This week I am excited to be attending the the Global Business Coalition’s annual conference in New York as a Global Health Ambassador.   Myself along with nine others who I am super excited to meet with in person are invited to attend the conference to help drive discussions and awareness for the conference sessions over various social media channels.

I’ve attended several conferences over the past year or so either as a speaker or just as an attendee and always live tweet interesting leanings while I’m there, but what is exciting about this conference is that it will be covering pressing issues at the cross-section of the business sector and public health sectors, two areas I feel very passionate about.  It will bring together NGO leaders, private sector leaders, government, and heads of leading social businesses.

What exactly is the Global Business Coalition?

The Global Business Coalition is an organization that mobilizes the power of the global business community to fight the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics.  Today it is a network of over 220 global companies that help bring the business community together to make a healthier world.  The GBC essentially brings companies, nonprofits, and governments together for collaboration and coordination related to solving pressing global health and development issues.

While I plan to attend most of the sessions during the conference, I will be covering the following two sessions in more detail.

  1. Innovative Financing in Health
  2. Entrepreneurship in the Social Context: Business Visionaries Who See the “Return” on Health Investments

At Jolkona, two of the most popular categories of projects are education and public health.  That is why I’m super excited to be able to learn about how the business community can play a leading role in tackling many of the problems our global health partners try to address in the community level.  I truly believe, that in order to make a dent in pressing global health and poverty related issues, we need each one of us to do our part, and that includes non-profits like the ones we work with, but also donors like all of you in the Jolkona community, along with the business sector.

Stay tuned for my tweets, leanings, reflections and comments from the conference on June 1 and June 2 from NYC! Follow the conversations on twitter with @GBCnews @nadiamahmud & #GBCHealthConf




Are you one of the 1.7 million people who joined the group on Facebook to show how much you miss the planet formerly known as Pluto? Or are you active in a network like Brazen Careerist or Seattle 2.0 because that’s the professional circle you hang with?

People are passionate about joining other like-minded individuals. This is one of the main reasons why I love the work I do at Jolkona managing our various communities and working with our passionate team of volunteers. And this idea of “community” is something that is engrained in our vision of making giving fun and a part of every day life.

In going with this vision, I’m excited to announce the Jolkona Giving Communities feature we’re rolling out on today. This feature was created as an easy way for you to organize your friends, colleagues, and extended network and view the overall impact you’re making together.

Browse Jolkona Giving Communites screen shot

Giving Communities

We have a few active communities right now for passionate philanthropists like the Seattle Social Media Club Changemakers, Jolkona Team, and San Francisco Bay Area Hotties (one of my favorites).

These giving communities can be whatever you want them to be and are a fun way to see the change your network is making in the world.

Seattle Social Media Club Changemakers community screen shot

How do you join a giving community?

Community membership is open to every single Jolkona donor. To join a community, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the community page – either through the communities homepage or through the specific community’s page
  2. Click the orange “Join community” in the upper right hand corner
  3. Log into your Jolkona account
  4. Congratulations, you’ve just joined one of Jolkona’s first giving communities!

You can always leave a community if it’s no longer applicable to you. (But why would you want to do that?)

Want to create your own community?

It’s easy!

  1. Go to this page and fill out the form to start a giving community.
  2. Upload a picture, include your hashtag to make your community more social, etc.
  3. Invite your friends to join your community and start tracking your impact.

Community owners can always edit the content on community pages.

What do you think about this feature?

Play with it, try it out, and let me know what you think in the comments. Also, are there any features that you’d like to see us add in the future?

We’re excited to hear what you think!

Editor’s Note: Keegan Falk is the social media intern here at Jolkona and the voice behind our Facebook page. You can connect with Keegan here or on Twitter @Keego27.

With graduation coming up, I want to do something to celebrate my time at Seattle University and with Jolkona as an intern. Consider it a final project to stick in my portfolio as I head into the workforce. My last hurrah if you will.

What I’ve done is made my own campaign with Jolkona (anyone can do this using our start your own campaign feature). The project I chose for my campaign is one to help tutor children in Guatemala where over 60 percent of the people do not complete elementary school and the national illiteracy rate is over 70 percent. These people need help.

The name of my campaign is 50 for 50 as I am looking for 50 students locally in Seattle to give to 50 students globally in Guatemala.

For $10 you can help tutor a child for one month.

Your donation will help cover books and supplies, pay for tutors, and help maintain the class and learning areas. You will also receive information about the student you are helping along with a photo as proof of your impact. At Jolkona 100% of your donation goes directly to the project, always.

I am asking for 50 donations to help 50 students.

I ask you to imagine where you would be without an early education. What would you do if you couldn’t read or write? As a student, I love being in the classroom, learning and interacting with my professors. With this campaign, I want to encourage others to share that passion of learning with those who really need it.

I want to show students like me that giving doesn’t require much.

Here at Jolkona one of our key messages is low-cost high-impact. My generation is looking to change the world but we can’t always do that. With classes, internships, homework, jobs and social life, many students don’t have the time or money to be a philanthropist. With micro-charities like Jolkona, it takes as little as $5 to make a considerable change.

My goal for this campaign is to help 50 students in Guatemala by June 12, the day I graduate. Will you help me reach my goal?

