Support our Community Best with Funding
The San Jose Sharks are a professional US-American ice hockey club playing in the National Hockey League (NHL). As role models, the Sharks are committed to giving back to the community that so strongly supports them. To make a positive impact in Santa Clara County, California, the Sharks Foundation serves as the team’s official charity. The Sharks Foundation has donated more than $7.2 million, since 1994, to more than 120 local nonprofit groups in the areas of Education, Health & Safety and Character Development.
In July 2013, SAP, the City of San Jose and Sharks Sport & Entertainment unveiled the renamed SAP Center at San Jose. Repeatedly nominated as “Arena of the Year,” SAP Center hosts approximately 150 events every year including more than 40 San Jose Sharks regular season home games. As part of the SAP Center sponsorship agreement, SAP directs about $375,000 annually to the Sharks Foundation, for the duration of the contract. The Sharks Foundation and SAP North America Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) discussed how best to allocate funding. To identify the best solution, members from both teams decided to participate in a Design Thinking workshop.
Breaking the Ice to Unite the Hearts
The Design and Co-Innovation Center at SAP hosted a unique Design Thinking workshop at SAP Labs Palo Alto. Design Thinking coaches engaged and guided the Sharks Foundation, the SAP North America CSR team and employees to imagine how the Sharks Foundation could use SAP funding to drive sustainable and strategic community engagement. The workshop was the first time to get to know each other. “It was a great way to bring everyone together and look for common goals and interests, that we might be able to tap into.” recalls Sally Lawler Kennedy, SAP Design Services coach and workshop leader. “To get a unified vision on the impact, it´s necessary to deeply understand each point of view.’’ Design Thinking methods bring people together, start a creative conversation, and develop an ideal solution.
After ice-breaking warm-up games, we were open and put things on the table without consideration. When we went out, we felt like we are all friends!– David Ramsay (SAP Customer Engagement and workshop participant)
In only six hours, about twenty SAP innovators and Sharks Foundation activists generated over a hundred interesting investment opportunities. The winner was around engaging with the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (VMC), San Jose, California, to build up a pediatric unit of the Women and Children’s Center.
Design Thinking is Fun, but nor for Fun!
One little idea helped catalyze the changes and progress we’ve made up until today, and now we only have more and more ideas for the future.– Jeff Cafuir (Sharks Foundation Manager, Sharks Sports & Entertainment)
What lessons learned can be shared from the different stakeholders? (including DCC team)Valley Medical Center, VMC is one of the top public hospitals in the United States and provides care to all, regardless of ability to pay. A $750,000 gift from SAP and the Sharks Foundation will sponsor the Pediatric Unit of the new Women’s and Children’s Center to soften the hospital experience with a human-centered design approach, such as private patient rooms, a pediatric therapy playground, and warm, colorful, family-friendly welcoming lobbies.
The Sharks Foundation and SAP made the single biggest donation to a nonprofit since the Sharks foundation was started. The idea created in our Design Thinking workshop has come to life, and shows real impact that our Design Thinking workshops can have. “Since the workshop was just six months ago, we’ve been able to watch this amazing project come to fruition,” remarks Jeff Cafuir, Manager of the Sharks Foundation. “One little idea helped catalyze the changes and progress we’ve made up until today, and now we only have more and more ideas for the future.”
We recently attended a Design Thinking workshop facilitated by Design and Co-Innovation Center (DCC), and were highly impressed with our experience. Their organization, enthusiasm and innovative methods allowed us to step outside of the box and find the solutions we were searching for.– Jeff Cafuir (Sharks Foundation Manager, Sharks Sports & Entertainment)