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The end of August means many things: that summer will give way to cozy sweater weather and the first orange leaves, that pumpkin spice lattes will soon be available at coffee shops around the country.  Here at Jolkona, the end of August means that our second month of Give Together is coming to a close, and it is you last chance to give to Global Health before we feature three new projects!

Thanks to your generous donations, we were able to increase our Global Health project goals twice, raising $640 in monthly donations through our Give Together community so far. Whether you vote for mother/child health care in India, prosthetics and amputee rehabilitation in Haiti, or cleft palate surgery in Bolivia, you are part of a global movement to save lives.

Online access to philanthropic causes has truly revolutionized microgiving and individual donor impact. Check out eBay‘s infographic, 16 Ways the Internet Has Proved it Has a Heart, demonstrating the various times in the last few years where online communities have pulled together to make an incredible impact. From raising thousands for Doctors without Borders, to raising more than $1 million to bring clean water to parts of Africa, to even helping to fund cryogenic freezing as a terminal cancer patient’s last wish, the ability of online communities to mobilize funds for issues like Global Health is unprecedented.

sample - viral giving

At Jolkona our unique Give Together community makes giving even easier, and is tapping the potential of viral giving.

Next month, Give Together September will continue this trend of online philanthropy with an Animals theme, featuring projects from the Snow Leopard Trust, Reading With Rover, and Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. Check back on this blog for more information about these projects over the next few weeks.

Use these last few days of August to Give Together for Global Health. And, as you snuggle up against the coming fall chill with your favorite pet and your obligatory pumpkin spice latte, prepare to Give Together for Animals.

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

What do you think the world needs more of? Today is U.N. World Humanitarian Day, and your chance to spread the word, literally. Aug. 19th is the beginning of a monthlong campaign called “The World Needs More.” Tell the U.N. what you think the world needs in one word, through a Twitter hashtag or through a donation on its website. Jolkona’s suggestion?  #WHD2013 #TheWorldNeedsMore #GiveTogether.

World Humanitarian Day acknowledges the sacrifices of those who put themselves on the line to bring help to others. Set on Aug. 19th, the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, World Humanitarian Day in 2008 to honor those who have died giving humanitarian aid, and those continuing to make a difference around the world. In particular, this holiday celebrates first responders to crises, like conflict or natural disasters. These volunteers are often as affected by events as those they aid, and are more likely to lose their lives while helping someone else.

World Humanitarian Day also aims to encourage everyone to be a humanitarian at whatever capacity. Many parts of the world still need aid, and only global and international cooperation can effectively address some of these issues. Humanitarianism on a global scale needs the involvement of everyone who wants to help, even if it’s through making an important word reality, or a small donation.

Beyoncé stepped out in support of World Humanitarian Day 2012. This year, the Kid President is asking you to become a global citizen. With the World Needs More campaign, you have a chance to make a direct impact with your word of choice, and make a difference.

At Jolkona, our philosophy is that a small action can make a huge impact, and that anyone can be a philanthropist. Through both our Give Together program and Give Direct, choosing your cause and making a high impact donation makes humanitarian aid both easy and effective. Your donations not only provide help for under empowered people globally, but also support the dedicated volunteers making it all happen.

With the launch of Give Together, our goal is to make giving more communal, compounding the contributions of many to make a bigger impact. In that spirit, we think the world needs more #together. Take the time to check out the project page and use Twitter to spread #GiveTogether as your word of choice.

For more information, check out the World Humanitarian Day on Facebook and Twitter.

Remember: @Jolkona @UN_WHD #WHD2013 #theworldneedsmore #GiveTogether

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Our theme for Give Together in August is Global Health! 1094765_10151501495977396_94142620_n

We have three partners making a difference worldwide by providing quality healthcare to underserved people and their communities. Check out their profiles, and join our Give Together program to donate to your favorite. Make a difference in Global Health today!

Adopt a New Mother in India’s Slum’s

CalcuttaKids2

Calcutta Kids is a medical treatment and preventative healthcare initiative based in the slums of Kolkata. In addition to providing needed medical treatment, they also gather and analyze data to effectively battle major issues — such as malnutrition and poor development — by treating them before they become crises. Their Maternal and Young Child Health Initiative focuses on making sure that pregnant women receive the prenatal, postpartum and pediatric care their families need to survive and thrive.

