Volunteer of the Year Award
The Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism (NEOPAT)
CBIZ Retirement Plan Services
CBIZ Financial Solutions
Michael J. Swallow, senior vice president at CBIZ Retirement Plan Services in Cleveland, is leading the way for the next generation of philanthropists. Mr. Swallow and his team co-founded the Northeast Ohio Foundation for Patriotism (NEOPAT) in 2011 to support local military personnel and their families, and to create a bridge between military and nonmilitary Ohioans.
“Our generation wants to do great things. There’s a pent-up demand for community,” Mr. Swallow said. “You just have to make it exciting and easy.” NEOPAT’s 10 board members are all between 29 and 45.
The charity focuses its energy on four areas: health/morale/emergency aid — such as rent, utilities, home repairs and holiday gifts — remembrance/memorial projects, educational scholarships, and events that promote patriotism. NEOPAT’s mission has resonated powerfully with its supporters. Fundraising and donor engagement exploded from the start.
For example, the charity’s first annual gala attracted 500 attendees and netted $42,000 just two months after the organization was launched. Last year, the net was $70,000, and it is $85,000 so far in 2013.
Since January 2011 — with the help of some 40 corporations and 500 nonmilitary families — NEOPAT has donated more than $250,000 to serve the needs of about 3,000 military families.
“This cause is unopposed,” Mr. Swallow said. “It’s tremendously powerful.”