Blog

As part of National Volunteer Week, Jolkona is pleased to announce not just one, but two Volunteers of the Year! Congratulations, and thank you so much, to Nancy Xu and Chi Do.

Jolkona CEO Nadia Mahmud describes the service and dedication of our honorees:

Jolkona was started on a strong culture of volunteerism, and six years later, we continue to grow because of the skills, time and connections that our volunteers donate. In 2013, with me on maternity leave, having the support of volunteers was extra important to me and the organization. In my absence, so many people went above and beyond for Jolkona. I was not able to pick just one person to recognize, so I wanted to recognize two individuals for all of their contributions to Jolkona in 2013: Nancy Xu and Chi Do.

Nancy Xu

Nancy Xu

Nancy Xu has been a volunteer with Jolkona for the last four years, working on various projects related to video production, graphic design, and most recently working on the tech team to lead our website redesign. Last year, Nancy went above and beyond as a volunteer to help our ambitious website redesign get done by June. She created the updated design and helped coordinate the project so that we were ready for the launch. And, after the website launch, she managed a group of design and tech interns and volunteers complete initiatives for the next version of the website, and to make necessary updates. In addition to that, Nancy also helped with and attended the Jolkona expedition to West Africa earlier in the year.

Without Nancy, our website launch would not have been possible last year, or would have cost Jolkona a lot of money. So, I wanted to recognize her for the skills and time she has donated to Jolkona to make our web presence and mission stronger than before.

Chi Do

Chi Do

Chi Do has also been a longtime volunteer, working with Jolkona for the past three years or so. She first started out working on our Partnership Team, and then moved on to Events. Last year, Chi went above and beyond as a volunteer by heading up the entire Events Team. Chi also took the initiative to help launch the Microsoft Giving Campaign in 2012 and the bigger and better version of 2013.

Aside from helping with a successful relaunch party and holiday party last year, she successfully helped manage one of Jolkona’s biggest fundraisers, the Giving in Style fashion show at Microsoft. The event was a huge success, with close to 100 people attending, over 30 volunteers helping, and thousands of dollars raised for Jolkona’s operational growth which is so critical for us to grow our mission.

Each one of our volunteers and interns plays a vital role in expanding our mission of inspiring more philanthropy through small donations. I wanted to again congratulate and recognize Chi and Nancy for their efforts in 2013 as our Volunteers of the Year! Thanks again for your dedication to service and for supporting Jolkona all these years, especially in 2013. Adnan and I look forward to celebrating this with you soon over dinner!

If you’re interested in volunteering with Jolkona, keep an eye on our website for internship opportunities, or just email volunteer@jolkona.org.

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

Jolkona’s volunteers are absolutely essential to what we do — not only because of their skills, but also because of their dedication and positive energy. Even when it’s time to say goodbye, their professional contributions and personal friendships have a lasting impact on our team.

As part of National Volunteer Week, Jolkona is honoring Jessica Wicksnin, a talented web developer who is pursuing a career as a web apps engineer at Qazzow.

Nancy Xu, our Design/Tech Director, describes working with her:

Jessica joined us last year and has been such a great part of our tech team ever since. She worked on our Jolkona website (2 versions of them!), helped ramp up new team members and wrote great documentation of what we did (the rest of us somehow never get around to doing this). Her latest project – a philanthropy quiz – will be launched in the next week or so!

I love working with Jessica because she is very thoughtful when it comes to solving tough programming challenges, she is a great communicator and explains things really well, and she’s so warm and friendly so everyone here enjoys her presence!

Dhanya Satya, our HR Recruiter, adds:

Jessica is awesome! I like the energy and the positivity she has towards her dream, her pet, her blog, and basically everything. She is extremely determined and the very fact that she has transitioned so seamlessly and made a career change is a testament for that. I will surely miss having her here  at Jolkona. I am sure she is  going to shine wherever she goes.

Dedicated volunteers like Jessica have a huge impact on small organizations like Jolkona, and on the nonprofit sector as a whole. Be sure to join Jolkona in recognizing National Volunteer Week as an opportunity to thank the volunteers who give their time to improve your office and community.

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

This week we are so thrilled to celebrate National Volunteer Week because volunteers are so important to us at Jolkona. A volunteer is a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking and someone who offers a service willingly without pay (Dictionary.com, 2013)

In 2011, it’s estimated that almost 8.1 billion hours were spent volunteering which equates to every single American volunteering for an entire day without sleeping! Furthermore, within each age group the Millenials (ages 16-33) and Generation X (ages 33-45) contributed over 50% of the annual volunteerism.

What does this all mean to Jolkona? We are a small organization that is powered by numerous volunteers and interns. Thanks to the dedication of others’ generosity and love for volunteerism, Jolkona has completed many amazing projects, such as building a new website, launching a new giving program, implementing fantastic blog posts and social media campaigns, visiting partner projects around the world, endless fundraising and social event planning and execution and much, much more. We are so thankful for our volunteers! And one volunteer in particular that we wanted to feature this month is Chi Do.

 

Chi has been with Jolkona for the last few years now helping out in various aspects. Chi started helping out on the events team and also on the partner management team where she helped create and conduct a survey with some of our non-profit partners to help us improve our features for them. In addition to running an array of fundraising campaigns for Jolkona partners over the years, she also organized a huge Jolkona event at Microsoft last year that raised over $7,000. Chi came up with the idea and took initiative to host the “Night of Fashion and Giving”, a multi-faceted event including overseeing over 20 volunteer models, compiling numerous cultural and ethnic outfits from around the world and organizing donated food for over 100 guests. She has also traveled with the Jolkona team on 2 international trips to visit partners and volunteer, and is always eager to do more! This year Chi is heading up our events committee and we’re confident that she’ll help build a stronger, more engaged community of supporters of Jolkona in Seattle.

