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Jolkona has spent the past five years dedicating to bringing transparent and high impact philanthropy to people in need all over the world. With the help of our giving community, we have raised over $700,000 dollars across 45 countries, impacting thousands. However, after gathering five years worth of data, we began to wonder if we were really providing as much impact as possible with such a global focus. What real difference does a thousand dollars make when distributed here and there? What could that money really achieve if it was dedicated to lifting up one country or region at a time?

This was the philosophy that led to the creation of our two newest programs, Lift Bangla and Project Catalyst. Beginning this month, Jolkona will make developing these two programs our primary focus, and we will no longer provide donation opportunities through Give Direct, or Give Together. We believe that these changes will allow us improve our real impact and stay innovative in philanthropy. We hope that you join us as we embark on this new journey.

Lift Bangla takes the model that Jolkona has developed over the last five years – a microgiving platform that provides real feed back for every donation. This time, we will focus on Bangladesh, a growing center of social innovation. We are partnering with Bangladeshi organizations that create new models for healthcare, provide education and many other areas. Previously, finding and funding these projects was a challenge, but we mean to change that with Lift Bangla. As this program develops, we aim to launch Lift in other innovative communities in need.

If you have been following Jolkona in June, you likely saw that the first term of Project Catalyst was a success. This program is another way that we can drive real impact in a developing nation, this time by providing an intensive business development incubator for young social innovators in Indonesia. To learn more about this program, and see the impact it has already had, read the blog pieces covering our first cohort. Our team will dive into selecting the next cohort this month, and the next term of Project Catalyst will begin in October.

Even though we are moving in a new direction, our philosophies are still the same. We are still dedicated to a transparent giving experience that shows real impact. We hope that you join us as we ‘lift’ a new leaf, and once again bring the spirit of innovation into philanthropy. Through August, we will welcome new team members and work on building a thriving community focused on driving social innovation in Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Once again, we want to thank our community for supporting us these past five years, and we hope you are as excited as we are to see the future of these new Jolkona initiatives. Stay tuned for more updates!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on Facebook and Twitter

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.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest 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.

 

Earlier in the series, we featured Tim McMullen: Bill the Butcher’s Director of Operations. When we met with him at the commissary, Michael LaRoche sat to his left. Being Director of Purchasing, he is a hard-working man with an easygoing vibe. You pick up on it after talking with him for awhile. He takes his coffee black and unlimited, dabbles in music playing, sketching, reading literature, and cooks – of course he would! He is originally from Boston, and has adventured across the earth’s oceans to Amsterdam. Michael gave us plenty to laugh about during his interview. Check out what he has to say on life, giving, sustainability, and meat:

What are your thoughts on Jolkona’s Eat Local, Give Global campaign and its partnership with the Bill the Butcher shops?
It’s a very worthwhile endeavor. It’s getting people to be part of a growing community that wants to close in their food sources, to get to know it better, and to expand that to people in such challenged regions as Sudan. It gives them help in getting their food chain up and growing. The way we have it set up here, you see, is that big chains come in and control your food supply when it could be done locally.

Jolkona is a nonprofit which is centered around simplicity and visibility. How do you think Bill the Butcher fits in with such principles?
We’re certainly trying to be very visible. Simple – well, we are actually quite a complex system, while our idea is simple.

Local food, sustainable farming, grass fed beef: these have been dubbed as “megatrends.” Are these indeed just megatrends, or is there more to it than that this, is there more meat on the bone, as it were?
Corn-fed beef was the megatrend for the last 40 years. Before that it was grass-fed beef – as it was for 400 years. Or are we just back to what it used to be?

I read that Bill the Butcher shops are the “new marketplace” between farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Could you explain more about this?
Farmers used to have two options: sell their meat to the big conglomerates at a vast loss, or go sell that meat at the farmer’s markets. The first offers very little profit; the second is very time consuming. So we buy directly from the farmers at a fair price and sell it straight out of our shop.

