As the CEO of Jolkona, I am proud of what the team has accomplished in 2010. It has been a great foundation building year for the organization.
I want to start by thanking our partners and donors for believing in Jolkona through our early stages and providing us with invaluable feedback. You are at the center of our work and you are our inspiration for putting in long volunteer hours after a full day at the office or school.
Famed tennis player Arthur Ashe once said, â€œSuccess is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.â€ Jolkonaâ€™s journey these past three years is a testament to that adage. In 2010, Jolkona made great strides in â€doingâ€ and proving proof to becoming a highly successful giving platform.
Jolkonaâ€™s success is directly measured by on how much impact is delivered to those lives that need the help the most. The global impact we made in 2010 has reached thousands, but some of our highlights include:
- Providing meals to 600 children in Uganda
- 43 prosthetics provided in Bangladesh
- Responding to the floods in Pakistan before the news hit mainstream media in the U.S.
- 30 farmers trained in Sudan
- 13 womenâ€™s stories sponsored in China
- 2,800 trees planted in Ethiopia
- 43 children tutored in Guatemala
- 50 classes received books in USA
- 100 days of medical supplies provided in Bangladesh
Coming into 2010, we were a fledgling startup without any major financial backing. We had few projects on the site and a handful of early adopters. Quickly, Jolkona learned how to build a successful startup organization with little to no resources and building a dynamic volunteer team that is beyond passionate about our mission. What is the cornerstone of our mission? Itâ€™s championing transparency within Jolkona and its partner community â€“ something we care about deeply.
By the end of the year, our team grew from two to 20+ highly-skilled volunteers. Our donor base more than doubled, donations grew by almost 300%.
Jolkona landed our first corporate sponsor, partnering with communications agency Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (WE), on the matching grant campaign called MatchED, which funded up to $5,000 (U.S.) of individual donors’ contributions to educational projects showcased on the Jolkona website.
A second campaign â€“ Give Health made possible by a group of anonymous donors â€“ alone raised close to $14,000 for our projects.
Measuring impact continues to be a major focus for Jolkona and in 2010, we were able to work together and completed the following: align our measurements against the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Jolkona team was also able to visit some of our partner projects in Africa for the first time in 2010 and see the real difference that we are making in the lives of those on the ground and we rounded out the year with our 12 Days of Giving Campaign generating over $5,500 in funds.
2011 is off to a feverish pace – we are thrilled to have hired our first two employees to start off the year. It had become obvious Jolkona needs a full-time team in order to reach its maximum potential: co-founder Nadia Khawaja Mahmud will be taking over as the CEO and Laura Kimball will be leading our marketing and outreach efforts. Their depth of knowledge and operational execution has been critical in building Jolkona into what it is today and we look forward as they continue lead efforts and breathe passion into our organization. We secured our first ever grant from Seattle International Foundation which is vital to developing outreach in areas such as Asia and South Africa. Over $4,000 was raised at the Social Media Club of Seattle anniversary party (SMC). This was our second year celebrating SMCâ€™s birthday, and we are very humbled to be selected as the sole beneficiary!
Saving the best for last, I canâ€™t pass along enough praise and thanks to all of the Jolkona team for the great work they have done in 2010. I am honored to have worked with such a passionate, dedicated team. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you in 2011 and beyond.
Stay tuned, as Jolkona will launch our first matching campaign for 2011, to be unveiled in mid-February and will focus on education projects.
Best wishes for the New Year and our new chapter!
Photo Credit: becca.peterson26