlete-development pipeline. 


In 2019, nearly 50,000 donors gave more than $40 million to the foundation to support the 600 Olympic and 300 Paralympic athletes on Team USA. One hundred and seventy-three athletes used scholarship funding—$528,000 in total—to attend colleges and universities, while 83 found full- or parttime work. And about 1,300 athletes received training stipends and health insurance. Additionally, the foundation works to ensure that Paralympians receive the same type and level of support as Olympians. In 2019, the foundation incorporated “Paralympic” into its name and has integrated the Paralympics into the fabric of the organization. 

How The Satter Foundation Has Helped

Muneer has served on the foundation’s trustee group for four years, and the Satters use their network to help the foundation reach new potential donors. “Our donor pool is driven by referrals and introductions,” Cantwell says. “Muneer understands the importance of connecting the dots and has helped us think through other potential donors we should talk to.” 

What's Next

The foundation plans to continue to expand and strengthen athlete programs, with an emphasis on its strategic priorities. These include enhancing the athlete experience while prioritizing well-being and safety and continuing to support the national governing bodies. It is also working to support athletes as the Games shift to 2021, including exploring how to safely have athletes return to campus and addressing how to assist athletes facing various needs due to the pandemic.

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