Dan Snyder: Franchise Owner Turned Community Activist

Pairing his passion for football with his enterprising skills, Daniel Snyder’s impacted the lives of many people within the DC area and beyond. As the owner of the Washington Football Team, Snyder leads a business life focused heavily on the team and its parallel pursuits. Though Snyder realizes that his elite status has led to a wide range of financial blessings, he publicly says he’s humbled by the opportunity’s he’s had to improve the world. It’s for this reason that he’s dedicated his career to giving back. When Snyder purchased the team in 1999, he immersed himself in the philanthropic side of this endeavor immediately.

His first act was to create the Washington Charitable Foundation. With guiding principles of compassion and generosity, the Washington Charitable Foundation seeks to empower the less fortunate through impactful acts of kindness. Since its inception 21 years ago, it’s done just that. While Snyder’s foundation is involved in several charitable pursuits, it focuses on areas of health, wellness, community outreach, and education. The Washington Charitable Foundation is also equally committed to fostering positive youth development.

Through school workshops and special events, the Washington Charitable Foundation has pushed literacy efforts forward, expanded wellness programs, and provided more reading resources. In addition to these initiatives, the Washington Charitable Foundation also tackles the rigors of homelessness. To ensure that homeless and impoverished children have basic necessities, Snyder initiated Loads of Love. This project provides laundry facilities to those in unstable living situations. To date, over 80 organizations and schools have been equipped with laundry centers.

Even more than the local youth groups and homeless communities have benefited from Snyder’s benevolent efforts. When Hurricane Matthew devastated the Caribbean, The Washington Charitable Foundation sprang into action, delivering emergency supplies to regions that had been hit the hardest. A similar approach was taken when Indonesia and Thailand endured a tsunami in 2004. The Washington Charitable Foundation’s willingness to supply immediate relief inspired other organizations to follow suit.

At his core, Dan Snyder is a businessman with purpose, looking to bring hope to the hopeless. He’s provided ongoing support to the Children’s National Hospital and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, and with his generous contributions, the NCMEC developed a new communications center. The Snyder and Family Communications Center conducts hundreds of calls per day to get families in touch with their missing children. In recognition of his direct involvement with the effort, Dan Snyder’s been recognized by the NCMEC at their annual dinner celebration.

Currently, Snyder’s set his sights on combatting racial injustice. When George Floyd was racially profiled and, in turn, unjustly killed, it sparked a much-needed conversation nationwide. Inspired by the changes that were quickly taking hold, Snyder donated $250,000 to a grassroots campaign that raises awareness about social inequalities by educating communities on the glaring discrimination that people of color face every day. The global pandemic is another crisis we’re all currently facing, and Snyder is taking a proactive approach to help fight COVID-19 and its secondary effects.

When the coronavirus hit, Snyder set up testing sites at FedExField to ensure that the residents of Prince George’s County had access to necessary resources. To guarantee that community members were properly provided for, Snyder donated $100,000 to food banks in the area. With this hefty endowment, Snyder reduced food insecurity in the area. The Washington Charitable Foundation has also proven advantageous to military members. With Snyder’s guidance, the foundation created Salute, an innovative organization unlike any other in existence at the time.

Salute is the Washington Football Team’s military appreciation organization, and it honors the brave men and women of our armed forces through events, parties, and ceremonies. But Snyder went another step further when he changed the life of a paralyzed veteran. Luis Avila, a loyal Washington Football Team fan, lost his ability to move after serving in the U.S. Army. In 2016, Snyder partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to show his appreciation for Avila’s sacrifices. Through their collaborative efforts, they built Avila a smart home customized to meet his unique physical and lifestyle needs.

These days, Snyder’s making improvements to the Washington Football Team home stadium. To enhance the fan experience, Snyder’s added new clocks, seats, and video displays to the field. He’s also updated the escalators, added more luxury suites, and made adjustments to the stadium gates. When he’s not working hard to change lives, Snyder enjoys spending his days in Potomac alongside his wife— another sign that Snyder is a DC-area native through and through.

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