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We are happy to announce that we are one of the contestants in Tray Creative’s 2012 Vote for Good Contest. Jolkona, as well as other local Seattle-based nonprofits that have collaborated with Tray over the last several years, are eligible for votes.

The holidays are an ideal season to invest your time, energy and contributions in worthwhile endeavors. We have worked hard this past year to achieve good – please place a vote for our good to help our chances at being awarded a $1,000 donation.

What Tray Creative Does

Tray Creative is a dynamic organization based in Seattle that clarifies, strengthens and empowers the messaging and branding of other companies. They utilize their diverse professional skill sets to aid the mission of both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

We are honored to be a part of their holiday charitable campaign this year. Tray Creative’s pro-active participation in philanthropic activities is something we affirm and admire.

How to Vote

All it takes is a couple clicks of the mouse and your vote for Jolkona will be cast. Visit the voting page on Facebook and ‘like’ Tray Creative to access the voting platform. Just click “Vote” for Jolkona – and feel free to share the link or spread the word about the contest via your Facebook profile or Twitter.

Support Jolkona’s Mission

We couldn’t do what we do without the incredible support from people in our community. This $1,000 end of the year donation would be a wonderful capstone to a great, productive year here. The contest runs through December 31st – please, take just a moment to cast your vote and tell a friend. You will be facilitating the success of future projects and partnerships.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter , and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

 

We are so excited to usher in this festive time of year with our very own giving campaign. Jolkona’s tireless volunteers and members have teamed up to present and advocate for projects important to them. This is, after all, the season of giving – and we believe genuine generosity is contagious. The holidays are special times for family and community, for gathering and storytelling, for being thankful and giving back. The spirit of giving is a malleable form that can manifest in many ways. We would like to share our spiritedness with you.

Launching our Gifts

Jolkona volunteers have been crafting videos dedicated to their chosen projects. Each day, beginning today, we will ‘unwrap’ a gift by unveiling a new video. The projects are meaningful and unique, one and all, which is why we want to let each one speak for itself on a given day. Visit the Campaign page here.

Our non-profit partners span focuses from healthcare to education to the environment. This campaign will give you an excellent opportunity to be exposed to different projects and choose one that really resonates with you. We are excited to have so many passionate team members on the Jolkona team to speak on behalf of these projects.

Take a look at the video below for our first gift of the season. It is all about our partner Calcutta Kids, an organization working hard in India to combat child mortality from diarrhea. Show your support for their ongoing health efforts by making a gift of $10.

A Gift of Impact

In addition to our 10 Days of Giving Campaign, we have a convenient gift option available for individuals looking to offer something different to a friend or family member. Our holiday e-gift cards can be easily purchased through the Jolkona platform; these can then be applied to a project of the donor’s choosing. Your gift to them will be a gift back to a community in need. It is a flexible and useful way to positively involve yourself in the lives of others. The gift of impact is a treasure.

Join the Jolkona family with your Support

People’s social support systems – family, friends, significant others, co-workers – play a vital role in celebrating the holidays. It is important to not lose sight of this love when considering the less fortunate. The spirit of giving is about philanthropy, yes – but it really comes alive through love and compassion.

We encourage you to commemorate this holiday season by getting involved in our 10 Days of Giving Campaign. Give to a particular project. Purchase an e-gift card to give to someone in your life. Spread the word about Jolkona’s projects through conversation and social media. Become a person of giving during this busy time of year. One individual’s impact is greatly amplified in the esteemed company of fellow givers.  

How will you give impact this holiday season?

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

What makes a company stand out and truly sparkle among the sea of eager entrepreneurs ready to stand in the spotlight? Is there a language to a successful business? When your mission is to provide a non-profit example of humanitarian work, how do you gain enough recognition and generate enough buzz to truly be heard?

TRAY Creative is one such agency that develops a strong identity and unique marketing for any business, but especially for those who may lack an available resource due to low funding.