With Bill the Butcher you’ve built “the world’s shortest supply chain.” Could explain more about this for our readers?
So for instance, take the Nelson family, I talk to Mr Nelson, and I say we need x amount of cattle and they have they x amount ready, that’s slaughtered on their farm by a mobile processor, and then we take the whole animal and sell it to you. Minimal middlemen. So now it doesn’t have to travel half way up the country to be slaughtered in one place, and then shipped – goodness knows where – to be sold  in another place.

Bill the Butcher has a very broad consumer appeal, why do you think this is?
People are starting to realize they have no idea where their food comes from. Eating is what you do three or four times a day. People want to start learning where it comes from and not that it just came from the frozen food section in the supermarket.

Which cut of meat do you think people should know more about?
Beef cheeks.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
A round because I’m kind of an ass.

Empower women farmers in Sudan with farming education and sustainability efforts. Join our Eat Local, Give Global campaign! Bill the Butcher and Jolkona are the dream team making headway on this exciting project. Access the donation page online or stop at any of the shops to learn more and hold your own “interview” with the butchers!
Check out Laura Kimball’s launch post, or go the campaign page for more details.

 

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

On Monday, October 10th we announced the Good Deeds campaign with a simple goal: incentivize our community to donate to any project on Jolkona and our partner, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, will match every donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000 on Monday, October 24th, whichever comes first.

I am pleased to announce that over the weekend we met that goal and our Good Deeds campaign is fully funded! We have had a few matching campaigns over the past year, Waggener Edstrom Good Deeds Campaign on Jolkonaand this campaign has resulted in supporting the most diverse number of projects than any matched giving campaign before.

  • 41 different projects were supported
  • 15 different countries
  • $5,000 donated by Jolkona donors
  • + $5,000 matched by Waggener Edstrom
  • = $10,000 raised in 2 weeks

The impact of $10,000 worth of ‘good deeds’

  • 2 women received life skills class in USA
  • 2 months of primary education provided in Uganda
  • 4 stoves provided in Nepal
  • 400 trees planted in India
  • 6 students attended a night class in the tsunami-affect area of Japan
  • 2 girls saved from honor killing in Iraq
  • 8 orphans received clothes in Iraq
  • 6 women received farming training in Sudan
  • 2 girls received 1 year of education in Afghanistan
  • 2 businesses showcase opportunity provided in USA
  • 2 mothers and newborn received nutritional support in India
  • 2 months of primary education provided in Uganda
  • 2 women received access to clothes in USA
  • 6 weeks of food provided in Iraq
  • 100 trees planted in Ethiopia
  • 6 acres of rainforest conserved in Tanzania
  • 2 young women trained in Nepal
  • 2 stories sponsored in United States
  • 12 months of secondary education provided in Uganda
  • 2 months of support provided to a student in Rwanda
  • 4 jobs created in India
  • 2 women received training in bio-intensive farming in Kenya
  • 2 students received support for research project in USA
  • 12 months of computer training provided in Guatemala
  • 2 children sponsored in Bangladesh
  • 2 orphans received education in Kenya
  • 8 children saved from diarrhea in India
  • 6 school girls received uniforms in Liberia
  • 2 headsets provided to a classroom in USA
  • 2 rural Tibetan girls attended day school in China
  • 2 months of HIV treatment provided in Kenya
  • 2 Above & Beyond awards given to homeless person in USA
  • 160 children received 1 week of meal each in Uganda
  • 2 hygiene kits provided in Haiti
  • 2 homes fumigated in Bolivia
  • 2 family toilets provided in Nepal
  • 2 classes received notebooks in United States
  • 2 soccer camps participant supported in United States
  • 4 women trained in bio-intensive farming in Kenya
  • 2 women trained in Pakistan
  • 4 Jolkona projects added

And these projects impacted the following countries:

Jolkona Good Deeds Impact Map

View the total impact and donors by visiting the Good Deeds campaign page.

Thank you to everyone in the Jolkona community for your tremendous support!

@WE_Citizen spot donation #WEGoodDeeds

For those who donated, you will receive proof of impact for the donation you made and the donation Waggener Edstrom matched on your behalf. Matched gifts will be added to your account later this year and you will receive both proofs of impact once each project is implemented.

