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Our first five participants in Project Catalyst, Jolkona’s new accelerator for social entrepreneurs from developing countries, will come from Indonesia to Seattle in the next couple weeks. This 2-week intensive workshop will allow them to further hone their business plans, meet prospective investors and gain new insights. We can’t wait to welcome them to our offices on June 8!

Our third feature is Nadine Zamira, whose communications agency, LeafPlus, focuses on sustainability projects through inspiring perceptions, emotions and actions. LeafPlus works with government agencies, businesses, NGO’s, schools and communities to identify their sustainability objectives and translate complex concepts into creative, engaging and easily shared stories.

Q: Outside of this project and work, what else do you do for fun in Indonesia? What other passions do you have? 

Nothing makes me happier than to travel to exotic natural destinations around Indonesia. I feel happiest in nature and blessed to be living in a country with such amazing landscapes and people. I’ve also recently discovered diving and am quickly becoming addicted to it. My travels also remind me constantly of my mission and the people that it touches. Other than that I can easily get lost in books and movies.

GUG3Q: So, what inspired you to start this venture? 

I saw a very urgent issue, but, at the same time, I saw how disconnected people were from it. I became frustrated by the way nature and its relationship with humans were being represented in our communications. Campaigns were intimidating, badly designed, and full of information the audience can’t process. They did not inspire love or empowerment to take action. We quickly learned that the uncharted field of sustainability communications translates into many things we did not project. Which is great, we get a kick from the adventure!

Q: Tell us a story of a person who has benefited from your program. 

First and foremost may I say my employees? 🙂 They are an enthusiastic and passionate group of people who want to work for change. Traditionally fighting for ‘a cause’ was seen as falling into the domain of ‘charity’ and ‘pro-bono’ work. But now with social entrepreneurship, the economic wheels are also an important element in forwarding change. I take joy and pride in knowing that LeafPlus has provided an opportunity for a people to do what they love and sustain themselves financially too.

Q: What is one obstacle you have faced in running the program? How did you overcome it? 

In the first few years of the venture, it was about convincing people that our service was needed, and what exactly it was that we had to offer. It was kind of tough as we were still defining and redefining ourselves, and still had limited resources. We figured out that the best strategy was to work with what we had, and that meant using our personal networks and implementing programs with next to nothing profit just to build our portfolio. Over time we slowly started to build trust and reputation, and people started to understand how we were different. I can’t stress enough how powerful persistence is, and just to START. Waiting until all the stars align won’t get you anywhere.

Q: What are you looking forward to when you come to the United States as a part of Project Catalyst?  I’m looking forward for mentorship on how to grow my business — what I need to fine tune and identify, what tools to build, how I can attract investors to grow further, etc. I think since the get-go, my partners and I had little time to focus on business strategy. But I must say I am personally very excited about visiting Seattle, being one of America’s greenest cities. Many of my projects are tied to urban environments, and I hope to absorb as much as I can from the sustainable-savvy Seattle. Very excited!

We are very excited to have Nadine Zamira here in Seattle! If you are interested in helping these amazing entrepreneurs, Project Catalyst is recruiting for mentors, coaches and hosts! If you are available between June 8 and 22, please contact catalyst@jolkona.org.

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As Jolkona gears up for International Women’s Day, several of our female supporters joined others from the greater Seattle area to discuss how improving health, wealth and community ties helps women and girls achieve personal and professional success. The Feb. 20 event, “Ignite Your Radiance,” was hosted by Michelle Wong, a lifestyle/financial freedom strategist, with proceeds benefiting Jolkona operations.

The first speaker was our CEO and co-founder, Nadia Mahmud. Opening up with a quote from Malcolm X, Nadia captured the heart of the giving spirit, and how a philosophy of generosity can improve a woman’s personal and communal quality of life:

Melody Biringer, founder of CRAVE, delighted us with anecdotes of past failures and successes, with each challenge bringing her closer to understanding of the power of authentic relationships:

Dianne Juhl, the founder of the Feminine Face of Money, offered insight into the transformative power of financial freedom for women:

The last speaker invited the audience to get up and dance, literally!  See why Jamie Silverstein, a retired Olympic ice dancer and now owner of the Grinning Yogi Studio, believes we all can be moved and inspired:

Thank you to Michelle Wong, the speakers and audience for a successful event. If you haven’t already done so, check out the event photos on our Facebook page — and stay tuned for a special Jolkona women/girls giving campaign leading up to International Women’s Day on March 8.