I had a chance to talk with Ralph Allora, TRAY Creative’s Principal/Marketing Director on their most recent campaign that ended before the new year. We provided them with the giving platform to make this event happen successfully. Get to know Ralph, TRAY Creative, and the challenge below:

What is the inspiration behind TRAY Creative’s Holiday Giving Challenge?
TRAY Creative is a big supporter of Jolkona, and we had been talking for some time about partnering on a corporate giving campaign. So we hit upon the idea of doing a Holiday Giving Challenge in December–a limited-time competition to raise money for a handful of selected nonprofits.
TRAY designed the online giving page and developed content for the social media and PR components of the campaign. Jolkona did the development work and hosted the page. We paid a licensing fee to cover development and hosting to ensure that the participating organizations received 100% of their pledged donations.
We approached four nonprofits based in Seattle to participate in the program, and they all agreed. We knew there had to be an incentive to get donors excited about the competition, so we added a reward: the organization that raised the most money would receive $2,500 in pro bono marketing and creative services from TRAY in 2012.

How was the response?
We were thrilled with the response. In just 26 days, we were able to raise almost $7,000 for the four nonprofits. Because these are locally focused organizations, that’s a meaningful number.

What is your personal experience with each non-profit organization featured in the campaign?
We picked these four organizations specifically because they represent causes we care about. People for Puget Sound represented the environment, the Seattle Animal Shelter Foundation represented animal protection, FareStart represented economic empowerment, and the University of Washington Dream project represented education. For any business thinking about running a campaign like this, our advice would be to partner with organizations that align with your company’s core values. It’s critical to the success of the program.

What do you believe is the greatest public impact from this campaign?
Especially around the holidays, people are inundated with appeals from different nonprofits. There are so many choices, so many opportunities to give, so it’s important to create incentives, which we feel we did successfully. First, by offering a prize of pro bono assistance for the winning organization, we were able to keep donors motivated and show them that their dollars could go further. Second, because it was a competition the participating groups–TRAY and the nonprofits–actively used Facebook, Twitter, and e-marketing to rally their audiences throughout the campaign. We added a pie chart on the giving page, which updated the results in real time and kept it exciting down to the final days, when People for Puget Sound surged ahead and won the competition.

Looking forward to another campaign? Have anything in the works?
Yes, we’re hoping to make this an annual holiday tradition, and raise even more money this year. And we’re already talking to Jolkona about creating a giving-platform template that can be branded and customized so that other businesses can run this kind of cause-marketing campaign in a simple, cost-effective way. For any small or midsize company that’s looked at a miltimillion-dollar initiative and wondered how they can pull off their own small-scale version, we think this could be a great solution.

What does philanthropy mean to you?
Speaking from a business standpoint, philanthropy is about more than cutting a check for a nonprofit and calling it a day. It’s about giving back and expressing your company’s core values on multiple levels, whether that’s encouraging employee volunteerism, doing pro bono work, or getting employees, customers and vendors actively involved in a campaign like TRAY Holiday Giving Challenge. When you’re willing to put your company’s brainpower, time and resources to wrok on behalf of a cause you believe in, that’s true philanthropy.

6,768 dollars were raised during this challenge, and the winner was People for Puget Sound with a total of 2,880 dollars raised. Great job!
Click here to learn more about TRAY Creative, or follow their tweets.

 

Image credit: Flickr

Did December sneak up on you, too? We couldn’t be more excited that it has– it’s a time for hot cocoa, good company, holiday parties and (best of all) giving selflessly. The mood shifts. We’re suddenly connecting with the people we pass on the street, exchanging a smile or a gentle “hello.” I remember holiday shopping as a child, looking to my Mom for a dollar or two to drop in the Salvation Army bucket. Even today, hearing those bells ring, raises a certain sense of comfort in my heart. It’s no wonder, then, that 67% of us get excited for this time of year, and 77% of us are choosing to contribute to nonprofits. Personally, I feel fortunate to be able to combine the two. Will you?
12 Days of Giving starts today! It’s a daily dose of philanthropy for the holidays: 12 different Jolkona teams have dedicated themselves to sharing the love and raising awareness on a certain campaign that speaks to them. We give each team their spotlight for a day, and offer you a chance to make a difference by donating. It’s like our humanitarian holiday wish list and an amazing opportunity to transform someone’s life– someone you may pass by on the street some day.

