Joann Wooley – Legacy Circle Program Manager for Colorado Public Radio
For Joann Wooley the largest bequest Colorado Public Radio ever received was missing an important piece. Although the impact of the gift was huge, it felt incomplete because Wooley never met the donor. The donor had never given to the radio station before. No one knew her, and she had no family remaining to thank.
“That breaks my heart. One of the best parts of the job is saying thank you.”
She’s also driven by the why. In fact, Wooley says she’s fueled and motivated when donors share their stories of why her organization is important enough for them to continue their support beyond their lifetime.
“I’m excited when a donor answers the phone and I have an opportunity to talk,” says Wooley, who has been with Colorado Public Radio nearly 14 years. “Stories motivate and validate my work and inspire me to do more.”
She recalled making her own will five years ago. “It really is empowering to create your legacy and examine what you value.”
A native of Syracuse, New York, Wooley began her non-profit career by serving on several boards. She had studied music and business and worked in book sales and management before moving to Colorado 20 years ago. Those volunteer positions, one for an animal nonprofit, brought out her compassionate side, she says, and influenced her to seek out working for a nonprofit.
She joined Colorado Public Radio where she's held several different development jobs. She managed components of the planned giving program along with other responsibilities in development for about four years. A little more than a year ago the opportunity arose to make planned giving her full-time position.
Colorado Public Radio’s Legacy Circle has grown immensely in the last three or four years, with nearly 800 members. “It just felt like a right fit for me,” Wooley says.
She credits Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable for educating her in the field of planned giving. Through the luncheons and Summer Symposium, which she calls “a gift,” she’s learned the particulars. She’s also been inspired by other members whom she’s met and credits several women mentors who have been role models for her. “It’s such a great educational and networking resource.”
For those who are just embarking on planned giving or getting a program started, she shared one bit of advice: “Don’t worry about perfection, just get started.”
Wooley has served on CPGR’s Development Committee and is a proud Legacy Partner. She’s also a Legacy Circle Member at Colorado Public Radio.
Written by Olivia Mayer, Director of Donor Relations at Christian Living Communities