PODCAST: How a love for football turned into a passion for philanthropy

Written on Sep 19, 2019

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Not everyone gets to turn their passion into an opportunity to help others. But Tyler Suter, CPA, was able to do just that when it came to his life-long love of football.

“I’m really lucky in that regard,” he said on the latest episode of The State of Business podcast. “It’s been amazing.”

Suter first started working as a volunteer with the Central Ohio NFL Alumni Association after a coworker approached him to get involved. From there he started taking on more responsibility, leading to his role today as treasurer. He said his main responsibility is ensuring the association meets its goals to raise money for charity, including by managing their annual golf tournament.

Although Suter never played in the NFL, he describes himself as a passionate fan and said his ideal day consists of watching football with his family.

He also runs his own business, Suter Financial LLC, but said working with a 501(c)(3) has been an interesting learning experience when it comes to seeking out donors and holding events.

“When you're raising money for charity, you have to pinch every dollar that you can,” he said. “Because in the end you're just trying to do what's best to raise as much money as you can.”

Suter also is a member of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Development Board. Although he said he didn’t seek out any of these commitments, he’s always open to trying new things and pushing himself to grow.

“If you don't take the opportunities that are put in front of you and you get comfortable, that's when you hit your ceiling and you start to regress,” he said. “You're not bettering yourself; you're not bettering anyone around you; you're just kind of mixing in with the crowd.”

Suter said young professionals, especially, shouldn’t be intimidated by getting involved with charity work, even if they have no experience in the area.

“It took me five, six years of my professional career before I even thought about doing anything with charity,” Suter said. “It's been good for my career. I think you should get involved, because it teaches you to put other people in front of yourself.”

Along with the professional advantages of making connections and growing your expertise, Suter said giving back can help give you perspective and enrich your life in ways you don’t expect.

“Personally, it's all about stepping back,” Suter said. “Stop thinking about yourself so much. That's the definition of charity.”

Listen to the episode available now.

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