The key to improving global health is effective preventative medicine. Calcutta Kid’s data-based method has reduced malnutrition in the slums they work in by 75% in 3 years. Through Give Together, you can help make even more of an impact. Your donation will contribute to “adopting” a mother/child pair, providing counseling, vitamins, vaccines, check-ups and a safe delivery.

Make Bolivian Babies Smile

Esperança provides medical treatment and much needed surgeries to some of the poorest and most remote communities in South and Central America. The organization brings mobile teams of volunteer surgeons, anesthesiologists and technicians to villagers who would otherwise be unable to seek treatment for chronic or emergency health problems. In addition, it trains local doctors and medical practitioners so they can make a sustainable difference on the ground.

Last year, Esperança treated more than 1,000 patients. A surgery from Esperança, such as repairing a young child’s cleft palate, costs as little as $156 and has a permanent, positive impact. Contribute through Give Together to Esperança and begin building the supplies for a surgical team to treat rural communities.

Get Haitians Back on Their Feet

In many communities, people with permanent physical disabilities are unable to work, and are therefore stuck in poverty. BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) recognizes that providing medical care is central to fighting poverty, resolving this problem by providing services like prosthetics, orthotics and training for poor people living with disabilities.

The devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti resulted in thousands of additional amputees, overtaxing a healthcare system that already struggled to provide major medical care. BRAC stepped in to turn their Limb and Brace Center into a sustainable health enterprise, not only by supplying much-needed prosthetics and orthotics, but also through counseling and other patient services. By contributing to BRAC Haiti, you can provide the means for Haitians with disabilities to lift themselves out of poverty.

By contributing to any of these three projects, you can improve the quality of life for vulnerable people, and make an impact in Global Health. Give Together today!

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Monsoon season in Bangladesh brings in the flood waters, and as a result, thousands of students are unable to attend school. Many of these students are rural and have issues accessing schooling in the first place. This brings to mind perhaps the most essential tools a student needs for learning: a school. One man came up with a creative solution to address the issue and brought the school to the students during times of flooding, rather than leaving them behind.

Mohammed Rezwan founded a nonprofit called Shidhulai Swanirvar Sansgstha, which runs a fleet of boats acting as schoolhouses, libraries and adult education services. Since his family had a boat growing up, he was able to go to school year round, but he saw that many of his friends didn’t have the same access. He started with one boat and a few small grants, then his project garnered much more attention. With the help of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2005, he added solar powered electricity and computers, and expanded the fleet to its current size, with 20 school boats, 10 mobile libraries, and even 7 centers for adult education on practical issues like agriculture, and 5 clinics. Since it’s beginning, Rezwan has brought schooling to 70,000 students, and hopes to reach 100,000 more in the next five years. This is an amazing project, since, for many in Bangladesh, it is the only way to learn.

Shidhulai imageThis story shows that creative educational tools can overcome adverse conditions, and with enough support, bring schooling to more people than ever. Here at Jolkona, we know that making a big difference starts with a small and creative idea, just like Rezwan’s single boat has turned into an expanding educational flotilla. Through our Give Together Program, you can support similar innovations, and help students all over the world to expand their education.

One project that also approaches impediments to education with creative solutions is Enlighten Playgrounds Inc. which you can support this month through Give Together. This project provides innovative LED lanterns, charged with playground equipment to rural Ghanaian students to take home and study with at night. By providing something as simple as light, EPI improves the access and the quality of education in villages that don’t even have electricity.

Both Shidhulai and Empower Playgrounds Inc. confronted a seemingly immoveable issue, such as flooding and natural disaster, or lack of electricity with creative and clever solutions. Support the efforts of innovative educators like those behind EPI with Give Together. Many students do not have access to things like light at night, or even solid ground on which to attend school, that we take for granted. When we think about the tools needed for a successful education, we do not think of those needs, but they are absolutely vital.

With just a $5 donation, you can join in on Give Together, and make a difference on education. We only have a week left to focus on education, so remember to vote for your favorite organization!

Photo Credit: Amy Yee, NYT

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Rather than reducing income inequality and providing access to the same opportunities, higher education seems to be maintaining, the status quo.

