Building a Tribe to Change the World with Pat Shea, CEO of Givful

I have never convinced anybody to join something that wasn’t theirs to begin with... If there’s something that the world needs done, there are people who will support it.”
— Pat Shea
PAT episode.png

Her Story of Success...

  Pat Shea knows firsthand the power of mobilizing a tribe to work toward a common mission. She learned this skill through her experience in corporate America, when she started and ran three consulting divisions at the largest for-profit healthcare company in the U.S.. Pat then took her skills to the nonprofit sector, where she became CEO of YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee. During her time there, Pat implemented new initiatives like MEND, the YWCA Advocacy committee, the junior board and more. By bringing people together for a common goal and then allowing those people to take action in their own ways, Pat helped turn the fight against domestic violence into a city-wide campaign, where individual leaders have stepped up to create even more widespread change than she could have on her own.


Today, Pat serves as CEO and president of Givful, a technology startup that provides employers and their associates with the opportunity to support a culture of giving. She’s been honored for her years of important work with awards like the Nashville Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs, the 2017 Women of Influence/Trailblazers List, and Cable’s “Promote Women Award.” Pat is passionate about finding ways to empower others so they can give back to the community with radical generosity, and she does it in a way that’s so inspiring.

In This Episode: In this episode, Pat shares how her experience working in corporate America helped her realize her passion of “helping others help others” and leadership skills (6:15). That realization led her into the nonprofit space, where she learned how to fundraise by mobilizing people to help achieve a common good (9:47). Pat tells the powerful story of how she became the CEO of YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee and was able to turn the struggling organization around (12:01). During her time there, she implemented new initiatives and raised money to help achieve the organization’s mission of ending racism and violence against women (14:39). 

Pat and Leah also discuss practical advice for finding a way to give back to the community that aligns with your own individual passions (24:55), and Pat shares some incredible stories of how other women helped her continue her work, even when she made mistakes along the way (33:00). After 17 years in the nonprofit world, Pat moved on to Givful, and she opens up about how she knew it was time to leave the YWCA so that someone else could carry on her work (38:55). 

As an experienced mentor and leader, Pat has seen many women struggle with comparison and negative thinking, and she explains how she works to overcome that struggle in her own life (46:09). She also offers encouragement to listeners about the value of radical generosity (49:40), shares the books and podcasts that have impacted her the most, such as anything Brene Brown and Michal Singer (50:57), and she encourages women to find success by being present in every moment (52:35).