Vanessa Bryant Faces Criticism Over Mamba & Mambacita Foundation’s Finances


Vanessa Bryant, the widow of basketball icon Kobe Bryant, is facing criticism over the financial management of the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, a non-profit organization founded in her daughter and husband’s memory. The foundation has been accused of making millions of dollars in revenue but giving out very little in grants to support its stated mission of inspiring and empowering young athletes.

According to tax filings, the foundation brought in $27 million in 2022, but only distributed $500,000 in grants. This has led some to question whether the foundation is effectively using its resources to achieve its goals.

The $500,000 in program expenses were towards the construction or refurbishment of outdoor basketball courts in nine states around the country.

Back in 2021, the foundation reported program spending of $423,851 to host a basketball skills academy for 130 kids and another $100,00 to support the construction of three basketball courts in Anaheim, Calif., and Philadelphia.

The foundation’s low grantmaking percentage has been particularly criticized. According to the Foundation Center, a nonprofit that tracks grantmaking organizations, the average grantmaking percentage for all U.S. foundations in 2021 was 65.7%.

In contrast, the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation’s grantmaking percentage has been as low as 22%. This suggests that the foundation is spending a significant portion of its revenue on administrative costs or other expenses, rather than on supporting its charitable mission.

The foundation has defended its spending practices, saying that it is focused on making a long-term impact on the lives of young athletes. The foundation points to its work on providing scholarships, mentoring programs, and other resources to young athletes.

However, critics argue that the foundation should be doing more to provide immediate assistance to young athletes in need. They also point to the fact that the foundation has not yet released a detailed breakdown of its expenses, making it difficult to assess how it is using its resources.


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