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During the 20th century, the state of Washington built a reputation for its airplanes, timber, software and coffee. What will carry us through the next century are products tied to an entirely different class of needs: the need for good health, food, shelter, a chance for a better life.

As you know, with over 300 international NGO’s—including the world’s biggest NGO, World Vision, and largest foundation, Gates Foundation—Washington state has become a leader in international development. This year Global Washington, a Seattle based membership based non-profit that promotes the global development sector, wants to put Washington state on the map for this incredible achievement with the help of their 150 member based partners.

This month, if you commuted on a Washington State ferry you may have seen posters promoting the global development sector. If you listen to KPLU or KUOW, you may have heard radio spots highlighting this work. If you’ve traveled on Alaska Airlines recently, you may have read an article about Global Washington and the sector in their in-flight magazine, and if you read the Puget Sound Business Journal you will have seen an ad in this week’s edition highlighting the amazing work of the global development sector in Washington.

Global Action Day is coming: 11.1.11

Global Washington wants to use our collective power to raise awareness about the importance of global development. Together with the Mayor of Seattle they’ve launched an advocacy campaign called “Global Action Day” designed to do two things:

1. Make people aware of the great work coming out of WA state, and

2. Mobilize people to action. Specifically, were urging people to write congress to help protect US Foreign Aid.

To further raise awareness about global development in our state, Global Washington is hosting 2011 Annual Global Washington Conference on 11.1.11 called “Opportunities and Obstacles in Turbulent Times” and I’m honored to be speaking on a panel on the Future of Fundraising. If you’d like to attend, please register for the conference here: Global Washington 2011 Conference: Opportunities and Obstacles in Turbulent Times.

Also, I hope you can help promote global action day to raise awareness about the work all of us in global development do. Visit the Global Action Day website for more info on how to get involved and make sure you tweet using the hashtag: #globalwaday.

Washington: The Global State from Incite on Vimeo.

Credit Karen Ducey

On Monday night, October 3rd, Jolkona competed along side 13 other social innovators at Social Venture Partner’s Social innovation fast pitch for the chance to win a piece of the total prize money worth $170,000. It was a full house at the Fischer Pavilion at the Seattle Center with a crowd of more than 600 people in attendance all coming to hear 5-minute pitches of the top social innovations in Seattle ranging from high school students, college students, and seasoned social entrepreneurs.  Jolkona was honored to be one of 14 groups to pitch that night, and even more honored to have won the $15,000 Social Endeavors Award for our new initiative– licensing our micro-giving platform to help non-profits improve fundraising online.

While the competition was very stressful, it was also a forcing factor to help us get our “pitch” down. I’d like to thank Social Venture Partners and specifically Will Poole and his massive team of volunteers for organizing such a great event.  And I’d like to give a special shoutout to some of the amazing volunteer coaches/mentors that helped me with my pitch:  Susan Bloch, Ken Pawlak, Ted Weiler, and Dan Kranzler.  Thank you for believing in me and in Jolkona’s work and for helping to take our idea to the next level!  And a BIG thank you to all the Jolkona volunteers, board, and advisers that came to support that night.  Last, congrats to all the other winners that night!

Credit: Karen Ducey

It’s been a CRAZY week at Jolkona HQ, with the big win on Monday, all the follow-up from the great connections we made that night, and the start of Microsoft’s and King County’s Giving Campaign Month, but we are energized and excited to be moving forward with our new innovation.

Check out pictures from the event here and read articles about the event posted on the Puget Sound Business Journal and on Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential Blog.

 

Nadia Khawaja Mahmud of Jolkona presenting at Social Innovation Fast Pitch

On Monday, September 19th, Jolkona competed along with 37 quarterfinalists for the chance to advance in the Social Innovation Fast Pitch (SIFP) where nonprofits and social enterprises can win grants/investments from a $170,000 pool of money.

Jolkona co-founders were speaking at a conference this past weekend at Harvard University to launch our NextGen initiative and came straight from the airport to compete at SIFP taking place at Paccar Hall at the University of Washington. After a long day of pitches and deliberations from the judges, we are excited to announce Jolkona was chosen to be present next week at the semi-finals along with 20 other nonprofits and social enterprises for a chance to present at the final event on October 3. Congratulations to all the other winners who advanced to the semi-finals!

If you haven’t purchased your tickets, it should be a fantastic day so we encourage you to attend. Plus, 100% of ticket price is a donation to support the top social innovations in Seattle. Read more about why you should attend and how to get your tickets.

Want to read more about SIFP? Here’s a great article by Rebecca Lovell, one of the SIFP judges: Social Innovation: Goldilocks and doing well by doing good.

Special thanks to Jolkona’s awesome SIFP mentors, Ken Pawlak and Tim Weiler for coaching Jolkona on our pitch and helping us make it to the next round! Also, a big thanks to Jolkona Advisory board member, Susan Bloch for also spending valuable time helping with the “pitch.”

Another round of fine-tuning our pitch is ahead once we receive feedback from the judges. So wish us luck next week and we hope to see you in the audience on the third. Even if Jolkona does not make it to the final round, we are invited to present our idea that day so we hope to see you all there!

