As Executive Director of Phoenix Suns Charities, Sarah Krahenbuhl works to raise and grant more than $1 million annually to Arizona organizations that support programs in the areas of education, health & human services, and sports & recreation. Soon after joining Phoenix Suns Charities in 2012, Sarah created and implemented the founding Suns Charities 88 program, a group of professionals making connections for the community who are dedicated to serving the mission of Phoenix Suns Charities through fundraising initiatives. Since its conception, Suns Charities 88 has contributed more than $1.5M to the Arizona community. Prior to joining Phoenix Suns Charities, Sarah spent 10 seasons with the Arizona Coyotes, serving as Executive Director of Coyotes Charities and Director of Community Relations and Grassroots Marketing. An Arizona native, Sarah graduated from Arizona State University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication and Journalism.
Tell us about an experience that got you interested in the sector.
Early in my career, I had the opportunity to grant a “Wish” on behalf of a Coyotes player. Seeing the child’s eyes when the player walked into the room, was when I realized just how meaningful and life-changing sports philanthropy was. In an instant, I understood my responsibility to ensure my company and its employees were good community members through volunteerism and financial contributions. Nearly 20 years later, I am proud to support the necessary work of the Arizona nonprofit sector.
What advice would you give to a leader trying to make a difference in their community?
Volunteer as often as possible for a wide range of missions with the intent to find your passion and focus on changing it for the better! Many times, athletes say they want to support “kids” charities. We work with them to narrow down what that means. Is it kids and education? Healthcare? Homelessness? Once we can identify their real passion, we can use their time, talent and treasure to make a real difference!
Why is the Lodestar Center’s mission important to you?
The work of all nonprofits is so important to the community. Lodestar Center has been a valuable educational asset for many to thrive and I am super excited to participate!