Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy Webb.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
A native of Decatur, GA, Joy was raised with a high value of volunteering and commitment to education from her educator parents. As engaged volunteers in the community, Joy’s parents instilled the importance of community building which she has continued as a member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. Joy is a graduate of Florida A & M University with a BS in Graphic Design and she received her MBA from University of Phoenix. Most of her professional career has been spent marketing for fortune 500 companies. The blending of her creative education and her corporate experience allows Joy to establish synergy by connecting the common dots.
Understanding that “to whom much is given much is required”, Joy founded The Circle of Joy (COJ) Giving Circle. COJ is a philanthropic vehicle that promotes collective giving. As a group, members of the circle pool their extensive resources to strategically invest in improving the quality of life for the youth of the Atlanta Metro Area. This intentional collective giving has made a great impact in the lives of youth in the community.
My story is really a story of relationships and taking action. I was volunteering in a program for Atlanta Public Schools and a friend had a gathering at the conclusion of a work day. At that gathering, I engaged with new people and a conversation started that lead to the topic of giving circles. I was intrigued by the concept; however, I was unfamiliar with it. I had an opportunity to learn more about giving circles and especially African–American and people of color led giving circles through the Community Investment Network. As a non-profit, it inspires people to give by design. Motivated, I gathered a few like-minded friends and family who had the heart and desire to give back to our communities. Enthusiastic to be part of the new opportunity that ‘Joy’ introduced them to, we all worked together to form the Circle of Joy giving circle. We have been able to partner with some great non-profits that support the youth of Metropolitan Atlanta. We are encouraged by Margaret Meade’s quote “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” We celebrated our 10th year in 2018 and have given to the following great organizations:
I Have a Dream Foundation
Students without Mothers
Focus Community Strategies
All Grown Up
Community Teen Coalition
YMCA, Villages of Carvers
A Friend Like Me
Technologist of Color
The grants we give are some of the few that come from people that look like the organizations they serve. It is a pleasure to share our story with the groups we partner with as they may not be familiar with the giving circle model. We are able to communicate the power of collective giving and highlight how everyday people can do extraordinary things for our communities.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
You would think it would be easy to fund organizations that are in need but the challenge lies in explaining this untraditional philanthropic model, especially when my background is not from the non–profit world. It is a foreign narrative to share with the public that the faces of humanitarian acts can look like people in the community or a family member. The members of the Circle of Joy have represented this example over the last decade and have successfully charted our course in a non-traditional philanthropic way.
Please tell us about Circle of Joy Giving Circle.
The Circle of Joy giving circle prides itself with establishing and maintaining partnerships throughout our community. We lead with treasure and follow with our time and talent by providing grants to nonprofits every two years. The money we have given is from our members so we have been on the supply side of philanthropy as opposed to the demand side which receives the grant. We have had the opportunity to partner with great community building organizations that are helping our youth in Metro Atlanta be better citizens. We have given over $100,000 in time, talent, and treasure grants to Atlanta nonprofits.
The supporters of our work and the members of the giving circle are the reason the circle is successful. The members include Janice Bright, Rebecca Bright, Chonda Turner Carney, Lisa Haygood, Dennisha Haynes, Natasha A Harrison, Vivian Epps, Brandi Farmer, Ava Johnson, April Jones, Travis Joshua, Joni Tabb, Gloria Webb, and Krystal Webb.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I always enjoyed traveling as a child and seeing people thrive in various communities, often times with limited resources.
- Website: www.circleofjoyatl.org
- Email: info@circleofjoyatl,org
- Instagram: @circleofjoyatl
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Circle-of-Joy-227538263970777/?tn-str=k*F
- Twitter: @circleofjoyatl
JAS PHOTO, Fields Vision Photography