We all have a dream, a message, or a truth to share with the world. I wish to inspire you to challenge the statistics of holiday spending: $44 million dollars are spent during the holiday season in America– PER HOUR. What percentage of that would you like to see spent bringing a smile to someone or positively impacting a community without the comfortable privileges we enjoy? There are 12 days, 12 campaigns, 12 teams who are sharing their stories with Jolkona. Our goals can be met with your help and support. Get to know each team and the projects that they are passionate about. If one resonates with you, donate! If it doesn’t, share it with someone who may. Drop by drop, your generous contribution– amount is up to you– will create the ripple effect for sustainable, revolutionary change.

Our first team is unwrapping a very special project. Help orphaned or vulnerable Bolivian children by providing them with psychologists and support their psychological growth. Their goal? 72 months of care for these kids. Check out their video below, and get more information about the project here:

Join us.

Stay connected on Facebook, follow our tweets (#12daysgive), or check the blog to unwrap the 12 gifts we are sharing with you over the next 12 days.
The impact you can make is limitless. Here are four ways you can personally generate change and inspire others:

Start a campaign
Donate to one of the 12 Days of Giving campaigns
Give a Jolkona gift card
Your business and Jolkona

What do coffee, a five-dollar bill, and rainforests have in common? Coffee is one of the top ten commodities of the world. In the U.S., most handcrafted lattes and espresso beverages fall somewhere under five dollars. Sadly, rainforests are often compromised to accommodate the need for growing more crops and delivering the beans to caffeine-loving folks around the world.
Why is this important? We lose between 3 and 6 billion trees annually due to deforestation. Our world population is under 7 billion; imagine losing every person living on this planet each year. That is the effect of harvesting lumber for logging and cultivating farm land to grow crops. The pretty penny spent on many cups of java begins with the coffee beans themselves.

 

Many countries near the Equator and around oceans harvest coffee beans.

Many countries near the Equator and world oceans harvest coffee beans. Photo credit: Samson Lee

Preserving our Delicate Ecosystems

Let’s look at Brazil: the world’s highest producer of coffee, churning out an impressive 2,249,010 tonnes in 2007 alone. In response to this demand, many coffee harvesters occupied fertile soil, eradicating many of the lush vegetation in that space. As an effect of this type of production, many forests and habitats have disappeared. By removing the trees, the goal was to maximize the growth period of the coffee plants (via photosynthesis) in order to yield even more product at a faster rate. However, this creates detrimental effects on our global environment such as atmospheric warming and near extinct species of exotic animals.
There is a solution. Allowing native trees to flourish among coffee crops generates seed dispersal from birds, giving birth to a diverse ecosystem of plants and animals. Attracting multiple species of trees is ideal, because the sprouting vegetation that results often unite empty spaces present in rainforests today. This process may also reverse the effects of deforestation over time, Jha claims.  Read the entire report on Shalene Jha and Christopher Dick’s exploration in shade-grown coffee and how it improves the effects of deforestation.

Natural landscapes like this are losing their chance to be preserved.

Natural landscapes like this are losing their chance to be preserved. Photo credit: rumpleteaser

World Rainforest Week

World Rainforest Week is October 10-16; a time of reflection and appreciation for the flora and fauna of every lush forest in the world. Burundi, Brazil, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Haiti, Honduras, India, Mali, Nicaragua, the Philippines, and Senegal are all recognized under Jolkona’s Tree Planting project with “Trees for the Future.”

