Shawn Wehan's Story:
Shawn Wehan lives a life of purpose, which, in his case, is to help bridge the gap between the needs of the community and the gifts and talents of its members. As Shawn puts it, “The world is full of people who want to be a force for good. They sometimes just don’t know where to start.”
Shawn’s story begins his freshman year of college when he was interning at a soup kitchen and homeless shelter located in the heart of Denver, Colorado. Every day Shawn would mop the floors of the shelter and spend time interacting with community members, learning their stories and struggles. Shawn found the work fulfilling and even more enjoyable then his time studying radio broadcasting. Over the years Shawn volunteered for numerous community organizations and upon graduating from college, left radio altogether and joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps for a year of service work in Mobile, Alabama.
At the age of 22, Shawn returned to his hometown of Dana Point, California, and began a career as a youth minister. Over the course of ten years, Shawn introduced thousand of teens to the value and joy of community service work. His programs included numerous trips to orphanages in Mexico and assisting nonprofits throughout Orange County. As Shawn often shares, “I like to pull people out of their comfort zone and watch their surprise when they discover how good it feels to use their gifts and talents in service to others.”
In 2009, Shawn formed a nonprofit called Future Leaders of Our Community (FLOC), a young professional organization focused on awareness and hands-on volunteering with local nonprofits. He grew the organization throughout San Diego, Orange County, and Los Angeles, working with hundreds of nonprofits and thousands of young professionals. It was during this time that technology and smartphones began to present a new opportunity for engagement with nonprofits. Shawn envisioned a world where one could use a smartphone to connect with a nonprofit that meant something to them and then make donations, purchase tickets, and request to volunteer, all with just a few easy clicks. Shawn saw this technology as an extraordinary opportunity to democratize philanthropy.
In 2013, Shawn co-founded, Givsum, Inc., (short for “Giving Summary”), with the goal of bringing all elements of philanthropy (donors, nonprofits, service clubs, schools, and businesses) onto a single platform where they can all interact. Shawn and his team designed Givsum so users could quickly find opportunities to engage in their community and by doing so build a philanthropic resume and earn a Givsum Score™. Over the last five years, the platform has steadily grown and is working to expand the scope of philanthropy by encouraging users to actively share their profiles, which inspires further community engagement.
Along with being the CEO of Givsum, Inc., Shawn is an Executive Coach with Emergent Success, LLC, he is the host of the podcast American Philanthropy, and a member of the Advisory Team for the Institute for Community Impact.
Shawn, has devoted his life to building a more engaged and inspired community. Whether it be through hands-on service, ministry, nonprofit leadership or technology, Shawn is committed to helping others find their “greater purpose”. While he has already done so much in that regard, he says that he’s just getting started and knows that our collective future will be far brighter than any of us can individually imagine.