We’re celebrating Jolkona’s first 5 years at our Corks & Forks dinner/auction next Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 — and we’re especially thrilled that a table of representatives from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, our original corporate sponsor, will be there to share the excitement!

The communications agency first partnered with us in 2010 for a matching grant campaign called MatchED, which doubled up to $5,000 of donations to educational projects showcased on our website. We’ve partnered together several times since then, and several WE employees are among our most dedicated volunteers.

Waggener EdstromA little trip down memory lane:

As we prepare to celebrate Jolkona’s 5th birthday together and look ahead to another 5 years of inspiring and empowering a new generation of philanthropists, the WE team in Seattle shared these thoughts with us this week:

What is your organization’s mission?

Through communications, we aim to be the voice of innovation and the catalyst of its impact.  Our vision is to be the pre-eminent leader in giving a powerful voice to innovations that influence markets, inspire people and improve lives.

How do you define “philanthropist?”

Simply put, philanthropy is giving back. Or more specifically, being generous by the way of your time, money or influence to help good causes.

At Waggener Edstrom we have closely examined how philanthropy has evolved over the years. In the past, the majority of so-called “philanthropists” were typically older, far along in their careers and would support by writing large checks to well-established foundations and charities. But we are seeing that model shifting drastically. Today’s philanthropists also include young professionals and digital-natives who are passionate about a myriad number of social causes from clean water to universal education to girl’s empowerment. They tend to give smaller amounts and expect organizations to show directly where their money is going. And money is not the only way young people give – the new generation of philanthropists also tend to donate their time, skills and even their influence on social media properties (read more about what WE considers “Social Citizens” here). Similarly, WE have evolved our approach from giving money to focusing on strategically using our time, treasures and talents to work together to drive impactful change in the communities where we live and work.

What does cooking together and sharing a meal mean to you?

The act of cooking and sharing a meal together is so human and universal. We are excited to participate in Corks & Forks to share this bonding experience with our colleagues and others passionate about making a difference in the world.

Why are you supporting Jolkona?

WE are passionate about supporting the new generation of philanthropists and appreciate the dynamic digital platform that Jolkona has built to create big impact through small donations. WE believes in the power of partnerships between the public and private sector and the budding social entrepreneurship sector. The company is also committed to supporting causes that our employees care about and engaged with. Three of our colleagues even sit on Jolkona’s leadership team: Seema Bhende, Director of Strategy; Melinda Moseler, Marketing Advisor for Brand; and Megan Fleming, Social Media Advisor. Through the MatchED and Good Deeds campaigns, numerous donations and volunteer hours, Waggener Edstrom has been supporting Jolkona for over 4 years and will continue to support as long as our employees are engaged in this kind of work.

Anything else you’d like to add?

WE love learning about new causes and projects through Jolkona’s monthly GiveTogether program. Keep inspiring and empowering people to give!

Thank you, Waggener Edstrom!

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It’s Jolkona’s 5th anniversary this fall: 5 years of inspiring and empowering a new generation of philanthropists, by connecting small donors with meaningful giving opportunities that make a big difference locally and globally.

1st Fundraiser

We’re celebrating with our Corks & Forks dinner/auction on Oct. 10, 2013 at Seattle’s Blue Ribbon Cooking & Culinary Center. Will you join us?

The evening will include gourmet cooking and cocktail lessons, fine dining and wine. We can’t wait to thank all our supporters so far, and make some new friends!

We’ve come a long way since Jolkona’s early years, when co-founders Adnan and Nadia Mahmud held small kitchen parties to help raise money for our partners and operations! Check out this archive photo and blog post for a little #ThrowbackThursday trip down memory lane:

Our 1st Ever Fundraiser!

We had a turn out of about 20 people and we were able to raise little over $1000 during the event!!! We are very encouraged by the turn out of mostly college students and young professionals and by the fact that we were able to raise $1000 from such a small crowd.

Bidding Our Time

The money raised at Corks & Forks helps cover Jolkona’s basic operations (rent, equipment, staff). In October 2012, the first time we held this dinner/auction, we raised $32,000 — and we’ve already sold more tickets for this year’s event!

Much of the ticket price goes to the event costs, so we are especially grateful to our generous sponsors: Inome, Outerwall, the Seattle International Foundation and others. Also, our auction donations look absolutely amazing — get your paddle arms ready!

A sneak preview:


  • Four Disneyland Resort 1-Day Park Hopper Tickets, valued at $548.

Passes are valid during normal operating hours and provide admission to a magical experience at both DisneylandPark and Disney California Adventure Park for one day. A magical experience for all ages!




  • Elephant Bath at the Woodland Park Zoo, valued at $1,000.

You and five guests get to step behind the scenes at the Woodland Park Zoo’s Elephant Barn and watch up close as one of the magnificent elephants receives her daily bath and check-up! 



  • Seattle Pop Art, valued at $130.

Stretched canvas print by Parinita Salian. This would make a stylish addition to your home or office, or a great holiday gift!

  • And many more!

Hope to see you there: Get your Corks & Forks tickets quickly, before we sell out!

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Jolkona’s 2nd annual Corks & Forks dinner — also our 5-year celebration! — is coming up fast! Join us 6 to 10 p.m. on Oct. 10, 2013 at Seattle’s Blue Ribbon Cooking & Culinary Center for an evening of cooking and cocktail lessons, a delicious meal and auction excitement.

Corks & Forks 2013

We’ll be reviewing our progress in growing philanthropy through small donations locally and globally, and announcing some big plans for the next 5 years.

This is the perfect occasion to thank all our supporters so far, and make some new friends. It will be a night to remember, so please get your tickets quickly before we sell out!

Sponsors & Donors

We have a growing list of Corks & Forks sponsors and auction donations (Disneyland passes, anyone?) that we want to recognize over the next few weeks. Check back here regularly for more information.

Let’s kick things off with Outerwall, one of our main sponsors! Responses courtesy of Lily Osborne, Outerwall’s Community Relations Specialist.


What is your organization’s mission?

Outerwall’s mission is to create a better everyday. As the company behind Redbox® and Coinstar®, we’re pushing the walls of retail out of the way — building businesses that make life simpler and better for consumers and retailers.

How do you define “philanthropist?”

A philanthropist is any person who contributes their money, time or talent to benefit the community and contribute to a better future.

What does cooking together and sharing a meal mean to you?

Cooking and sharing a meal is tied to family and friends. It’s a time to slow down, reflect and appreciate abundance in our lives.

Why are you supporting Jolkona?

Jolkona’s use of technology brings donors and grantees closer together by reporting on impact. The organization is constantly innovating to come up with new creative ideas to entice more people to give.

Thank you, Outerwall!


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