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Through its events and campaigns, Jolkona has created a vibrant, fun and energetic community of Gen Y’s that not only give their money, but also their time and hearts. As a Jolkona supporter and someone who is passionate about teaching women the power of financial independence, I’m excited to partner with Jolkona to launch a special event on Feb. 20: Ignite Your Radiance. This evening will bring women together to share the message that health, wealth and community are all interdependent and essential to success, with proceeds going to support Jolkona operations.

Many of us spend the majority of our time and energy thinking about our health or finances, and often times, can feel isolated. Yet finances tend to be taboo topics for women — not something typically discussed in social circles.

Without wealth, health is compromised; without health, there is no wealth. Community, when robust, strengthens both health and wealth. Put all three together, and you have a powerful foundation that can propel your life, career and business to the next level. By incorporating each of these pieces together, we can fully be empowered to be of service to others.

Women are natural connectors, and thrive with an encouraging and supportive community. On Thursday, Feb. 20, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with like-minded women, and hear from a group of amazing speakers from different backgrounds: Jolkona’s CEO Nadia Mahmud; Jamie Silverstein, a yoga studio owner and former U.S. Olympian; Melody Biringer, a successful author and entrepreneur; and Dianne Juhl, a financial coach with an impressive personal story. In a TED Talks-style format, each will share her experience of how achieving a balance between wealth, health, and community has helped her thrive. Men and women alike who attend can learn from these stories, be inspired and expand their social and business networks.

Will you be one of them?

To learn more and attend this event, please visit: https://igniteyourradiance.eventbrite.com

Guest post by Michelle Wong, a Jolkona donor.

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How are 21st century tools reshaping philanthropy? Just look at Jolkona: our giving platform, timely proofs of impact, and mobile access to remote villages would not have been possible a generation ago. And our mindset — a holistic and innovative approach to solving the world’s most pressing problems, embracing new technologies and social entrepreneurship — is definitely millennial.

KQED Radio, the Bay Area’s NPR station, hosted a panel of tech philanthropists on this topic yesterday: Adnan Mahmud, Jolkona co-founder; Danial Lurie, CEO of Tipping Point Community, an organization that works to reduce homelessness in the Bay Area; Jocelyn Wyatt of IDEO.org, an organization that uses human-based design to relieve poverty; and Renee Kaplan, chief strategy officer of the Skoll Foundation, which invests in and connects social entrepreneurs.

This Rebooting Philanthropy panel, moderated by KQED Forum host Michael Kinsey, discussed the importance of cultivating a relationship between technology and philanthropy, taking a cue from Silicon Valley innovation. Listen here:

Adnan said:

I think technology can be really seminal in moving issues forward. I think it’s exciting to see technology moving forward as part of the solution as well. (27:30)

As the panel discussed, it is equally important that philanthropy also inform the technology industry. While many companies start thinking about social good only after becoming successful businesses, a philanthropic perspective can help a brand stand out and may even open up new markets. As Adnan stated,

If you’re a tech company, you look at building your business on things like Fortune 500 companies, where there is a lot of money, etc. But if you look at the market sizes, you can probably make the argument that there is more need with small household farmers around the world. There are probably more farmers than there are office workers. So, why is there not software being built to make farmers more productive? (28:08)

Adnan Mahmud and Jocelyn Wyatt will appear together again on the How Tech Has Changed Philanthropy panel on Jan. 28 at the Nourse Theater in San Francisco, hosted by Scott Shafer of KQED, and David Brancaccio of the Morning Marketplace Report. Joining them will be Nadia Mahmud, Jolkona CEO; Matt Mullenweg, WordPress co-founder; Craig Newmark of Craigslist; and Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation.

(This event will not be broadcast, so if you’re in the Bay Area, make sure to buy your ticket to hear what these changemakers have to say about next generation philanthropy.)

At Jolkona, we’re proud of our innovative approach to philanthropy, and we are excited that our co-founders are spreading the word!

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Crowdfunding, the process of raising money from a collective group of people, has become an exciting source of capital for artists, game developers, entrepreneurs, and others. Among nonprofits, Jolkona has used crowdfunding for the past five years to engage new donors and revitalize the way we think about giving through the ongoing development of innovative programs such as our monthly Give Together community.

This model was the subject of a recent installment of Movie Mondays for Fundraising Professionals, featuring Jolkona CEO Nadia Mahmud, along with our officemates Brad Fenstermacher of LiveStories, and Steve Schwartz of Upaya Social Ventures.

Watch Nadia, Brad, and Steve talk about crowdfunding here.

To hear more about crowdfunding for nonprofits from Jolkona, LiveStories, and Upaya, check out our joint panel discussion at the 2014 NDOA Winter Conference later this month.

