Blog

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.

When we announced the Give to Girls (Give2Girls) campaign on March 8th, the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, the plan was to use the initial match of $2,000 to jumpstart the campaign and ignite excitement in investing in the women of tomorrow. But we did more than that — by the end of the day, we had raised almost $6,000, including the match, which will go down in Jolkona’s history as the highest single-day of fundraising we’ve had to date.

I want to stop there and let you re-read that last sentence.

That evening after launching the campaign, we hosted an event with CRAVE at PNK Ultra Lounge in downtown Seattle that was originally designed to launch the Give2Girls campaign, but because of your enormous support, the event turned into a celebration of the day and a call to rally around the campaign through the end of the month.

Well, continue the support is exactly what you did. During the three remaining weeks of March, I am thrilled to announce that the Give to Girls campaign raised just over $10,000 total for women and girls empowerment projects through Jolkona!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who sponsored, donated, helped get the word out, and supported this movement!

Together, in a hair over three weeks, here is the impact we made towards empowering women and girls:

  • 2 girls educated in Nepal for 1 year
  • 2 girl educated in China
  • 2 girls educated for 1 year in India
  • 1 girl attended “self-esteem” training in USA
  • 4 days of doctor’s service provided in Bangladesh
  • 1 woman in Sudan received a farming land
  • 5 women trained in Haiti
  • 3 energy efficient stoves provided in Nepal
  • 3 weeks of food provided to safe houses in Iraq
  • 4 hygiene kits provided in Tanzania
  • 52 months of oral contraceptives supplied in Nepal
  • 2 Afghani refugees in Pakistan received year long scholarships
  • 2 neighborhood safe spaces provided in Haiti
  • 4 mothers and their children got nutritional support in India
  • 2 girls supported to attend day school in China
  • 2 literary texts provided in Niger
  • 2 days of medical supplies provided in Bangladesh
  • 9 hygiene kits provided in camps in Haiti
  • 3 solar lamps provided in Tanzania
  • 3 girls saved from “honor killing” in Iraq
  • 4 women’s stories sponsored in China
  • 9 weeks of health screenings in Bangladesh
  • 11 girls educated for 1 year in Afghanistan
  • 3 days of training and counseling provided in Haiti
  • 3 enslaved girls rescued in Nepal
  • 200 lbs of seeds provided to women farmers in Sudan
  • 6 field trips sponsored for girls in the USA
  • 2 young women mentors trained in Nepal
  • 1 girl trained in Pakistan
  • 1 year of training provided in Niger
  • 1 week of healthcare provided to a mother and her baby in Guatemala

Give 2 Girls Impact Map

Thank you to everyone in the Jolkona community for your tremendous support!

For those made one of the first $2,000 in donations, you will receive a proof of impact for the donation you made and the donation the Give2Girls fund matched on your behalf. Those gifts have already been added to your account, so you will be notified when they are completed.

To our donors: Thank you for contributing to the campaign and showing that individuals can make a huge difference in the world and small donations add up to create a big impact!

To our sponsors – Thank you, Hias Gourmet, Virtually Savvy, and Flaunt, Inc. for coming together to combine your dollars and create the matched fund that ignited this campaign. It worked. And we are thankful for your support.

To our partner – Thank you, CRAVE, including Melody Biringer, Nicole Shema, and the entire CRAVE team for partnering with us to turn an idea into a campaign and helping us show how important it is to support these projects.

Investing in women doesn’t stop here

You can continue to see the support of women and girls empowerment projects on the campaign page. Each of these projects tracks towards a larger goal, that of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), specifically MDG #3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and MDG #5: Improve Maternal Health. If you’re as passionate about investing in the women of tomorrow as we are, we ask that you continue to support these projects and change the statistics.

Because as we know, women are vital when it comes to changing the world. And can you imagine what that world will look like?

I’d like to introduce you to Adlyn Adam Teoh, the founder of Hias Gourmet. Hias Gourmet is is a social enterprise focused on culinary travel and events in Beijing, China. They seek to share culture through cuisine and provide meaningful food experiences to their clients. Their goal is to build bridges between people over food. Think team building, but delicious and fun.

Hias Gourmet is a company with a conscious and makes regular donations through Jolkona. For example, for every multi-day tour in Sichuan, Hias Gourmet donates a solar stove to a family in China, a project in their own back yard. You can view Hias Gourmet’s social portfolio to see the impact they’ve made to date, here.

