Carolyn Della Maggiore, Bachelor's in Communication Studies '01

Giant Opportunity

An internship with the SF Giants led to an opportunity with the Giants Community fund, the team’s nonprofit that gives kids who can’t afford Little League a chance to play ball.

For Carolyn Della Maggiore ’01, the San Francisco Giants are more than just a premier MLB team — they’re a community anchor, helping underserved communities across Northern California.

Carolyn’s the development director of the Giants Fund, the team’s nonprofit. The fund raises millions of dollars a year for community grants and to support the Junior Giants program, which provides more than 25,000 at-risk children in 90 communities in California, Nevada, and Oregon a chance to play ball. The Giants won USF’s California Prize for Service and the Common Good in 2012.

Under Carolyn, the fund established an annual fundraising program, the Junior Giants Stretch Drive, that brings in $400,000 a year to support the youth baseball program.

“It means more giving gloves, more bats, and more children the chance to play the game they love — baseball,” she says.

From intern to Giants veteran

Carolyn’s career with the Giants began while she was still a student at USF. The summer before her senior year, the communications major landed an internship with the Giants as a game day suite attendant, providing customer service to guests in the luxury suites in the then new AT&T Park. She worked the first Opening Day at the ballpark, and got a behind-the-scenes look at how the stadium and team operate. That summer she also discovered the Giants Community Fund when she volunteered for a children’s reading celebration at the park.

As USF students, we were given opportunities and encouraged to get out and assist our community.

After graduating, she returned to the Giants to intern with the fund, helping to raise money through memorabilia auctions held online and at the park. That turned into a full-time job and Carolyn hasn’t looked back — this year she’s celebrating her 17th season opener with the Giants.

“I feel very fortunate to be part of the Giants organization,” she says. “I’m happy we’re able to use baseball as a vehicle to brighten someone’s day or inspire change.”

Carolyn always wanted to work in the nonprofit sector, and her time at USF cemented her love for community work. She was philanthropy chair for her sorority, Delta Zeta, and managed the sorority’s Adopt-a-Family gift-giving program during the Christmas season. She also volunteered as a classroom assistant at an elementary school in the Mission district, and worked over spring break to build homes for Habitat for Humanity in San Francisco’s Bayview district.

“As USF students, we were given opportunities and encouraged to get out and assist our community,” she says. “Don’t just be a body taking up space. Pay it forward and participate in where you live.”

The game they love

The most rewarding aspect of her job, Carolyn says, is seeing the difference her work makes in the lives of children. One grandmother wrote the fund to tell them about how her grandson, born missing a hand, was welcomed when he joined the Junior Giants. He was even voted by his team for an award exemplifying the Junior Giants’ Four Bases of Character Development: Confidence, Integrity, Leadership, and Teamwork.

“It’s so rewarding to hear about and see the kids who participate in our program,” Carolyn says. “We give every child the opportunity to play.”