One of the features of Washington Nationals home games, and a number of other professional sporting events too, is the 50-50 raffle — giving one lucky fan the chance to go home with a few extra dollars, while the rest of the money usually goes to some kind of charitable donation.
But with no fans in Nationals Park, the team can’t really do that this year. But as weird as baseball is in 2020, the Nats are coming up with something new.
“What we can do is help fans contribute not only to Nationals Philanthropies, but also organizations that are doing good, and in some cases, even partner with our players,” said Tal Alter, CEO of Nationals Philanthropies.
The organization is encouraging fans to donate online what they would have spent on tickets. Half the money will go to Nationals Philanthropies, while the other half will go to various local nonprofits.
“For every home series, we will have a new partner,” said Alter.
In the first series against the Yankees, for instance, the Nationals teamed up with Adam Eaton’s choice of the Dragonfly Foundation, which helps families with pediatric cancer.
Alter said the next home series will feature another local nonprofit.
“We are a platform, the brand of the Washington Nationals is a civic brand,” said Alter.
“We want to use the platform that we have to bring people into our philanthropic umbrella, to do more to support local organizations, and to help our fans and our community at large.”
The next home game — without in-house attendance — is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, when the New York Mets take on the Nationals.