About Us

The Swifty Foundation began with Michael. Shortly after his diagnosis, Michael recruited his friends to raise money for cancer research by selling golf balls they found on a nearby golf course. This led him to recruit teams for the annual Relay for Life. At the end of Michael’s battle, with his parent’s help, he started the Swifty Foundation.

The torch of Michael’s leadership was passed to the Junior Board. In our early years, Swifty placed a priority on youth involvement, creating opportunities for them to learn about all aspects of philanthropy, engage in a mission they care about and invite their peers to become involved. These young people will be among our next generation of leaders.

In 2015, Swifty was named the Ronald McDonald House CNI’s Charity of the Year. With this honor came the benefit of a year-long mentoring program for our Junior Board. It sure paid off because the next year the Chicago Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals honored Swifty Foundation with its Youth in Philanthropy Award. By 2017, our junior board helped Swifty reach the milestone of raising its first million dollars through community fundraising events, peer-to-peer fundraising and the generosity of many individuals.

By 2020, most of our junior board had graduated college and begun their careers. Michael continues to direct Swifty’s work as we focus much of our energy on Gift from a Child, our program for post-mortem tissue collection. This program was inspired by Michael’s Master plan to donate his tissue to research after his death. We are grateful that some of our junior board now serve on our governing board, and all of them are just a phone call away when we need help!

It is important to note that 100 percent of all donations received by the Swifty Foundation go directly to funding pediatric brain cancer research. Michael’s family pays all administrative costs, so with every donation you get a lot of bang for your buck!

Finally, in case you are curious, the name Swifty is the nickname Michael’s grandfather called anyone who he liked … as in “Hey Swifty!” Michael thought it a positive and fun choice for the Foundation’s name.