Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre used his charitable foundation to donate more than $130,000 to the University of Southern Mississippi athletic foundation from 2018-2020, according to Katie Strang and Kalyn Kahler of The Athletic.
Its foundation, Favre 4 Hope, has helped support “underserved and disabled children and breast cancer patients” for years. This foundation gave the Southern Mississippi Athletic Foundation $60,000 in 2018, which was $50,000 more than any other charity in the same year. He gave over $46,800 in 2019, then over $26,100 in 2020.
During that time, Favre 4 Hope gave no other charity more than $11,000, according to the report.
Favre 4 Hope also donated $60,000 to the Oak Grove High School Booster Club in 2015. Favre’s daughter was a high school volleyball player at the time, and the donation was later given to school for the stated purpose of “helping build a sports facility.” The school opened a nearly 15,000 square foot volleyball facility later that year.
While it’s not explicitly clear what Favre’s donations south of the Mississippi were used for or if any conditions were imposed on them, they don’t appear to have any bearing on the charity’s purpose — which, again. times, is to help underprivileged children and breast cancer patients. .
“You can’t say you’re raising money for one purpose and then spending it on something totally different,” Laurie Styron, executive director of CharityWatch, told The Athletic. “Charities have an ethical obligation, and in some cases a legal obligation, to respond to the intentions of their donors in how funds are spent.”
Favre’s lawyer and agent, who also sits on the board of Favre 4 Hope, declined to comment to The Athletic.
Text messages showed Favre pushing Mississippi state officials to help fund a new volleyball arena and indoor football facility in southern Mississippi — even after the government at the time. Phil Bryant told him that misuse of public funds could be illegal. Some of the funds Favre wanted to use came from a federal program to help families in need.
In total, more than $5 million has been raised from public funds to help build the university’s volleyball facility, where Favre’s daughter recently played.
Several people involved in the alleged scheme have pleaded guilty for their roles. Favre is also charged in a civil case brought by the state after he received $1.1 million in social funds but has yet to repay $228,000 in interest.
Favre has not been charged with a crime.
Favre 4 Hope was founded in 1995 by Favre and his wife, Deanna, in his early days with the Packers. Deanna was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, prompting the Favre Foundation to focus on providing financial assistance to other breast cancer patients.