Staff Profile: A Conversation with Emily Stork

November 15, 2023

As Planned Giving Officer, Emily Stork leads CCF’s Sartori Circle program, which recognizes and brings together donors of testamentary gifts who have decided to make a long-term impact on the lives of others through their charitable bequests. Emily works closely with donors to ensure their bequests, whether they include gifts of real estate, closely held stock or other gifts of cash or complex assets, fulfill their philanthropic visions for supporting the causes they care about. Emily also promotes CCF’s gift planning services by developing and deepening relationships with donors, advisors, and nonprofits. Emily brings over 11 years of fundraising experience, a legal background, and a love for Los Angeles County and its fascinating communities to this position.

Emily earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College (MHC) in International Relations and Spanish and her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. After college, Emily was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Argentina.

Q. Can you share about your professional journey and what led you to work in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector?

Since my time as a student at Mount Holyoke College (MHC) and, subsequently, as a Fulbright Fellow, I wanted to contribute to the greater good through the nonprofit sector.

Prior to joining CCF, I served as the Director of Development for The ALS Association Golden West Chapter. In that position, I expanded the Chapter’s planned giving, major gifts, and annual fund programs.

My interest in planned giving began when I worked for MHC as a Major Gift Officer. I had the chance to travel with planned giving officers and meet alumnae who were passionate about the College. We had inspiring conversations about the ways donors wanted to support MHC’s students and faculty for generations to come. I realized I loved planned giving because the conversations revolve around people’s hopes and dreams for the future. I also found learning about the different charitable vehicles to be interesting. This curiosity and my family’s deep connection to the law led me to attend Loyola Law School here in Los Angeles.

I am thrilled to have recently joined CCF in the position of Planned Giving Officer, and I look forward to working with advisors in service of their clients.

Q. What issues are you passionate about?

For my family and I, philanthropy has always been a communal experience. My husband and I make our charitable decisions in consultation with each other and have established a donor advised fund at CCF. We’re looking forward to including our 6-year-old son in the decision-making process.

The issues we are most passionate about include education, particularly supporting our local public schools through the Pasadena Educational Foundation. Since we are caring for a member of the next generation, climate change and gun violence are also deeply concerning. We also support women’s healthcare, voting rights, worker’s and immigrant rights, and international aid organizations, like Doctor’s Without Borders.

Q. What gets you excited about the work that CCF does?

I believe in the dignity of every human being and the importance of strong communities throughout Los Angeles County. CCF’s core areas of focus – health, immigration, education, and housing – hold the promise of realizing Los Angeles County’s potential to be a welcoming place for a wide variety of people and cultures. To me, the diversity that exists here is what makes it such an interesting place to call home.

I am also excited by how CCF seeks to address the most pressing problems in Los Angeles County. For example, CCF created the Home L.A. Loan Fund to help address the housing crisis. This Fund pools donor investments and uses them to provide three-to-five-year seed capital to partner organizations building permanent supportive housing units for chronically unhoused individuals. Since its inception, the Home L.A. Loan Fund has helped create 3,645 affordable and supportive housing units in various phases of development. This Loan Fund is a great example of CCF’s innovative approach to tackling Los Angeles County’s most challenging problems.

Q. What do you enjoy most about working with advisors?

I enjoy getting to know advisors and learning about them and their clients’ needs. It is also interesting to hear advisor’s stories about how they came to work in the financial services industry. If I listen closely, I can better understand how CCF might be able to help them with our robust offerings and stellar customer service.

I also love learning new things about Los Angeles County from advisors. These can be anything from a new resource about planned giving to an exciting restaurant I’ve never tried. There is so much to discover about Los Angeles and working with advisors opens doors to new experiences, both professionally and personally.

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