Thank you…

To our donors – Thank you for contributing to the campaign and showing that individuals can make a huge difference! All of your ‘good deeds’ have added up to create a big impact. Thank you!

To our sponsor – Thank you, Waggener Edstrom and the WE Citizenship team for their partnership, leadership, and support during this campaign. It’s a pleasure to work with a corporate partner who is so involved in the execution of the campaign, especially how they made additional spot-donations in the name of donors who tweeted about the campaign.

This is the second matched campaign we launched with Waggener Edstrom. Last year we partnered with them on the MatchED campaign, which matched donations to education projects.

And one final thank you to our team – Thank you for helping us get this campaign to 100% by sharing and promoting Good Deeds to your friends, family, and networks. You are a vital part of what makes Jolkona the organization that it is today. Thank you.

Don’t let your ‘good deed’ stop here

The philosophy that all giving matters is the spirit of our mission and the work we do every day. We recognize that you don’t have to be wealthy or have an unlimited amount of time to volunteer to make an impact; even small doses of passion turned to action make a difference and Waggener Edstrom believes in this as well.

While the matching fund has run out, you can inspire global change by continuing to support over 100 projects on Jolkona. Your impact can reach new heights.

The impact is YOU.

Waggener Edstrom Good Deeds Campaign on Jolkona

We are thrilled to launch Good Deeds, our second matched giving campaign with  Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. From now until October 24th, Waggener Edstrom will match every donation you make to any project featured on Jolkona, dollar-for-dollar, up to $5,000.

How this campaign works:

  1. Choose a project you’re passionate about from one of over 100 projects featured on Jolkona.
  2. Give and double your impact, with 100% of your donation going towards the project you choose and Waggener Edstrom will match it!
  3. Receive two proofs of impact – one proof for the donation you make and the second proof for the donation Waggener Edstrom matches.
  4. Share the your Good Deed on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere you hang out – online and offline!

It’s that easy!

And as part of the campaign, Waggener Edstrom will also make several $25 bonus spot donations to Jolkona on behalf of people who tweet about their gift using the #WEGoodDeeds hashtag, so don’t forget to tell your tweeps about your donation!

Why Good Deeds?

The philosophy that all giving matters is the spirit of Jolkona’s mission and the work we do every day. We recognize that you don’t have to be wealthy or have an unlimited amount of time to volunteer to make an impact; even small doses of passion turned to action make a difference and Waggener Edstrom believes in this as well. As they like to think about it, the impact is YOU.

To read more about why Waggener Edstrom is supporting this campaign, read this post on their blog, Good Deeds: The Impact is You.

Let’s give!

You can support the Good Deeds campaign, follow our progress as we work towards raising $10,000 with the match in 2 weeks, and our total impact on the campaign page, as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@Jolkona, @WE_Citizen, #WEGoodDeeds).

We would like to thank Waggener Edstrom for their partnership and continued support with this campaign. Together, we are proving that small donations matter and together, we are creating a ripple effect of change.

What ‘good deed’ have you made today?

Post written by by Jordan Belmonte

Every day I wake up inspired by the fact that I have two valuable things: choice and opportunity. Like most Americans, I decide what to eat, where to work and the shape of my future.

In December 2010, I traveled to Africa with six other Jolkona volunteers to visit our partners and see the impact of their work. As part of this trip, we visited Dago, a rural village in Kenya, where the opportunities most Americans take for granted are harder to come by.

In Kenya, approximately 1.5 million people are living with HIV/AIDS and 1.2 million children are orphans due to AIDS. Dago has an especially high rate of HIV/AIDS, and many of the affected families struggle to meet basic needs for water, sufficient protein and access to medical care.

When I talked to my friends and family about what I saw in Dago, they looked at me with sympathy and said, “That must have been awful to see” or “What a tragedy.” But after leaving Dago, it was not the tragedy of poverty that stuck with me — it was the perseverance of the human spirit and the community’s efforts to help young people envision a future full of opportunity.

blackboard at Dago Dala Hera orphanage

In Dago, we visited two current Jolkona projects that help young people create a brighter future. We got to cheer on the home team during the Kick it With Kenya youth soccer tournament, which also provides HIV-screening and much-needed medical care. And we saw how the Environmental Youth Action Corps is teaching young people to be environmental advocates in their communities.