Some of the key points the panel will cover:

  • Inspiration: Crafting a compelling story will help create an experience that ensures donors continue thinking about you long after they’ve left your website.
  • Cultivation: Gaining traction requires creativity, focus, and a willingness to go to your audiences, rather than waiting for them to come to you.
  • Retention: Create a loop that keeps donors coming back for more info, more inspiration, more experiences, more opportunities.

The NDOA conference is a great opportunity to learn about fundraising through workshops and panels from a range of experts. The conference is Jan. 28 at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA. If you register before Friday, admission is $150 for NDOA members, $195 for non-members. Hope to see you there!

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This December, join Jolkona and thousands of organizations across the US in celebrating Giving Tuesday. Set on Tuesday, December 3rd, Giving Tuesday is a day to celebrate philanthropy.  The goal is to get as many people as possible involved with serving their communities, volunteering with organizations, donating to an important cause or disaster relief. In the wake of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a season dedicated to consumerism, Giving Tuesday is a great opportunity to reflect on what makes the holiday season really special – giving.

With international involvement, Giving Tuesday has the potential to not only reach thousands of donors, but to impact millions of people in need globally. The first Giving Tuesday saw an 50% increase of online philanthropy, and this year is expected to grow even more. Another reason why this movement is important is it’s emphasis that anyone can be a philanthropist. As this idea is central to Jolkona’s mission, we absolutely had to be involved. We have several ways you yourself can be involved.

  • On December 3rd, Jolkona will be holding a special Giving Tuesday party at our office from 6:30 to 9 PM.  This is not only an opportunity to eat, drink, and celebrate with the Jolkona team. Its a chance to learn more about and donate to our special Holiday Campaign to support the Philippines. Take a look on Facebook for more information about the event and to RSVP.
  • You can also celebrate Giving Tuesday by donating to one of our Give Direct projects. With a number of high impact causes to choose from, making a difference on #GivingTuesday will be both easy and effective.
  • If you want to spread the spirit of Giving Tuesday throughout the year, you can sign up for Give Together, and make an impact every month.

Remember to RSVP for our Giving Tuesday party on December 3rd, and keep your eyes open for more information about our December Campaign.

As we eagerly look forward to Giving Tuesday, remember that there is still over a week left to contribute to one of our Poverty Alleviation Give Together projects. Don’t wait for #GivingTuesday, and Give Together Today!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

fashion show sari

Jolkona’s Night of Fashion & Giving 2012

Love philanthropy? How about colorful clothes? Bollywood and salsa dance numbers?  If you’re in the Seattle – Eastside area on Oct. 28, here’s an event for you:

Back by popular demand, the Jolkona + Microsoft Giving Campaign fashion show raises awareness and funds for Jolkona’s mission to inspire and empower a new generation of philanthropists locally and globally. Join us for a fun evening of fashion, dance, refreshments, good company and a great cause!
What: Giving In Style
When: Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, 6:30 pm
Where: Microsoft Building 34, 3720 159th Ave. NE, Redmond, WA 98052
Why: Food, wine, music, fashion and dance. Did we mention it supports a great cause, too?
Tickets: $25 admission includes two drink tickets and hors d’oeuvres – http://bit.ly/17OuKV1

Visit the Facebook event page to view photos from last year’s fashion show and see who else is going!

On a related note, there’s just over a week left to contribute to one of our partner projects for Women & Girls and have your gift matched! Join our Give Together pool (starting at $10/month), or make a one-time donation (starting at $5) to a Give Direct project. 

Editor’s Note: Seattle is definitely known for philanthropy… but fashion? Hey, we are home of the flagship Nordstrom! And a Zara store is opening here soon, just around the corner from the Jolkona office. (Dangerous, at least for me.)

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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:

Disneyland

  • 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! 

IMG_3862_pop_art

 

  • 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.

inc_header_logo

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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The United Nations has designated Sept. 5 as the first-ever International Day of Charity. Set on the anniversary of Mother Teresa’s death, the goal of this annual observance is to spread the spirit of giving around the world, and educate communities about philanthropy and benevolent action. It’s the day for governments, NGOs, and individual philanthropists to actively engage in charity and to encourage others to do the same.

Sound familiar? Since our humble beginnings in 2008, Jolkona has done just that. By emphasizing that anyone can be a philanthropist, we have turned grassroots giving into a global impact. Check out the map above to see just what we’ve accomplished!

What can you do to commemorate International Day of Charity?