Most recently, Hias Gourmet pledged their philanthropic dollars to help launch the Give to Girls campaign. Their contribution helped create the $2,000 fund that women-owned businesses pledged to match and double the impact of the first $2,000 in donations made towards women empowerment projects on Jolkona.

Here is Adlyn’s story on what it means to support this campaign and how important it is to invest in women and girls through Jolkona:

Thank you so much, Adlyn, for being a part of the Give to Girls campaign!

We’re happy to share that the match fund helped jump start the Give to Girls campaign so much that we raised almost $6,000 on the first day that it launched, March 8th, including the match!

Give to Girls is history in the making

There are two things that are impressive about that number:

  1. It shows how much you, our donors, believe in supporting projects that educate, empower, and provide health care for women and girls.
  2. Through the support of our donors, campaign sponsors, and community at large, March 8th and this campaign will go down in Jolkona’s history as the single–highest day of fundraising to date. On behalf of everyone at Jolkona, thank you.

But March isn’t over yet…

At the time I hit “publish” on this post, we have raised just over $8,700 for these projects. Can we get that number to a nice, round $10,000 by the end of March?

Look at the impact to date on the campaign page – how many more girls can we educate in Nepal, China, India, and Afghanistan? How many newborns can we give a great start to life by providing their mothers with access to healthcare in India? How many girls can we help boost their self-esteem in the US?

How much of an impact can we make in the lives of the women of tomorrow by giving to girls today?

We have one week left of this campaign – will you help us blow our goal out of the water?

Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD). It’s a global day dedicated to honoring the economic, political, and social achievements women have made throughout history by celebrating the women in our lives today. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam, and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.

This year, Jolkona is partnering with CRAVE and a number of women-owned businesses to launch Give to Girls (Give2Girls), a campaign dedicated to educating, empowering, and providing health for women and girls around the world.

But why are we launching this campaign if women already get one entire day dedicated to them?

Because we want to change the statistics*

  • When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
  • An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
  • When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
  • The total global population of girls ages 10 to 24 — already the largest in history — is expected to peak in the next decade.
  • One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in developing countries each year.
  • Medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide. Compared with women ages 20 to 24, girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely, worldwide.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We all have the ability to help make an impact in the lives of women and girls in our own community and around the globe. We all can celebrate International Women’s Day by looking beyond where we’re at today and think about where we want to be tomorrow.

Announcing the Give 2 Girls Campaign

We are committed to improving the lives of women and girls around the world. To jumpstart this investment in their future, we are partnering with CRAVE and a group of women-owned businesses who have created a fund that will match the first gifts made to women’s development projects on Jolkona, dollar for dollar, up to $2,000.

Will you be one of the first donors to join us in investing in the women of tomorrow by giving to the girls of today?

For each donation made, you will receive a proof of impact for your donation as well as the impact for the matched donation. Once exceed the matched donation, let’s keep the momentum going and see how much we can raise for these projects through the end of March.

Special Thank You

This campaign is made possible by the generous support of the following businesses that have combined their dollars to sponsor the matched fund for this campaign. Each one of these companies are owned by women and but their client base is not. We encourage you to check them out!

Gold level: Hias Gourmet
Silver level: Virtually Savvy
Bronze level: Flaunt, Inc.

We would also like to thank the team at CRAVE for partnering with us on this campaign and helping us put International Women’s Day on the map!

Join the movement – you can follow our progress and our total impact on our website, as well as the conversations that are happening on Facebook and on Twitter (via @Jolkona and #Give2Girls).

Other ways to get involved

  • Tonight, we’re kicking off the campaign by celebrating International Women’s Day with CRAVE at PNK Ultra Lounge. If you’re in Seattle, come join us for the fun and stay for the dessert bar (RSVP here!).

*Source: Girl Effect Fact Sheet

When we announced the Give to Educate (Give2ED) campaign two weeks ago, we had a big goal ahead of us – raise $4,000 in donations for education projects that will be matched, dollar for dollar, by one generous donor named Brandon.

Members of the Jolkona community answered Brandon’s call to “get off the sidelines” and make a difference in the lives of children and adults around the world through education. We are excited to announce that on Monday, February 21st, Give to Educate was fully funded!

