At first it was only Bill Sweitzer, a husband, father and former Fortune 100 executive, who packed up and made the move from Indiana to Southern California.
Sweitzer wanted his 10-year-old daughter Claudia to stay in the school where she was comfortable and be with the friends she knew. Plus it just didn’t seem necessary to uproot his wife of 19 years. He was working long hours anyway, building a new business venture from the ground up. He’d be very busy but he believed the sacrifice would be worth it.
Giive.org, the business venture, is a dream come true for Sweitzer. While some men want to play baseball or climb Mt. Everest, Sweitzer has a deep passion for nonprofits and creating innovative ways to help them sustain themselves.
“Nonprofits are about constantly raising money and asking for contributions, constantly. It may be slightly more difficult than politics,” says Sweitzer. “Clearly there are better ways than the struggle model of working endlessly to keep the doors open and the lights on to service the people your charity was created to help.”
Giive empowers individuals and businesses to make a charitable difference in their communities through informed philanthropy and volunteerism.
Giive.org connects volunteers with community non profits. It helps by engaging partners through mixed media, live events and social calendars.
As Sweitzer worked to make this new business sustainable and viable, he regretted his decision to leave his family and move to Southern California alone.
He struggled with fatherhood because his daughter was thousands of miles away. How could he be a good father or husband living in L.A. while his family lived 2000 miles away in Indiana?
“I went back as often as I could but it wasn’t the same as living in the same city and being there on a daily basis,” says Sweitzer. “I was busy. But it became clear we should be together.”
Given the amount of work involved in getting the venture off the ground, he decided to make both of them part of the new enterprise so he could spend more time with them.
“Rather than make this about my work and my company I figured they could help build it… it would be a family affair,” remembers Sweitzer.
Giive.org got off the ground this year. Founded by Bruce Gehrke on the premise of connecting volunteers to qualified nonprofits, and co-founded by Sweitzer, the vision is to build stronger communities through informed giving.
Today Dana Sweitzer is the Chief Financial Officer and President of Giive. Because of her background in Corporate Responsibility, she is responsible for Giive’s business services,
“I believe that corporations and businesses are only as strong as their communities,” she says. “That helps them invest into their communities with philanthropy and corporate volunteerism.”
His 10-year-old is now in fifth grade. She loves animals and has a rescue Pit-bull named Roxy as a pet.
Her hobbies are surfing, volleyball and piano. And, she too, has a title in the company: Chief Youth Officer.
She’s a sounding board for ideas involving youth who are beginning their charitable life. She is learning about charity early on and the importance of volunteering and giving.
“Giive has given me so much,” says Sweitzer. “I always knew that Giive could be huge for charities. I just never expected that it would help me be a better husband and dad.”