You can give here: 50 Students Locally Helping 50 Students Globally.

Jolkona interns Keegan Falk and Kim Kish hard at work changing the world

If you cannot make a donation, please share this with your friends and family via social media or email.

Thank you.

Volunteers are the lifeblood of every nonprofit, and Jolkona is no exception. We’ve introduced you to a few key volunteers on our team and I’m excited to introduce another one to you today!

The single largest factor of Jolkona’s success is the team that supports this organization. Aaron Alhadeff is one of the integral members of that team, helping with many of the major projects undertaken by Jolkona. We are lucky to have such a rock star on our team!

– Adnan Mahmud, Co-Founder & Director of Research & Development

Aaron Alhadeff and Jordan Belmonte in Seattle
Jolkona volunteers, Aaron Alhadeff and Jordan Belmonte, in Seattle

Aaron Alhadeff is someone who is a living, breathing example of what it means to be a rock star volunteer. He’s been a part of the Jolkona community for a year, volunteering his time on the Communications & Social Media team, managing projects like our Annual Report, and adding valuable insights when it comes to strategizing marketing campaigns. Aaron also led the marketing outreach for the Microsoft Giving Campaign – one of Jolkona’s most successful fundraising initiates to date. He’s always ready and willing to lead a new project or lend a hand to a team who needs it.

When Aaron’s not volunteering with Jolkona, he works in search marketing for bing at Microsoft.

Aaron has worked with many teams at Jolkona so here’s what some other members of Jolkona’s leadership team have to say about his work –

From Seema Bhende, Director of Strategy:

Aaron has been an amazing addition to the Jolkona team. He brings an unparalleled commitment to strong project management, organizational skills and fun teamwork to all the projects he works on.

Aaron has superb project management skills and has helped Jolkona tremendously on an important marketing and fundraising deliverable, our Annual Report.

From Melinda Mosesler, Marketing Communications Content Manager:

There are some folks you run across in life where you can’t wait to work with them again and again – Aaron is that person. It’s the awesome positive attitude, honest outlook and always striving to find the perfect solution. Oh, did I mention he manage a project like no bodies business? Seriously, his gold standard delivery is apparent both at work and with his dedication to Jolkona. I always enjoy catching up with Aaron at our All Hands or other various meetings that continuous smile and energy is something Jolkona is lucky to have!

I am so grateful to know Aaron as a person and to work with him at Jolkona. Thank you, Aaron, you are a core part of this team and we are so thankful that you share your time to this organization!

In his words, here’s why Aaron volunteers with Jolkona:

This post is part of a blog series inspired by World Give Day and hosted by GiveForward. To find other posts in this series please visit or follow the hashtag #giveday.

Jolkona visits Generation Rwanda Students, Dec 2010

A few weeks ago I was introduced to GiveForward, a crowdfunding site that empowers individuals fundraise money online for medical expenses like chemotherapy, organ transplants, mission trips, and their favorite non-profits. Their values and approach are very similar to Jolkona as they encourage you to use your small-scale donations to create a big impact. They do it by allowing individuals to start campaigns and raise money for a very large expense. And we do it by partnering with nonprofits around the world to find with cost, high impact projects and let you track the impact of your gift over time.

Small donations are the backbone of philanthropy

Mission statements aside, our vision is to cultivate the next generation of philanthropists by showing that you, our community and donors, can make a difference today for as little as $5. This vision and the idea that small-scale donations are the backbone of philanthropy is a thread that connects us with GiveForward and a number of other nonprofits and social enterprises that are part of the paradigm shift in philanthropy.

It’s the idea that you can make a difference no matter how much or how little you have to offer. For example, one of our projects allows you to provide group housing for the future leaders of Rwanda for $45. While that project alone may not mean anything, if you consider the fact that the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and AIDS epidemic has produced the largest percentage of orphans of any country in the world (825,000 orphans in a country of 10 million people), providing housing for an educated society will give these ambitious students a safe home and support system that will allow them to further their education and rebuild their country. The life-long impact of this single donation is huge. Can you imagine what that student will accomplish because of your gift?

The ripple effect you can create from one small gift is limitless.

How we are celebrating World Give Day

World Give Day

To celebrate this approach to giving and philanthropy, we’re excited to partner with GiveForward for World Give Day, a day where people all over the world are coming together to celebrate the causes they’re most passionate about.

You can give in a number of ways – by donating to your favorite nonprofit (we have 96 active projects for you to choose from), donating to someone in your own community, giving your time, or even giving a hug. The idea and motivation for this day is to celebrate the culture of giving. In their words: “World Give Day is based on the underlying belief that every effort, no matter how big or small, can have a significant effect on our society.”

We are also excited to share with you a number of blog posts from our community who wrote about the idea of small-scale donations being the backbone of philanthropy. They are:

You can read more posts from World Give Day Blogger Buddies, here.

We will be celebrating World Give Day here on our blog, on Facebook, and Twitter throughout the day. You can also take part in the real-time conversation on Twitter by following #giveday.

Thank you, Ethan, Desiree, and Cate at GiveForward for organizing World Give Day!

How are you starting your own ripple effect of change?