Anyone who has attended a University in the last decade has been aware of the skyrocketing costs of tuition.  For me, the small increases on my tuition statement every quarter, combined with the occasional obligatory (and often poorly attended) student strike in protest became a normal part of my academic landscape. However, I have realized that the world of higher education is highly complex, and very parallel to the struggles of the collective student body.

closing school

Two recent stories show that this struggle is played out not just between students, but between universities as well, especially private schools. With the recession, small private schools with less access to resources are at higher risk of closing. These are schools that struggle with funding, as they often do not receive the massive donations that larger schools do, and have to rely only on student fees to survive. In turn, they are less able to provide amenities and the level of quality necessary to draw in a healthy student body in a competitive student landscape.

However, this is not endemic of the greater higher education industry suffering as a whole. One of the latest scandals in the field was the news that NYU was giving its “stars” housing loans and other enormous monetary benefits to keep them at the school.  This has caused outrage, since NYU is one of the most expensive institutions in the US to attend, and its students have been leaving with startling amounts of debt.  When its faculty and other academic assets are being paid massive bonuses, and its president makes 7 figures, the news of this further fiscal abuse is truly disheartening. Clearly NYU isn’t raising tuition costs in order to survive like smaller private schools. They are doing it because they can.

So, what do these stories tell us? They tell us that the same trends that maintain income inequality between students even after attending a university are endemic on a higher level. These trends are apparent in the private sector of higher education as a whole from school to school.  What is even more distressing, is private universities such as NYU and its small, failing brethren, are non-profits. We expect the for-profit education industry (which accounts for a full fifth of college students) to financially exploit students. What we don’t expect is that a famous non-profit private school, which receives substantial donations, would land its students with a huge financial burden in order to fund second homes for famous faculty.

This is a time where more Americans are earning degrees than ever, and the changing nature of jobs means that applicants need more specialized training than before. Access to higher education, is becoming more of a necessity, and is still the best chance at reducing income inequality. Something so necessary shouldn’t be a game to play with bank accounts.

What becomes clear is that the rapidly rising tuition rates is making students, and smaller private schools poorer, and is an opening for large, dominant schools to pad their pockets. When institutions of higher education think only about money, it is the students who suffer, especially those who need it the most.  It is time for things to change.

The good news, is that you can positively impact education for students all around the world, through our Give Together program.  Be proactive about education, and donate today.

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!

Give Together is live! And our opening feature issue is Education1005044_10151427376962396_1217417665_n

We have three projects that significantly help both teachers and students internationally move towards a brighter future. Give Together today, choosing your favorite project and pooling your contributions with others who share your same interests.

Here is an introduction to our featured projects:

Empower Burmese Women to Become Effective Teachers

Educational Empowerment supports education in SE Asia, especially in Myanmar. A third of children in the country are unable to access education at all, and 70% of those who do never move beyond primary school. Educational Empowerment has made it their goal to fix this deficit by providing training and educational materials to teachers (90% of whom are women) in poverty stricken communities in Myanmar.

This project not only enhances the education of young children, providing them greater opportunities in the future, but it also empowers the women who teach, allowing them to be more effective in the classroom, and prepare them better for their careers. Both teachers and children face poverty and unequal opportunity. The $250 fundraising goal for Educational Empowerment will purchase the necessary materials to contribute to the essential development of primary school children, and allow their teachers to become confident  role models.

Providing Play-Powered Lanterns for Rural Students in Ghana

Empower Playgrounds, Inc. is an innovative company that installs playground equipment for schools in Ghana, which charge special lanterns that students can take home with them after school to study. In most villages in Ghana, there isn’t a reliable source of power. The village of Ahiatroga, is no different. This makes it difficult for students to continue their education outside of the classroom, which is essential for increasing the quality of their education.

The $500 fundraising goal will install a merry-go-round for Ahiatroga’s school, charging portable LED lanterns for students to take home and study with. Empower Playgrounds, Inc. has already installed 40 of these innovative merry-go-rounds, benefitting almost 10,000 students in Ghana. Donate today, and add the students of Ahiatroga to this growing number.

