Massachusetts Pirates Foundation

By: Oliver Nissi
Pirates Insider
November 15, 2020

WORCESTER, MA. — This week marks three years since the Massachusetts Pirates unveiled their plans to become a professional arena football team. Throughout its time, the team has put great focus in performing at its best on the field. But even more so, the Pirates have placed a larger emphasis on being a leading performer off the field, priding themselves as a community first sports organization.

The team is eager to continue to give back, and moving forward, the Pirates will be scheduling these events under a more formal umbrella: the Massachusetts Pirates Foundation. The foundation will integrate and produce various opportunities among the Pirates’ community. Team Founder and President Jawad Yatim spoke with about developing the team’s reputation of being a progressively accommodating philanthropic leader.

“The Massachusetts Pirates Foundation will provide us with more flexibility and validity when it comes to our philanthropic involvement. We always try and stay busy when it comes to getting out and being a positive influence among our community. With so much of our staff being from the area we serve, it certainly adds to the motivation we have to make a difference here in the Bay State and all of New England. We couldn’t be anymore excited for the launch of our foundation.”

Ashley Zipkin, a board member for the Pirates, feels thrilled to have the team bring a foundation to her hometown. “I am so excited for the launch of the Mass Pirates foundation. It is going to provide some major opportunities for the Pirates to help local programs and volunteer in the community. I grew up in the area so it makes being a member of the board that much more meaningful.”

This past summer, Pirates players and personnel supplied BodyArmour sports
drinks to front-liners at UMass Memorial – Marlborough Hospital.

The Pirates Director of Community Outreach, Julia Burkhardt, also played a pivotal role in bringing the foundation to life and believes it will bring promising outcomes.

“I think this opens so many doors for us to really focus on more charitable work. Now that we have a 501(c)3 it enables us to more readily partner with other nonprofit organizations. Overall, I think this really encourages our organization to work hard and create as much positive change in the community as possible – there are no excuses, we have the framework and the power to do so!”

A key focus the Pirates have always taken seriously in the community is supporting its surrounding youth and education. The team has taken strides with this responsibility in the P.A.S.S. Program, where the organization assists the literacy and healthy habits of students in local schools. The program is still operating virtually in the midst of the pandemic.

Other essential areas the Pirates are concentrated on is giving back to military veterans and frontliners, as well as making humane efforts to assist the less fortunate. As New England’s sole professional arena football team, the Pirates know the importance of embracing their role to help propel their entire community.

The Pirates received the 2019 Community Relations Award in their former league, the National Arena League. As they transition to the Indoor Football League, the organization will have their eyes set on bringing home more of these types of hardware in the years to come.

For more information about the Massachusetts Pirates Foundation, please visit, email the Pirates at, or reach out to Julia Burkhardt at (508) 452-6277.

The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email or visit Single-game tickets are available online at or the DCU Center Box Office. For season, half-season, luxury, or group ticket packages please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook via, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates. #GetHooked #AllAboard