• Improving Lives

    The foundation’s goal is to improve the quality of life both in and through these communities, with a particular focus on enriching the lives of children.

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  • The Calipari Foundation

    The Calipari Foundation invests in communities. These communities are not limited by geography — they can also be educational, social, and spiritual in nature.

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Who We Are

The Calipari Foundation, Inc. (TCF), is a 501(c)(3) public charity. John and Ellen Calipari formed the foundation in 2012 to facilitate their involvement in charitable causes throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

In addition to raising funds to give to nonprofit organizations, TCF hopes to raise the public’s level of awareness regarding philanthropy. Toward that end, one of the goals of the foundation is to encourage members of Kentucky communities—and members of the basketball community—to become involved in, support charitable activity. 

All communities have some type of need. All individuals have some type of influence. And when influence is applied to need, a difference is made.

What We Do

With that in mind, The Calipari Foundation’s mission is to provide for the physical, educational, leadership, and developmental needs of people and communities, while encouraging and equipping others to do the same.

Toward achieving this mission, the foundation will utilize all its unique spheres of influence and ask that others join in utilizing their unique spheres. 

Using influence to meet people’s needs could involve motivating others to improve their leadership, teamwork, and personal discipline skills. It could involve contributing backpacks of food for hungry children. It could involve partnering with corporations to host an event that benefits victims of natural disasters. It could involve making surprise visits to hospital patients. It could involve gathering a group of volunteers to plant trees or build a home.

The opportunities to serve our communities are many, and TCF is both excited and grateful to have your help in making a difference.

Where We Work

John Calipari has given back to every community in which he has coached.  For instance, he and Ellen established a donor-advised fund at the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis (CFGM) when Coach Calipari headed the men’s basketball program at the University of Memphis.

Coach and Ellen are grateful for the excellent work CFGM does and will continue to support organizations in the Memphis area.  The emphasis of The Calipari Foundation, however, is on supporting charities based in Kentucky and/or those that benefit Kentuckians.

Of course, focusing its efforts on improving communities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky will not prohibit the foundation from assisting other communities in need across the country—or across the globe.  For example, Coach Calipari previously has used his influence to raise support for communities in the northeastern United States, following Superstorm Sandy (2012), and communities in Haiti, following the earthquake there (2010).

How We Are Doing

Below are a few quotes from our partners and grant recipients.

“As a longtime friend and associate of Coach Cal, I am proud to say we have spread basketball on four different continents together; but I am even more proud to let people know how truly others-oriented John is.  He uses his great capacity as an ideas man not only for basketball but also to serve others however he can.  He has the same passion to help others that he has for his players on the court.  He never ceases to think of how he can help those who are in need.  You can be sure that the highest possible percentage of money taken in goes out to others in need physically, spiritually or emotionally.” – Del Harris, former NBA coach and current general manager of the Texas Legends, an NBA D-League team

“Since first partnering with the American Red Cross on “Hoops for Haiti” in 2010, Coach Calipari and his foundation have helped to generate over $2.5 million for disaster victims locally, nationally and internationally.  Together we have come to the aid of thousands and thousands of people.” – Winn Stephens, Director of Development at the American Red Cross, Bluegrass Region
“The support and partnership we’ve been honored to have with Coach Cal and his foundation have truly been a blessing for Samaritan’s Feet and the thousands of children that we’ve provided shoes and hope for in the Big Blue Nation footprint. We look forward to many more opportunities to impact those in need through his friendship and generosity.” – Manny Ohonme, founder and CEO of Samaritan’s Feet International

“4 Paws for Ability is honored and humbled to have been chosen as a charity recipient two years in a row by The Calipari Foundation. Because of this incredible generosity, we are able to provide five service dogs to veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan that have lost the use of a limb or have a hearing impairment. Thank you for helping us in our mission to take the "dis" out of disability.”  – Kelly Camm, Development Director of 4 Paws for Ability, Inc.

“I have been impressed with Coach Calipari’s mission and commitment to improve the quality of life for many individuals.  Whether the need is in Haiti, or in downtown Memphis or Lexington, he is using his influence and notoriety to positively impact communities on many levels.  His concern for others, and his generosity of time, talent and resources distinguish him as a true philanthropist.”
Mike Richey, Vice President for Development and Chief Development Officer, University of Kentucky