Fund the Education of Underserved Students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

The Technology Access Foundation (TAF) is an organization in King County, Washington, that is working on improving the STEM education for communities of color, better equipping underserved students to enter college, and helping them pursue careers in fields of science and technology. Their summer program provides camps focused on a number of topics, such as robotics, aviation and design. The students attend a field trip, and present their work at the end of the session.

The fundraising goal of 2 scholarships at $350 will allow some of the highest need students from White Center Washington, where as many as 82% of students qualify for free or reduced lunches, to have an in-depth, and hands on experience with a STEM field of their interest. The summer program will supplement their education, preparing them for college and science and tech based career.

Donate today, and use Give Together to pick one of these organizations and improve education worldwide!

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

One of the big questions around philanthropy, is how much money really makes a difference? Most of us are aware of the kinds of gifts that are thousands if not millions of dollars. If you can only spare $15 or $50, how much will your gift really accomplish?

While this is certainly a struggle for the potential donor, it is also a concern for those who are trying to fundraise. How do you convince donors that their gift is meaningful, and create a relationship between them and a cause? Georgette Lemuth, president of the National Catholic Development Conference has answered some of these questions explaining that, it is not the amount of a gift that makes an impact, but it’s potential for transformation.

In a discussion with The NonProfit Times Ms. Lemuth discussed what allows both the donor and the recipient to benefit, or be transformed from a gift.

  • The donor responds to the “case statement” of need from the community, and the organization’s ability to meet that need effectively and efficiently;
  • The donor is compelled by a story that illustrates the community’s need and the organization’s effective and efficient response;
  • The donor makes a commitment to become part of that response, recognizing that their gift from their excess financial capacity has the power to further our organization’s mission in a meaningful way. By the way, the donor gets to decide what is “excess financial capacity,” not fundraisers.
  • The donor’s excess financial capacity is effectively and efficiently “transformed” into food for the hungry, clothes for the poor, or medical treatment for the sick.
  • The donor is not only thanked for their gift, but also receives reports, as specifically as possible, regarding how the gift has transformed the community.
  • If you think a gift is completed when the check clears, you’re a tax collector, not a fundraiser.
  • If you think the gift is completed when the receipt is sent, you’re an accountant, not a fundraiser.
  • If you think the gift is completed when the donor sees what their gift has done, you’re a “transformational” fund­raiser.

From The NonProfit Times

Here at Jolkona, impact is central to our mission in changing philanthropy. By providing low cost donation opportunities, and clear proof of impact, we make it easy for your gifts to be transformational.

Through Esperança, just $16 will provide medical supplies for a surgical team to treat health issues in rural indigenous communities in Bolivia. This improves and saves lives for farmers who are too poor and remote to seek medical attention themselves. In addition, the volunteer surgical teams often provide training for local clinics.

Through MADRE, a donation of just $30 provides training for a woman farmer in East Sudan. This ensures that she has access to basic education, and can support her family in an environment where 40% of children suffer from malnutrition. In addition, responsible farming practices counteract the effects of climate change.

These are each amazingly high impact and transformational donation opportunities, providing a significant service, and you receive proof of impact. To transform the lives of people in need, and your own experience as a philanthropist, donate today!

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

One of the big questions around philanthropy, is how much money really makes a difference? Most of us are aware of the kinds of gifts that are thousands if not millions of dollars. If you can only spare $15 or $50, how much will your gift really accomplish?

While this is certainly a struggle for the potential donor, it is also a concern for those who are trying to fundraise. How do you convince donors that their gift is meaningful, and create a relationship between them and a cause? Georgette Lemuth, president of the National Catholic Development Conference has answered some of these questions explaining that, it is not the amount of a gift that makes an impact, but it’s potential for transformation.

In a discussion with The NonProfit Times Ms. Lemuth discussed what allows both the donor and the recipient to benefit, or be transformed from a gift.

