Joan Woods


Joan Woods joined the Pulitzer Center as Campaign Director in 2016. A graduate of Howard University, she has over 25 years of nonprofit fundraising and communications experience, with a strong interest and ability in telling stories of nonprofit impact and strengthening the fundraising systems and strategies that sustain nonprofits over the long term.

Her background includes work with small and mid-sized nonprofits in the Washington, DC region, including The Enterprise Foundation, Martha's Table and Bright Beginnings. Joan has extensive expertise in foundation and corporate fundraising (including sponsorships), special events, individual and major donor fundraising, direct mail and membership acquisition. Additionally, she has expertise in high-level communications and planning as well as brand management and communications collateral. She has helped many nonprofits to strengthen their fundraising and communications operations and make measurable progress in increasing institutional gifts and major donor support and growing visibility and traditional and new media attention.

Before joining the Pulitzer Center, Joan served as Vice President, Development and Communications for the Kakenya Center of Excellence, an international NGO and as Director of Development at Martha's Table during an intense expansion of its vision and mission - helping the new CEO grow private fundraising from $2.8 to $7.4 million in two years. Joan has served as chief fundraiser for many progressive nonprofit organizations addressing poverty and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable, including Bright Beginnings, a nationally recognized child development and family services center for homeless children; Peace x Peace (Peace by Peace) an international women's organization; the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a faith-based coalition for reproductive justice; and a national crime victim agency. She additionally supports a variety of emerging nonprofits, such as Stone Soup Films, The High Tea Society and Family Restoration and Healing Center with development, communications and organizational development as they strengthen and grow their organizations.

Before her nonprofit career, Joan worked as a newspaper reporter and/or bureau chief for daily newspapers. She holds a B.A. in Journalism from Howard University.

Contact Joan at jwoods(at)