One of my favorite initiatives in Kenya was the Dago Dala Hera orphanage, soon to become a Jolkona partner. At Dago Dala Hera, 36 at-risk and orphaned girls have found asylum from childhood marriages, abusive households and family deaths. The orphanage’s meal program also allows 95 local primary school children to concentrate on their education rather than on their empty stomachs. While the community’s attention to meeting basic needs for food, education and health care was impressive, Dago’s true triumph was its initiative to feed the soul and reinforce the idea that “if you can think it, you can get it.”

help orphans in Kenya

Near the end of our time in Dago, while we were visiting the orphanage, I sat on the edge of one of the cheerful bunk beds and thought of the girl who slept there every night. I hoped that the girl would rest well, excited for a new day, believing as much as I do in the phrase painted on the dormitory wall: “life is like an ocean, an endless sea of opportunities.”

dormitory in orphanage

Jordan Belmonte is a product marketing manager at Microsoft during the day and the Director of Events here at Jolkona. This story is part of a series of blog posts from the Jolkona team’s trip to East Africa in late-December 2010.

When we announced the Give to Girls (Give2Girls) campaign on March 8th, the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day, the plan was to use the initial match of $2,000 to jumpstart the campaign and ignite excitement in investing in the women of tomorrow. But we did more than that — by the end of the day, we had raised almost $6,000, including the match, which will go down in Jolkona’s history as the highest single-day of fundraising we’ve had to date.

I want to stop there and let you re-read that last sentence.

That evening after launching the campaign, we hosted an event with CRAVE at PNK Ultra Lounge in downtown Seattle that was originally designed to launch the Give2Girls campaign, but because of your enormous support, the event turned into a celebration of the day and a call to rally around the campaign through the end of the month.

Well, continue the support is exactly what you did. During the three remaining weeks of March, I am thrilled to announce that the Give to Girls campaign raised just over $10,000 total for women and girls empowerment projects through Jolkona!

Thank you, thank you, thank you, to everyone who sponsored, donated, helped get the word out, and supported this movement!

Together, in a hair over three weeks, here is the impact we made towards empowering women and girls:

  • 2 girls educated in Nepal for 1 year
  • 2 girl educated in China
  • 2 girls educated for 1 year in India
  • 1 girl attended “self-esteem” training in USA
  • 4 days of doctor’s service provided in Bangladesh
  • 1 woman in Sudan received a farming land
  • 5 women trained in Haiti
  • 3 energy efficient stoves provided in Nepal
  • 3 weeks of food provided to safe houses in Iraq
  • 4 hygiene kits provided in Tanzania
  • 52 months of oral contraceptives supplied in Nepal
  • 2 Afghani refugees in Pakistan received year long scholarships
  • 2 neighborhood safe spaces provided in Haiti
  • 4 mothers and their children got nutritional support in India
  • 2 girls supported to attend day school in China
  • 2 literary texts provided in Niger
  • 2 days of medical supplies provided in Bangladesh
  • 9 hygiene kits provided in camps in Haiti
  • 3 solar lamps provided in Tanzania
  • 3 girls saved from “honor killing” in Iraq
  • 4 women’s stories sponsored in China
  • 9 weeks of health screenings in Bangladesh
  • 11 girls educated for 1 year in Afghanistan
  • 3 days of training and counseling provided in Haiti
  • 3 enslaved girls rescued in Nepal
  • 200 lbs of seeds provided to women farmers in Sudan
  • 6 field trips sponsored for girls in the USA
  • 2 young women mentors trained in Nepal
  • 1 girl trained in Pakistan
  • 1 year of training provided in Niger
  • 1 week of healthcare provided to a mother and her baby in Guatemala

Give 2 Girls Impact Map

Thank you to everyone in the Jolkona community for your tremendous support!