This year for National Coffee Day on September 29th, I donated to this project by supplying Brazil with 50 more trees.

This week, I challenge you by trading one latte, cappuccino, or cup of drip for 50 trees to replenish our world loss of 3 to 6 billion trees annually. As always, a Jolkona “thank you” for your donation will be real-time updates from our partner about your gracious contribution. Every drop counts, and even one new tree is an additional contributor to future growth!

To learn more about shade-grown coffee and other environmentally conscious actions you can take, visit Green Bean Coffee’s website and mongabay.com

We are officially in the holiday season – we all know that. We also know that holidays mark a time of overspending, overeating, and overindulgence. In our first-ever infographic, we attempt to make sense of this excessiveness that marks the holiday period here in America.

For those of you who want to break this cycle or don’t know what to get someone who seems to have it all, we provide 5 alternative gifts this holiday season. Join others in giving back this holiday at http://www.jolkona.org/holiday2010.

Jolkona Holiday Infographic

Data source: comScore

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

Dear Jolkona Foundation Supporters,

 

Jolkona Foundation (www.jolkona.org) is a startup nonprofit organization based in Seattle that lets people choose how to impact the world through small donations with tangible proofs of impact.

 

When we launched Jolkona Foundation to the public in June 2009, we were very excited at the potential of Jolkona Foundation to make giving more fun, transparent and engaging for all donors. Since then, we have seen a tremendous response to our service. Over 350 donations have been made through Jolkona Foundation thus far. We now have over 50 projects in more than 30 countries and continue to add new projects on a weekly basis. We have received a lot media coverage as well, including a front page article in Seattle Times. Most importantly, together we have made very tangible impacts around the world:

 

  • Supplied more than 250 books to schools in Tibet
  • Educated over 25 girls in Afghanistan
  • Provided more than 15 artificial limbs in Bangladesh
  • Supplied over 25 desks to schools in Zambia
  • Trained over 15 children in computers in Guatemala
  • Planted over 4,000 trees worldwide
  • And much much more…

I would like to start this holiday season by thanking you – our biggest supporters. Your support has played a crucial role in making Jolkona successful in our first 5 months. We will continue to look to you to help reach out to more philanthropists and change the lives of more people on the ground. This holiday season I have 4 specific asks of you:

 

1.    Make at least one more donation to the Jolkona Foundation. Whether it is $5 to buy a malaria net in India, $30 to train a low income individual in USA, or $40 to buy a solar stove in Tibet, please make at least more 1 donation through Jolkona Foundation this holiday season. Check out our projects at http://www.jolkona.org/projects/?view=list and give.

2.    Vote for Jolkona Foundation in the Facebook Chase Giving Challenge and help us win $25,000 and a chance to win $1,000,000. It just takes one click to vote for Jolkona Foundation. Just follow this link – http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/339790, login into Facebook, and vote today. Once you have voted, please get at least 10 of your Facebook friends to also vote for us. We will be planting a tree for every vote we get in this challenge.

3.    Please tell at least 5 people about Jolkona Foundation and give them the opportunity to feel empowered by the difference they can make by giving to a project that inspires them. The more people we can get to give, the more impact we can have around the world.

4.    Stay tuned for our holiday giving features. Give the gift of making a difference to your friends, family, or co-workers.  Holiday gift cards will be available on our website shortly and will make great holiday gifts, stock stuffers, etc.    

 

We started Jolkona Foundation with a vision to galvanize a new generation of philanthropists – young people who want to see the difference their small donations can make. This message has resonated very well and as a result, our team has grown from just Nadia and I to a team of 20 capable, passionate, young people. We have been able to accomplish a lot because of this team and we are looking to accomplish a lot more in 2010. However, we need your help in helping us reach more people and get them to use Jolkona Foundation. I look forward to your continued support this holiday season and in 2010. If you have any questions/comments, please feel free to contact me any time.

 

Happy Holidays from Jolkona Foundation!

 

All the Best,

Adnan

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