  • The donor responds to the “case statement” of need from the community, and the organization’s ability to meet that need effectively and efficiently;
  • The donor is compelled by a story that illustrates the community’s need and the organization’s effective and efficient response;
  • The donor makes a commitment to become part of that response, recognizing that their gift from their excess financial capacity has the power to further our organization’s mission in a meaningful way. By the way, the donor gets to decide what is “excess financial capacity,” not fundraisers.
  • The donor’s excess financial capacity is effectively and efficiently “transformed” into food for the hungry, clothes for the poor, or medical treatment for the sick.
  • The donor is not only thanked for their gift, but also receives reports, as specifically as possible, regarding how the gift has transformed the community.
  • If you think a gift is completed when the check clears, you’re a tax collector, not a fundraiser.
  • If you think the gift is completed when the receipt is sent, you’re an accountant, not a fundraiser.
  • If you think the gift is completed when the donor sees what their gift has done, you’re a “transformational” fund­raiser.

From The NonProfit Times

Here at Jolkona, impact is central to our mission in changing philanthropy. By providing low cost donation opportunities, and clear proof of impact, we make it easy for your gifts to be transformational.

Through Esperança, just $16 will provide medical supplies for a surgical team to treat health issues in rural indigenous communities in Bolivia. This improves and saves lives for farmers who are too poor and remote to seek medical attention themselves. In addition, the volunteer surgical teams often provide training for local clinics.

Through MADRE, a donation of just $30 provides training for a woman farmer in East Sudan. This ensures that she has access to basic education, and can support her family in an environment where 40% of children suffer from malnutrition. In addition, responsible farming practices counteract the effects of climate change.

These are each amazingly high impact and transformational donation opportunities, providing a significant service, and you receive proof of impact. To transform the lives of people in need, and your own experience as a philanthropist, donate today!

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

An enduring question in the non-profit sector has been the decision of how anonymous a donation should be. A recent article from the Nonprofit Quarterly frames the question as a public vs. private matter. They ask whether charity is an individual and private decision, or one that relies on community involvement. The philanthropy section of the New York Times introduced the topic, asking about whether public giving is about a name on a plaque or building, or if it is an integral part of building donor relationships? Both of these articles, and other sources, choose to frame their arguments in a Judeo-Christian context, emphasizing the belief that humility in giving is almost as important as the act itself.

However, in my opinion, this approach seems dated, and fails to fully take into account or embrace the themes of social connectivity, and the changing public face of philanthropy. We are in the age of social media, where nothing is truly quiet, and the way people are motivated into action has changed. As social media has changed the way we communicate and keep in touch with our acquaintances, it makes sense that philanthropy would follow the same route.

It seems that whether or not you give anonymously, both choices seem motivated by individual needs than by broader good. Asking for privacy is perceived as avoiding the pressure for further donations, and receiving a special plaque or building seems like a quest for immortality. Alternatively, a donation with a well-known name behind it helps bring publicity to the non-profit, and bring in further donations. While these questions are still being discussed by the major sources of non-profit news, it seems as if the debate will soon be made obsolete by our social media culture. People spread awareness about all sorts of issues and causes, and publicity is no longer about an engraved name, or seen as crass self-promotion.

For those of us who aren’t wealthy enough to earn our name on a park bench, or organizations that don’t rely on large donations, quiet, anonymous gifts may be counterproductive. In fact, 15 to 18 percent of donations are referred from Facebook in an average peer-to-peer campaign. Most of the people who “like” a charity on Facebook do so because they want to publicly display their support for the charity to their friends. In addition, over half of social media users who engaged with a non-profit or cause took further action by donating, volunteering, or continuing to spread the word.

Of course, just as selecting a cause or organization is a personal decision, so is the choice to make your donations public or strictly private. Keep in mind however, that small non-profits especially rely on social media to garner donations, publicize campaigns and build a strong following. When you can publicize what you ate for lunch, why not use social media to share a cause you are passionate about?

Whether or not you make your donations public, small organizations like Jolkona can use just a small contribution. Make a difference and donate to a project today.

Read our previous post about Social Media and Philanthropy.

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

 

diversity day 2013logo

We live in a world of ever increasing connectivity, where we have access to as much information as we want, from around the world, at our very fingertips. Cultural diversity is more a part of daily life, both locally, and globally, as more and more people have access to technology and social media, making the world more connected than ever before. However, despite the shrinking space between interactions, having a society that respects cultural diversity is more difficult than one would think. In fact, a full three quarters of conflicts still have some cultural dimension. That is why today, on May 21st, we recognize the UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

On an international policy scale, the UN recognizes that cultural diversity is vitally important to development, as well as to peace. Irena Bokova, the Director General of UNESCO says, “Experience shows that efficient development models are those that actually integrate local cultural specificities, thus eliciting the involvement of the communities concerned.” In addition, keeping culture central to developing educational, environmental, communication, and other policies, means that marginalized groups are better represented. Diversity Day focuses on encouraging cultural and religious dialogue and plurality locally, as well as internationally, while creating a better balance between the exchange of cultural goods, and preserving the most vulnerable cultures.

