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Joe Sullivan

Director, Transformational Giving

Inspiration: When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” — Anthony Robbins

What working in this community means to me: It is an honor for me to work with donors who not only want to alleviate the effects of poverty, but go beyond that, to address the root causes of poverty, and create lasting change. Like many other local residents, I long to see Minneapolis/St. Paul as a community where all of its people thrive, regardless of income, race or place.

Joe has been with Greater Twin Cities United Way since August 2020, working with an experienced and talented team of principal gift and planned giving officers. They work to realize the philanthropic wishes of some of the most generous benefactors in the region, raising funds for strategies that address homelessness, food insecurity, and helping families with young children succeed.

Prior to joining the organization, Joe spent a decade working in higher education philanthropy at the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota. Joe also spent three years working in the institutional gifts division at MacPhail Center for Music. From 1998-2007, Joe had the privilege of being the founder and executive director of the East Metro Music Academy, a nonprofit music school dedicated to providing affordable, accessible music education to students.

Outside of work, Joe lives with his wife, Karen, in Maplewood. They have two adult children and the family enjoys outings together. All are musicians, artists, and lovers of the great outdoors.