Together, in two weeks, here’s the impact we made towards education around the world:

  • 2 scholarships provided in Guatemala
  • 2 students supported through summer program in China
  • 2 months of school transportation provided in Tanzania
  • 4 girls educated in Afghanistan
  • 2 scholarship endowments set up in Bangladesh
  • 34 months of tuition fees provided in Guatemala
  • 2 years of practical skills training provided in NIger
  • 100 books provided in China
  • 4 students received books in Kenya
  • 2 months of secondary education provided in Uganda
  • 2 months of university education covered in Guatemala
  • 4 students received tech tools and trainings in USA
  • 16 semesters of education expenses covered in India
  • 14 chairs supplied to schools in Sierra Leone
  • 2 classes received books in Rwanda
  • 2 years of public education sponsored in Pakistan
  • 2 children sponsored in Bangladesh
  • 14 months of computer training provided in Guatemala
  • 2 students attended day school in China

Thank you to everyone in the Jolkona community for your tremendous support!

For those who donated, you will receive proof of impact for the donation you made and the donation Give to Educate matched on your behalf. Matched gifts will be added to your account by the end of March and you will receive a proof of impact once our partners implement each project.

We would also like to thank Brandon for being a pioneer in sponsoring this campaign. At Jolkona, we believe that individuals can make a huge difference in the world and small donations add up to create a big impact. Through Give to Educate, Brandon inspired each one of us to donate and double our collective impact; the goal was not $4,000, but $8,000 total.

Thank you, Brandon the philanthropist, for leading this campaign and choosing Jolkona as your choice for giving.

Investing in education doesn’t stop here

You can continue to see the support of education projects on the campaign page and by viewing the overall impact the Jolkona community is making towards the UN Millennium Development Goals and other projects around the world.

Oh, and stay tuned, because we have even more exciting things to announce in the coming weeks!

Education is one the primary ways to escape poverty and improve the quality of life. According to a recent article in TIME Magazine, one additional year of secondary education can increase salaries for girls by 15-25%. In general, educating girls has a profound effect on reducing overpopulation and child marriage. Girls educated for seven or more years, on average, marry four years later and have 2.2 fewer children as per data from the Girl Effect.

Despite these overwhelming statistics, girls are often left behind. About 25% of girls in developing countries do not attend school (Girl Effect). Girls also receive less than $0.02 of every dollar given specifically for development assistance (TIME).

As a public health major, I am extremely disappointed that female empowerment is not valued as a proven, effective intervention to combat global disparities. As the daughter of immigrant parents, I am horrified. I have been back to India and seen first-hand the impact of gender disparities. Women are scarce at night. Girls are expected to get married or become a burden to their parents. Education is certainly deemed important but school fees are expensive, and since males are dominant in society, their needs are generally met first. It is sad to see that so little of development assistance goes towards making girls feel safe and, even more importantly, appreciated in their own society.

What can you do to bridge this gap and promote education for girls through Jolkona?

There are numerous projects you can support. You can Provide Education to the Females of Afghanistan, where their literacy rate is only 14% because many parents are wary of sending their daughters to co-ed schools with male teachers. For only $40, you can sponsor a girl’s literacy course for a 10-month term in a safe, female-only, environment. Plus, you will receive the name and photo of the girl whose life you changed.

You can also Free and Educate Enslaved Nepali Girls, sold by their farm laborer parents who have limited financial resources. A donation of $100 will not only bring a young girl back to her family, but also pay for school fees and kerosene lamps to ensure that she can study at night. Through the generosity of Jolkona donors, 29 girls have already been saved. Can you make that number higher?

And remember, with the Give 2 Educate campaign in full swing, your donations will be matched, doubling your impact and empowering girls everywhere!

Photo Credit: A. gonzalez

Many of us are aware of a certain online coupon company using Super Bowl air time to launch some much-talked about ad spots. Whether or not you find issue and the tactics used to bring awareness to their CSR matched giving campaign, it has certainly garnered them plenty of attention. Friends, let’s at least agree that stirring up emotion was part of their strategy to raise awareness. Really, the big question is how much impact will these ads have on their overall brand? Folks love themselves some deep discounts, yet there is plenty of noise about people canceling their accounts over these ads mentioned in the comment section on the giving campaign page. Time and revenue stream will tell.

If you think it was in horrid taste or you are secretly hiding the fact that you see some of the marketing genus behind these ads –  did it make the masses (or you) pay closer attention to the company or the campaign? It got me to research the campaign and check out the sites of the causes who will receive Groupon’s matched funds – Greenpeace, TibetFund, Rainforest Action Network, and buildOn. All are great, worthwhile projects who are most deserving of support. I just hope that for the causes featured and the celebrities who made time to support this effort, that it truly makes a difference and funds are matched to the fullest. In fact, the Greenpeace project sold out as of 2/9 & is fully funded, with 6,667 units sold at $15 each! That is a whole lot money going to spare our water-dwelling mammals with fins from commercial whaling.