For those made one of the first $2,000 in donations, you will receive a proof of impact for the donation you made and the donation the Give2Girls fund matched on your behalf. Those gifts have already been added to your account, so you will be notified when they are completed.

To our donors: Thank you for contributing to the campaign and showing that individuals can make a huge difference in the world and small donations add up to create a big impact!

To our sponsors – Thank you, Hias Gourmet, Virtually Savvy, and Flaunt, Inc. for coming together to combine your dollars and create the matched fund that ignited this campaign. It worked. And we are thankful for your support.

To our partner – Thank you, CRAVE, including Melody Biringer, Nicole Shema, and the entire CRAVE team for partnering with us to turn an idea into a campaign and helping us show how important it is to support these projects.

Investing in women doesn’t stop here

You can continue to see the support of women and girls empowerment projects on the campaign page. Each of these projects tracks towards a larger goal, that of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), specifically MDG #3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women and MDG #5: Improve Maternal Health. If you’re as passionate about investing in the women of tomorrow as we are, we ask that you continue to support these projects and change the statistics.

Because as we know, women are vital when it comes to changing the world. And can you imagine what that world will look like?

When we announced the Give to Educate (Give2ED) campaign two weeks ago, we had a big goal ahead of us – raise $4,000 in donations for education projects that will be matched, dollar for dollar, by one generous donor named Brandon.

Members of the Jolkona community answered Brandon’s call to “get off the sidelines” and make a difference in the lives of children and adults around the world through education. We are excited to announce that on Monday, February 21st, Give to Educate was fully funded!

Together, in two weeks, here’s the impact we made towards education around the world:

  • 2 scholarships provided in Guatemala
  • 2 students supported through summer program in China
  • 2 months of school transportation provided in Tanzania
  • 4 girls educated in Afghanistan
  • 2 scholarship endowments set up in Bangladesh
  • 34 months of tuition fees provided in Guatemala
  • 2 years of practical skills training provided in NIger
  • 100 books provided in China
  • 4 students received books in Kenya
  • 2 months of secondary education provided in Uganda
  • 2 months of university education covered in Guatemala
  • 4 students received tech tools and trainings in USA
  • 16 semesters of education expenses covered in India
  • 14 chairs supplied to schools in Sierra Leone
  • 2 classes received books in Rwanda
  • 2 years of public education sponsored in Pakistan
  • 2 children sponsored in Bangladesh
  • 14 months of computer training provided in Guatemala
  • 2 students attended day school in China

Thank you to everyone in the Jolkona community for your tremendous support!

For those who donated, you will receive proof of impact for the donation you made and the donation Give to Educate matched on your behalf. Matched gifts will be added to your account by the end of March and you will receive a proof of impact once our partners implement each project.

We would also like to thank Brandon for being a pioneer in sponsoring this campaign. At Jolkona, we believe that individuals can make a huge difference in the world and small donations add up to create a big impact. Through Give to Educate, Brandon inspired each one of us to donate and double our collective impact; the goal was not $4,000, but $8,000 total.

Thank you, Brandon the philanthropist, for leading this campaign and choosing Jolkona as your choice for giving.

Investing in education doesn’t stop here

You can continue to see the support of education projects on the campaign page and by viewing the overall impact the Jolkona community is making towards the UN Millennium Development Goals and other projects around the world.

Oh, and stay tuned, because we have even more exciting things to announce in the coming weeks!

Many of us are aware of a certain online coupon company using Super Bowl air time to launch some much-talked about ad spots. Whether or not you find issue and the tactics used to bring awareness to their CSR matched giving campaign, it has certainly garnered them plenty of attention. Friends, let’s at least agree that stirring up emotion was part of their strategy to raise awareness. Really, the big question is how much impact will these ads have on their overall brand? Folks love themselves some deep discounts, yet there is plenty of noise about people canceling their accounts over these ads mentioned in the comment section on the giving campaign page. Time and revenue stream will tell.