Celebrating World Diversity day and experiencing cultural diversity doesn’t only have to be the project of international policy, it can just as easily be done at home. Do one of the things on the list provided by the Do One Thing Campaign for Diversity and Inclusion, from the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations:

  1. Visit an art exhibit or a museum dedicated to other cultures.
  2. Invite someone in the neighborhood from another culture or religion to share a meal with you and exchange views on life.
  3. Rent a movie or read a book from another country or religion than your own.
  4. Invite people from a different culture to share your customs.
  5. Read about the great thinkers of other cultures than yours (e.g. Confucius, Socrates, Avicenna, Ibn Khaldun, Aristotle, Ganesh, Rumi.)
  6. Visit a place of worship different than yours and participate in the celebration.
  7. Play the “stereotypes game.” Stick a post-it on your forehead with the name of a country. Ask people to tell you stereotypes associated with people from that country. You win if you find out where you are from.
  8. Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures like Hanukkah, Ramadan or about the amazing celebrations of New Year’s Eve in Spain or the Qingming festival in China.
  9. Spread your own culture around the world through our Facebook page and learn about other cultures
  10. Explore music of a different culture

Information from UNAOC. Find out more about the Do One Thing Campaign here.

In honor of UN World Diversity Day, you can also donate to a project here at Jolkona, which will not only contribute to celebrating cultural diversity and identity, but also to aiding and empowering people in developing countries, which will soon be the epicenter of the development questions put forward by UNESCO. Through Potters for Peace, donate just $25, to train a Nicaraguan artist in making traditional pottery, for up to a year . This not only provides a steady source of income for those living in extreme poverty, but also preserves cultural heritage. Similarly, a donation of only $15, through Awamaki, supports a woman weaver in remote indigenous communities in Peru . The donation provides workshops and business training so the women can be self-sufficient, and giving them access to an international market for their traditional Peruvian weavings.

Though globally recognizing and celebrating cultural diversity may seem like an incredibly massive task, you can do your part with just a small act of seeking out and experiencing a new culture, whether it is exploring a new cuisine, or donating to help someone turn their culture into a source of well being, and have a stronger global presence. Today, on UN World Diversity Day, make a difference, be inclusive, and be part of the dialogue.

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

As we have discussed before, the nonprofit sector has been facing difficult financial challenges ranging from budget cuts, to the loss of market shares in the industry. To some researchers, it is becoming clear that there is a divide between the public perception, and the realities of how nonprofits operate. The John Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies has begun to explore these concepts by initiating the Listening Post Project’s Non-Profit Renewal Conversation.  More specifically, they hope to begin a conversation about the special values and unique responsibilities of non-profits, how to communicate those ideas to stakeholders and the broader public, and to answer one question: why do non-profits matter?

Using a network of over one thousand non-profits that responded to regular surveys, or “soundings,” to monitor trends and developments in the sector, the Listening Post Project helped narrow down a set of values that various non-profits thought were most important.  They have started to find that the issue does not lie with disorganization of the non-profit sector, as the surveyed groups had a great deal of consensus about the way the values and qualities that are core to their work.  The issue was much more about the ability of non-profits to communicate those values to the public. The Center at John Hopkins will use this information to renew the value of non-profit commitment.

Here is an example of some of the results of the conversation:

 Anyone is welcome to contribute to this project, in order to get as much perspective as possible.  If you would like to join in with the Non-Profit Renewal Conversation, use Twitter (#nonprofitvalues), or Facebook, to share your thoughts.

Here at Jolkona, we hope to make a difference in reinvigorating the non-profit sector, through our dedication to the idea that anyone can make a difference, with just a small donation, and that knowing the impact is essential to each donation.  As the whole industry works to define why they matter, perhaps we can renew a sense of value by changing the culture of giving.

Change the culture of giving today.

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