Support a Cause

This year’s International Day of Charity is focusing on access to clean water and sanitation. The U.N. will hold a panel at 12 p.m. PST (3 p.m. EST) to talk about what philanthropy can do to make a difference. To learn more, watch the live feed, or check out Jolkona’s related projects: Give as little as $5 to MADRE to install clean water collection points and tanks in communities and schools in rural Kenya.

Spread the Word

Use social media to follow and participate in this observance. On Facebook, visit the International Day of Charity page. On Twitter, follow @IntDayOfCharity, use #charityday in your tweets, or support the #charitydayun event by tweeting about the panel on clean water accessibility.

We’d also love to hear about your causes and your charitable activity online through Jolkona’s social media channels. Social media has had a huge impact on the way people give, enabling philanthropic organizations to be more innovative and creative with funding projects than ever before.

Make Philanthropy Communal

At Jolkona, we believe that small, high-impact donations — pooled together — are integral for spreading the awareness and accessibility of giving, especially among the newest generations of philanthropists. To make an even bigger impact, join our Give Together program to combine small monthly donations with your peers.

Together, we can make sure the first International Day of Charity is a success. Combine supporting a cause, spreading the word, and communal giving, and you can not only make a difference for someone else, but also amplify your impact by spreading the spirit of charity throughout your community. It’s a great opportunity to find new causes to support on Jolkona.org, through our Give Direct or Give Together programs, and sharing your impact.

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Feeling crafty?

In celebration of our new Give Together monthly philanthropy program, we are hosting an arty party at Seattle’s Material Good, home of the adorable Little Shirley vases!

Material Good vases

Paint your own pottery, enjoy some tasty food, sip a little wine and support a great cause with great company.

  • What: Paint Together, #GiveTogether
  • When: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 at 5:30 pm (or whenever you can get there!)
  • Where: Material Good Studio, 2959 Utah Ave S., Seattle
  • Why: Food, wine, live music and an excuse to get crafty. Did we mention it supports a great cause, too?
  • Tickets: Admission includes a pottery item of your choice to paint + food and wine. $20 for single tickets or $35 for 2 tickets in advance; $25 at the door.
  • How: Buy tickets here.

Grab a friend and join us on Friday, Sept. 6 – we hope to see you there!

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Summer solstice was a beauty in Seattle – blue skies, a balmy evening, with a glorious sunset to follow, extending long and luminous into dusk. It was the ideal setting for us to host our Give Together launch party at the South Lake Union Discovery CenterThe occasion had all the ingredients for a perfect party: great food and drink, swag bags, a photo booth, stellar attendees, and generous sponsors. Rest assured, it did not disappoint.

We were so thrilled to have everyone attend, and were delighted to see people having a scream of a time, making new connections, and learning about our new giving program. We truly appreciated the support.

Discover Give Together

We wanted to say thank you

None of this could have happened without the hard work and generosity of our sponsors and volunteers.

Our first thanks goes to our awesome sponsor Postmates. In case you weren’t there, you simply have to know about these guys. Postmates is a Seattle delivery provider, with one incredible service: with Postmates, every restaurant and store in Seattle now delivers – in under an hour – to wherever you are. Download their app here, and use it to order anything in the city from 8am-midnight every day. You can order food from your favorite restaurant, a new dress for a last-minute date, or courier an important document across the city. They work as a traditional courier service as well!

Our next thanks goes to Tagboard. Tagboard is an awesome tool that allows anyone to search hashtags across networks, including Twitter, Instagram, App.net, Vine, Google +, and Facebook. With tagboards you see the whole conversation, across networks, making them the perfect hub for social media. We used their platform at the event to tie collate and display our #GiveTogether hashtag. Find out more info about Tagboard here.

We also want to thank the following sponsors for their generous donations and for helping make the evening such a success: Haiku Deck, Yelp, Papaya, Araya’s Place, That Brown Girl Cooks, and Golazo.

A huge thank you must also go our brilliant friends at Socializing For Social Change who helped us put on yet another epic event.

Of course, another big thank you goes to our stalwart volunteers, who gave their time and energy to plan, organize, and execute what was a wonderful evening: Chi, Rekha, Pragya, Aswath, Linh, Dhanya, Nancy, Daljit, Mari, Nadia and Adnan.

Thank you everyone for discovering Give Together with us, supporting us, and spreading the word!

Learn more about Give Together and sign up here. You can also keep up with all that’s groovy in philanthropy by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Summer solstice was a beauty in Seattle – blue skies, a balmy evening, with a glorious sunset to follow, extending long and luminous into dusk. It was the ideal setting for us to host our Give Together launch party at the South Lake Union Discovery CenterThe occasion had all the ingredients for a perfect party: great food and drink, swag bags, a photo booth, stellar attendees, and generous sponsors. Rest assured, it did not disappoint.