If you think it was in horrid taste or you are secretly hiding the fact that you see some of the marketing genus behind these ads –  did it make the masses (or you) pay closer attention to the company or the campaign? It got me to research the campaign and check out the sites of the causes who will receive Groupon’s matched funds – Greenpeace, TibetFund, Rainforest Action Network, and buildOn. All are great, worthwhile projects who are most deserving of support. I just hope that for the causes featured and the celebrities who made time to support this effort, that it truly makes a difference and funds are matched to the fullest. In fact, the Greenpeace project sold out as of 2/9 & is fully funded, with 6,667 units sold at $15 each! That is a whole lot money going to spare our water-dwelling mammals with fins from commercial whaling.

If you got fired up about the strategy and the message used to get your attention, make time to find your own way to impact change in the world, or within your own neighborhood. Find a cause that is meaningful to you and support it. I have several favorites. As many of you know, I spend some of free time working with Jolkona. Basically, volunteering my time to make their giving platform a world-class experience and truly make a difference in other people’s lives. I love every minute of working with such smart, dedicated people. This year we are off to firecracker start and we have a lot of exciting things in the works – starting off with our first matching campaign of year – Give2ED. Read more about Brandon’s efforts here, in this blog post.

Starting February 8th, any donation made to one Jolkona’s many Education projects, will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $4,000.  As with any of our projects, donors will receive a proof of impact for their donation and also receive additional details of the proof for the matched donation.

Want to further help Tibet with matched funds?

Here is how you can help Give2ED:

  • Empower a Tibetan Girl for $40 to provide schooling for the 6 months.
  • Fund a rural Tibet middle school library providing them with at least 10 pieces of valuable interactive learning tools (books, CD’s & DVD’s in multiple languages) for as little as $50.
  • Sponsor an Orphan for year’s worth of education at Sengdruk Takse School for less than $195 a year.

These three projects hit on several of United Nations The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. It is the most widely accepted guideline we have for measuring impact of donations you make. You can find more information about UN’s vision for the MDGs here.

It’s another great way to see how every gift our donors make contributes to a bigger global effort to tackle some of humanity’s biggest problems.

You can support the Give2ED campaign, follow our progress our website, as well as on Facebook and Twitter (@Jolkona, #Give2ED).

Images by mikebaird.

A version of this blog was originally posted here.

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, “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” Jolkona’s journey these past three years is a testament to that adage. In 2010, Jolkona made great strides in ”doing” and proving proof to becoming a highly successful giving platform.

Jolkona’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 women’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? It’s championing transparency within Jolkona and its partner community – 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 – Give Health made possible by a group of anonymous donors – 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 SMC’s birthday, and we are very humbled to be selected as the sole beneficiary!

Saving the best for last, I can’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!

Adnan

Photo Credit: becca.peterson26

Okay, not really. But seven Jolkona volunteers, including co-founders Nadia Khawaja Mahmud and Adnan Mahmud, are traveling to Africa to spend the holidays visiting our partner organizations in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania. Their mission: Experience Jolkona’s impact first-hand.

We’ve reached a critical point in our mission and giving model where seeing the actual impact the Jolkona community is making, face-to-face with those we help, is invaluable. Aside from the humanitarian aspect, the goal of this trip is to learn how we can continue to move the needle with our giving platform in the most effective way possible.

It’s one thing to facilitate change through our web platform, but it’s another thing to experience the impact we’re making on the ground and help tell those stories. All while gaining a better understanding how donations change a person’s life, strengthening our partnerships, and what we can do to continue to make giving more impactful around the world.

Team Africa will be visiting partners at the following projects:

To celebrate, Team Africa is launching two campaigns as part of Jolkona’s 12 Days of Giving. Both campaigns support projects that Team Africa will be visiting during their trip.

  1. Provide clean water for about 400 rural kids in Kenya

    By supporting this project, a donation of $100 will provide ten locally-produced water filters to provide clean water for about 40 children in Kenya. Each donation of filters includes training on water safety and filter maintenance and helps ensure environmental sustainability for these communities.

  2. Help 20 rural youth attend a soccer tournament and receive public health education in Kenya

    This holiday season, we’re asking our friends and family to please help us to give about scholarships to 20 kids living in rural villages in Kenya the opportunity to attend a 4-day soccer tournament where they will also receive health screening, preventative health care, and public health education. You can help promote health awareness by donating $27.