Nadia working in the office

On September 1, Jolkona learned that we were one of 54 organizations selected to compete in the quarterfinal round of Seattle’s Social Innovation Fast Pitch (SIFP). Presented by Social Venture Partners, SIFP is an opportunity for social entrepreneurs, local nonprofits and social businesses to receive coaching and mentoring and to compete for more than $170,000 in grants and investments.

This week I attended a pitching workshop hosted and facilitated by SIFP where quarterfinalists had the opportunity to present our five-minute pitches to a panel of mentors and speaking coaches for feedback for the next round. I have to say, preparing a five-minute pitch is hard work! To explain what we do, how we do it, and why it’s innovative and important, all in five minutes, is super challenging to say the least, and especially in short notice. Despite spending hours over the weekend working on my deck and pitch, I didn’t have enough time to be totally prepared. Yet it was an extremely eye-opening learning experience that was well worth the effort.

Not only was preparing my pitch slides and story for our new initiative to start licensing our platform super helpful, but having the opportunity to practice in front of peers and mentors, most of whom do not know anything about Jolkona, was even more helpful. Hearing both the positive feedback and the areas I need to work on to make our pitch clear was extremely educational and productive and gives me hope and confidence in the new direction Jolkona is heading. My next challenge is to figure out how to incorporate the feedback and suggestions I received and still stay within five minutes for the quarterfinal round pitch on September 19! I have the next two weeks to figure it out, but hopefully I’ll get there. Stay tuned . . . and wish us luck!

Want to attend the SIFP? Read this blog post, New Ideas for Social Impact, by Joe Wallin at Davis Wright Tremaine, a SIFP sponsor.

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

I’m so excited to announce the “Give Health” matching campaign with Jolkona starting today. As a recent graduate student of Public Health, I truly understand the importance, the cost-effectiveness, and the need for public health projects around the world. Thanks to the generous support of an anonymous group of donors also passionate about the importance of public health, any donation you make to one of our public health projects this month, until we reach $7,000, will be matched by this grant so that you can DOUBLE your impact! If you don’t already know why supporting public health is so important I want to share a few insights.

What is global health?

Global health refers to health problems that transcend national borders or have a global political and economic impact. This includes problems such as infectious and insect-borne diseases that can spread from one country to another, but also other health problems that are of such magnitude that they have a global political and economic impact such as HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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Opportunity Collaboration 2010 (OC 2010) was an amazing experience for Nadia and me. For those not familiar with Opportunity Collaboration, it brings together close to 300 non-profit leaders, social enterprises, and funders with the goal of spurring conversations and collaboration around poverty alleviation. It is an un-conference where the focus is placed on getting things done versus hearing keynote speakers and panel talks. I have been reflecting on that experience since my return. For me, often times the best way to make a sense of things is to write down my thoughts and this blog post is my attempt to do just that.

One of my favorite discussions at OC 2010 was actually the first session where we analyzed Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail. It was a perfect way to start this un-conference. It set the stage for everyone to bring an open, respectful, and cooperative attitude to the rest of the event. The participants of Opportunity Collaboration brought with them rich stories from the field that really added to the depth of the discussions all weekend.

Opportunity to collaborate

As the name implies, the focus of the event was on collaborations and partnerships. Nadia and I had to wear two hats while we were at the conference – seeking out partnership opportunities that we can fund through our web platform as well as meeting with potential funders to support and fund our operations.

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This week I had the opportunity to attend SOCAP10, one of the largest and most influential conferences in the field of social entrepreneurship and impact investing. The conference was themed around discussing the “intersection of money and meaning” and included major players in the field including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, US AID, Omidyar Network, Kiva, and Acumen Fund amongst many others. It was overall a pretty amazing experience to meet so many people who are not only interested in making money but to also making the world better and are willing to do what it takes to make that happen.

If you’re new to the social capital market, here are a few keys concepts to understand:

  1. Social capital market – a “new” understanding that charitable dollars are still capital investments of precious resources and thus for-profit ideals should be applied to the non-profit sector to maximize social impact.
  2. Impact investing – Socially responsible investing, also known as socially-conscious or ethical investing, describes an investment strategy which seeks to maximize both financial return and social good.
  3. Social enterprise – organizations that prioritize social mission over profit-making and apply market-based strategies to achieve the social purpose. The movement includes both non-profits that use business models to pursue their mission and for-profit businesses whose primary purposes are social
  4. Social entrepreneur – someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change.
  5. Earned Income Model – a decidedly for-profit model that includes selling services and products as a revenue stream but is increasingly becoming an attractive vehicle for nonprofits.
  6. Crowd-funding – inspired by crowdsourcing, describes the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money together, usually via the Internet, in order to support efforts initiated by other people.
  7. Green Jobs Movement – Shift towards jobs that generates electricity using renewable or nuclear fuels, agriculture jobs supplying corn or soy for transportation fuel, manufacturing jobs producing goods used in renewable power generation, equipment dealers and wholesalers specializing in renewable energy or energy-efficiency products, construction and installation of energy and pollution management systems, government administration of environmental programs, and supporting jobs in the engineering, legal, research and consulting fields.
  8. Triple Bottom Line – People, planet, profit. TBL expands the traditional reporting framework to take into account ecological and social performance in addition to financial performance.
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