Joan Woods

Joan Woods

Expert in Residence, Development Communications

Pronouns: She / Her / Hers

Joan Woods is a relationship builder and resource development expert on a mission to change the way that social good organizations think about—and prepare—to raise the financial resources, investors and support they need to achieve their mission. Joan believes that everyone at a nonprofit is part of the fundraising team and needs to be prepared to share its story and impact and their personal connection to the mission. For the last 25 years, she has led fundraising and communications strategy and execution for high-profile, high-performing and high-potential nonprofits such as Martha’s Table, Bright Beginnings, and the Kakenya Center for Excellence at key growth points.

Joan sharpened her fundraising vision and approach across a broad range of local, regional, national and internationally-focused nonprofit organizations and significant issues such as international girl’s education, reproductive rights, crime victim rights, housing and community development, child development and homeless family services. Her expertise in fundraising planning and execution is laser focused on presenting a distinct, compelling vision for the future that engages new investors and builds donor relationships for the long term while also ensuring appropriate internal systems and strategies are in place to support donor-facing efforts.

Along with her focus on developing, executing and communicating a strategic fundraising vision, Joan has extensive expertise in the nuts and bolts of fundraising (donor systems and prospecting/stewardship strategies) and diversified revenue strategies (institutional fundraising and sponsorships; special events, individual and major donor fundraising; direct mail and membership acquisition; and online giving strategies). She has helped many nonprofits to strengthen their fundraising and communications operations and make measurable progress in increasing institutional gifts and major donor support.

Communicating the good work and impact of social change organizations and positioning them for fundraising success is both a mission and a natural extension of her interest in making a difference in the world. Joan is a natural storyteller who worked as a newspaper reporter and/or bureau chief for daily newspapers. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from Howard University.