When you contribute the full amount to a project, you will receive a proof of impact for your donation. You can also give  different amounts, starting at $5, though you will not receive a proof for a partial gift.

Stay tuned to our blog, on Facebook and Twitter as we share Team Africa’s photos, videos, and stories published from Africa and after. Also be sure to follow Nadia (@nadiamahmud) and Adnan (@adnanmahmud) on Twitter as they’re posting some great live updates.

Please Note: We are pleased to announce this trip is a 100% funded by the volunteers who have graciously given of their own time and money. No funds from Jolkona have been used to sponsor any portion of this trip.

If you are involved in the social sector, you are very familiar about the importance of measuring impact. Both donors and investors want to know that their money is being put into good use and consequently organizations want to show impact so that they can continue to receive funding for their projects.

Over the years the impact reporting has evolved starting from very passive forms of feedback to more proactive forms and it is worth taking a brief look at how impact reporting has evolved. The Revenue Act of 1918 for the first time established tax exemption for charitable bequests where donors would receive feedback related to acknowledgment of donations and tax exemption. Then the Internal Revenue Act of 1943 established the requirements for 501c3 organizations to annually submit their I-990s so nonprofits are now required to report back financial information of their work. In the 1950s, we saw organizations like World Vision starting to send photos of a child sponsored by the donor. It is important to note that is still a very popular program today, despite drawing strong criticisms. In the late 1990s and early 2000s we started seeing a new breed of organizations who used the power of the digital media to tell donors about the impact on the field. I would put organizations like Kiva, DonorsChoose, Global Giving, etc. in that group. When we look at organizations today and look at their annual reports, 100% of them talk about their impact and 99% of them are of the flavor “X girls educated” or “$Y million in loans given” or “Z meals provided”.

But, is that “true impact”? A popular phrase in our sector is, “Give a man a fish and you have fed him for a day.  Teach a man how to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime”. At Jolkona, we try to use that in partner selection process, during our talks, and on our website – I am sure someone sells that as a bumper sticker as well. Of course this phrase should not be taken literally. However, it does provide a good discussion point for this post. If an organization says that they taught “100 people to fish” is that good? It really depends. If every one of those 100 people were able to fish, sell their fish, and earn income for the family then, that’s great. What if only 10 out of those 100 people were able to earn income for the family (even though all 100 learned to fish)? Then, would we still consider this impact in the same regard?

Here is another example of impact reporting not being accurate. Often times organizations will talk about their impact as “X number of people impacted” where X is the person receiving the direct donation + their entire family and the rest of the people in the village. In the need to impress the funders with big numbers, organizations often try to maximize their impact footprint. Again, we have to ask is that “true impact”?

Ideally, we would want to figure out a systemic way of tracking detailed impact. We should not settle for just having a count of how many children we educated, but we should strive to measure impact by tracking if the lives of those children and their immediate family have improved over the years because of that child’s education. We should not track how many fishermen we trained, but how has the life of each fisherman and their immediate family improved because of their training. Is this easy? Absolutely not. I do however, believe that we should make sure we spend time trying to figure out how to best measure impact so that are constantly improving the quality of the metrics and getting closer and closer to “true impact”.

Here is an annual report from a nonprofit organization in 1925:

It has almost been a century, but how much have we really evolved from this report? We have progressed so much since 1925 and yet, how we measure the impact we have on society and those in need hasn’t really changed that much, except for larger numbers. 🙂

There are more than 30 billion (probably way more) webpages out there which is 5 times the world population. Few billion pages get added every day. We know EVERY detail about EVERY webpage – how it has evolved over time, which pages link to it, how many people access it, what language it is in, who is the author, etc. Yet, we can’t track nutrition levels, education levels, income, etc. for individuals. We have the tools, we just need get more focused on how we use the tools to measure “true impact”.

We can do it and I am sure we will soon!

1925 report from Camp Kern/Camp Ozone Historical Materials

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