Twins, Thrivent deal means baseball fans will help decide where $200K in charitable donations go

Minneapolis-based financial services organization Thrivent and the Minnesota Twins are partnering on a funding model that lets baseball fans decide how much a nonprofit should receive from the two entities.

Through a multiyear corporate sponsorship agreement, the organizations will each deposit $100,000 into a fund every year that will give money to at least 20 nonprofits spread across Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and western Wisconsin.

Fans attending games at Target Field, the Twins home stadium in downtown Minneapolis, can choose how much each nonprofit receives — ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 — by using MLB's Ballpark app, the same app fans use to manage their digital tickets.

As part of its agreement with the Twins, the organization's first with a major sports franchise, Thrivent also receives naming rights to Target Field's 3,000-seat club level and becomes the presenting sponsor of the Twins' annual season ticket plan.

Exposure at Target Field creates opportunities to grow Thrivent's membership base of 2.3 million and raise money alongside new clients for causes that impact communities, said Carolyn Sakstrup, chief growth and generosity officer at Thrivent.

Since 2014, Thrivent has raised more than $1 billion to help their clients fund causes and programs through its Thrivent Action Teams program. In 2023, Thrivent raised and donated $306 million through other generosity programs it operates.

The Fortune 500 organization ended last year with $179 billion in assets under management.

"For us to be able to do this in partnership with the Twins to create experiences at Target Field where fans are engaging in unique moments of generosity through Twins experiences is really aligned with who we are," Sakstrup said.

Each season for the next several years, the Twins and Thrivent fund will donate to nonprofits whose work aligns with a generosity theme for that year. For the 2024 season, Thrivent and the Twins have chosen 16 nonprofits focused on youth-centric exercise and education programs.

To ensure a majority of fans have a chance to vote, the Twins have programmed into the season four voting cycles lasting at least 17 home games. Each fan can vote once per game.

"Having people come together in community really does inspire generosity and it inspires more community," Sakstrup said. "At a baseball game... it feels like a natural fit because you're leveraging that community moment."

The sponsorship agreement is the second secured by the Twins with a Minnesota-based entity this month. The Twins are owned by the Pohlad family and valued at $1.39 billion according to Forbes.