If you got fired up about the strategy and the message used to get your attention, make time to find your own way to impact change in the world, or within your own neighborhood. Find a cause that is meaningful to you and support it. I have several favorites. As many of you know, I spend some of free time working with Jolkona. Basically, volunteering my time to make their giving platform a world-class experience and truly make a difference in other people’s lives. I love every minute of working with such smart, dedicated people. This year we are off to firecracker start and we have a lot of exciting things in the works – starting off with our first matching campaign of year – Give2ED. Read more about Brandon’s efforts here, in this blog post.

Starting February 8th, any donation made to one Jolkona’s many Education projects, will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $4,000.  As with any of our projects, donors will receive a proof of impact for their donation and also receive additional details of the proof for the matched donation.

Want to further help Tibet with matched funds?

Here is how you can help Give2ED:

  • Empower a Tibetan Girl for $40 to provide schooling for the 6 months.
  • Fund a rural Tibet middle school library providing them with at least 10 pieces of valuable interactive learning tools (books, CD’s & DVD’s in multiple languages) for as little as $50.
  • Sponsor an Orphan for year’s worth of education at Sengdruk Takse School for less than $195 a year.

These three projects hit on several of United Nations The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. It is the most widely accepted guideline we have for measuring impact of donations you make. You can find more information about UN’s vision for the MDGs here.

It’s another great way to see how every gift our donors make contributes to a bigger global effort to tackle some of humanity’s biggest problems.

You can support the Give2ED campaign, follow our progress our website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@Jolkona, #Give2ED).

Images by mikebaird.

A version of this blog was originally posted here.

Today is a very exciting day. Not only was our first All Hands meeting last night with the entire Jolkona volunteer team, but also it’s Tuesday and we’re announcing our first matching campaign for 2011.

This campaign is different than previous campaigns because it is made possible by one person who is just like you and me.

I’ll let him introduce the Give to Educate (Give 2 ED) campaign himself:

So get off the sidelines and act

Starting today, each donation you make to one of Jolkona’s Education projects, Brandon will be match, dollar for dollar, up to $4,000. For each donation you make, you will receive a proof of impact for your donation as well as the impact for the matched donation.

The part I love the most about this campaign is Brandon’s call to action – he’s just a normal guy who decided he wanted to make an impact in the world and partnering with us on this campaign is his solution. Anyone can make a difference. And this month, let’s start by making a ripple effect of change through education around the world.

You can support the Give2ED campaign, follow our progress and our total impact on our website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@Jolkona, #Give2ED).

Special thank you

On behalf of everyone at Jolkona, I’d like to thank Brandon for coming forward and sponsoring this campaign. I’d also like to thank Sadia Khawaja of PaperDaydream for designing the Give2ED logo and John Kimball for editing the campaign video.

Are you ready to join Brandon and get off the sidelines?

The holidays – ‘tis the season to be cheery and bright, generous and humble, and, oh yeah, give. Even in this tough economy, nearly six out of 10 Americans plan to donate to organizations less fortunate this holiday season. For many families, giving charitable gifts has become a part of their holiday tradition.

12 Days of Giving

On the first day of giving, my true love gave to humanity — 20 weeks of health screening, and a proof of impact for each week.

In the spirit of giving back, the Jolkona team is celebrating the holidays by launching 12 Days of Giving, a series of campaigns for their favorite projects. On each day, we’ll unwrap one new campaign along with a message about what makes it so special.

Today we unwrap our first campaign, which is lead by Tysen Gannon, the Director of Corporate Partnerships here at Jolkona.

Ready to help Tysen provide 20 weeks of health screenings for people living in Bangladesh and make an impact this season? You can give one full gift ($50) and you will receive the full proof for your donation. Or if you’re not ready to give the full amount, you can donate a partial gift. For both options, you have the option to dedicate this gift to someone you care about.

Keep an eye on the 12 Days of Giving as we unwrap a new campaign each day. You can also follow our blog, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on the campaign.

Looking for ways to incorporate charitable giving into your holiday?

Join us and give impact this holiday season; here is a list of ideas to get you started:

  1. Donate to one of the 12 Days of Giving campaigns
  2. Give a Jolkona Gift Card to someone you care about
  3. Start your own campaign
  4. Bring Jolkona to your business

How will you give impact this holiday season?

Photo Credit: Mukumbura

GET INVOLVED!