Rebooting Philanthropy: How Innovation Takes Nonprofits Into the 21st Century

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, 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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