We were so thrilled to have everyone attend, and were delighted to see people having a scream of a time, making new connections, and learning about our new giving program. We truly appreciated the support.

Discover Give Together

We wanted to say thank you

None of this could have happened without the hard work and generosity of our sponsors and volunteers.

Our first thanks goes to our awesome sponsor Postmates. In case you weren’t there, you simply have to know about these guys. Postmates is a Seattle delivery provider, with one incredible service: with Postmates, every restaurant and store in Seattle now delivers – in under an hour – to wherever you are. Download their app here, and use it to order anything in the city from 8am-midnight every day. You can order food from your favorite restaurant, a new dress for a last-minute date, or courier an important document across the city. They work as a traditional courier service as well!

Our next thanks goes to Tagboard. Tagboard is an awesome tool that allows anyone to search hashtags across networks, including Twitter, Instagram, App.net, Vine, Google +, and Facebook. With tagboards you see the whole conversation, across networks, making them the perfect hub for social media. We used their platform at the event to tie collate and display our #GiveTogether hashtag. Find out more info about Tagboard here.

We also want to thank the following sponsors for their generous donations and for helping make the evening such a success: Haiku Deck, Yelp, Papaya, Araya’s Place, That Brown Girl Cooks, and Golazo.

A huge thank you must also go our brilliant friends at Socializing For Social Change who helped us put on yet another epic event.

Of course, another big thank you goes to our stalwart volunteers, who gave their time and energy to plan, organize, and execute what was a wonderful evening: Chi, Rekha, Pragya, Aswath, Linh, Dhanya, Nancy, Daljit, Mari, Nadia and Adnan.

Thank you everyone for discovering Give Together with us, supporting us, and spreading the word!

Learn more about Give Together and sign up here. You can also keep up with all that’s groovy in philanthropy by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

The Pacific Northwest Global Donor’s Conference was held on May 17th, as a forum to promote global philanthropy. As this is a great opportunity to connect with others in the philanthropic community, and learn about the initiatives and innovations of other non-profits, some members of the Jolkona team attended. The goal of the conference was to create an environment in which connections could make a real difference, as expressed by the opening speaker: “We have all the technology and solutions to solve the world’s problems. But, it is leadership and organization that will make it happen.”

Here were the impressions of our team:

The conference promised to unveil a new model with utility for the non-profit community. What was the model, and how did it work?

The model is for the new conference structure. The day started with a rapid fire of 7 minute quick talks, and after lunch, it went into “open space”. A few people with topics in mind would make the topic suggestion, and then people go to join a table. At any point you were free to move around so you could spread the ideas around.

Did you learn about something that you thought was inspiring, intriguing, or worthy of interest?

I picked a workshop on travel for philanthropy. I met a lot of interesting, trip-leading veterans from 11plus, EcoViva, Pangea, and others. I felt like we are just at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to considerate, sustainable trip leading. They have much more advanced approaches on how to prepare the community before a foreign visit and lessons learned (when they went to see someone in a slum community, his landlord raised rent on him assuming he got a lot of money from the white visitors).

Were there any exciting new foundations or organizations at the conference? Who were they, and what do they do?

I really like some of the impact investment groups that I met, and heard from quick talks. Impact investing is about focusing on impact, which is not the same as return on investment. A company with great products makes a good investment because they make a lot of profit. These groups invest in them. But, nonprofit/social for-profits don’t make a lot of money but make positive impact on our population, and these investment companies balance their portfolio by investing in them also.

Did you meet any new potential partners for Jolkona?

Village Volunteer is an exciting partner, and their new projects are great. One project is to make biodegradable sanitary pads for rural communities out of an invasive species that looked like water lily. EcoViva has interesting projects with the indigenous communities in Guatemala, in an area with largest mangroves still remaining in the world. One women’s human rights group talked to me about being a Jolkona partner as well.

What did the speakers talk about that you found most interesting?

Gates Foundation had an interesting way of applying modern financial tools used in established economies and, transferring it for use with the poor. They learned a lot making this transition.

IDEX is a group that stays with their projects for the long haul, even if their mission changes. One of their partners went from micro-finance to human rights, and all of their funders left because it didn’t align with what they support anymore. IDEX stayed. They believed it was the right strategy shift for their partner and was able to continue funding them

Was the experience worth going to, and what could have been improved?

It is clear that the active philanthropist community is small and tight, so it was nice to start to get used to the faces. But, the conference (and all of us) needs to be able to reach out to other groups.

You can help spread the word by liking us on Facebook, and by following us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

GET INVOLVED!