Recently on a sign up sheet for 2013 Jolkona activities, when asked “What would you like to do for Jolkona?” Chi wrote “Anything and Everything :)” This sums up Chi’s passion for Jolkona and volunteerism.

Here’s what some other people at Jolkona had to say about Chi:

“Chi is among one of the most caring and compassionate people I’ve met, which makes for a great volunteer and friend. One of the things I love most about Chi is that she not only enjoys having a good time, but she is very organized and committed to her responsibilities. She is a great volunteer because she makes volunteering fun and is always willing to help out with anything, from tabling at an event, to organizing volunteers and more. I am so grateful to have Chi as part of the Jolkona team and helping to grow our community this year through our new events strategy.” -Nadia Mahmud

“Chi has contributed to various events – Fashion Show, multiple Giving Campaigns, and is currently the director of the events team. She has amazing passion for Jolkona and we have always been able to count on her to get things done on time! She is a big reason for our successful fashion show at the giving campaign at Microsoft in 2012. Working with Chi and knowing her over the past 3+ years has been an incredible experience. We are glad to have her as part of Jolkona!” -Pavan Potaraju

“Chi put together a great fashion show for the Microsoft Giving Campaign. She was meticulous with detail and kept us excited and energized the whole way through. She is also an awesome chef and always made incredible food at our events. We also bonded through a flight delay disaster at Peru at a Jolkona trip years ago. Chi is very dedicated volunteer and we are so lucky to have her on the team!” -Nancy Xu

Thank you, Chi for all the work, effort, and time you have given to Jolkona!

Do you take time to help others on a regular basis? Do you give your time and resources to another cause in need? Are you sharing volunteer opportunities with others in your network? Are you interested in volunteering for Jolkona? Email as at contact@jolkona.org.

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

This whole week we’re celebrating National Volunteer Week! That means we’re celebrating our volunteers, who are absolutely integral to all we do, and without whom we can honestly say, we would be nowhere! So first and foremost, thank you Jolkona volunteers!

But, this week is also about encouraging others to volunteer. Do you take time to help others on a regular basis? Do you give your time and resources to another cause in need? Are you sharing volunteer opportunities with others in your network? Part of that encouragement is about awareness of how important volunteering truly is. So, we thought we’d kick this week off with some stats. This infographic is staggering, and will help you understand just how essential volunteers are.

Are you interested in volunteering for Jolkona? Email as at contact@jolkona.org.

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

In the world of philanthropy, World Give Day is a relatively new kid on the block compared to many of the other celebrated days of awareness. As a non-profit in our infant days ourselves, development is something we can relate to, which is why World Give Day gets our vote!

This year, World Give Day turns 2 and will be celebrating its third annual event. Friday May 4th is World Give Day 2012.

World Give Day came about when GiveForward co-founder realized that while there were a few days set aside in the philanthropic calendar to encourage people to volunteer (last week’s National Volunteer Week being one of them), there weren’t any devoted specifically to encourage people to give. She decided to fill that void, and thus World Give Day was born.

What is it about?

The idea is wonderfully simple: creating unexpected joy by giving. And similar to Earth Day, there aren’t any rules or regulations about what and how you give. You can give your time volunteering, you can give your money by donating to a project, you can even give someone a smile or a hug. It truly doesn’t matter. At its epicenter, it is about getting more people to become actively involved in their community to raise awareness about their favorite cause. If there’s something you’re passionate about, then give in that name and show how a small gift can make a big impact.

Spread the word: Crowdfunding

One of the best things you can do to participate in World Give Day is simply by telling people about World Give Day. Start a conversation with a friend, like the World Give Day Facebook page, follow World Give Day on Twitter and tweet using the #giveday hasthtag. When people start talking, things start happening. And when things start happening, then crowdfunding happens.

What is crowdfunding? It is the collective effort of people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. These supported efforts can be anything from disaster relief and non-profit support to political campaigns or startup companies seeking fundraising. Crowdfunding has preserved communities, saved lives, and transformed our capacity to give entirely with our hearts and visibly see the effect of our giving directly.

We like crowdfunding at Jolkona. It epitomizes what we’re about – people making small donations that make a big impact. And every small donation, like a drop of water, collects to make that ocean of difference.

With over 120+ projects you can be the difference and we will show the change. Be the difference, see the change here. Participate in World Give Day.

 

 

While it seems every week is volunteer week at Jolkona, we couldn’t let this week go without a BIG shoutout to our AMAZING volunteers since it is National Volunteer Week. At Jolkona, we have over 40 committed volunteers who support our work, helping with anything and everything to support our mission, including things like writing for our blog, running our social media, PR, building mobile apps, conducting surveys, graphic design, event planning and more! In addition, we have an incredible volunteer board and advisory board who help provide guidance and support to Jolkona and who we can’t thank enough.

In case you didn’t know, National Volunteer Week has been around since 1974 and is all about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities—and what better way than by volunteering, right?  This week is about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, in unison, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

National Volunteer Week is also about taking action, encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change—discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.

We feature volunteers on a monthly basis at Jolkona as well as at the end of the year, not only to recognize them for their efforts and contribution to Jolkona and society, but also to help inspire others to volunteer as well. I truly believe that often times by volunteering the volunteers get more out of it then they’d imagine.  So many friendships have been formed through our volunteers and I think volunteering with anything you feel passionate about adds more purpose and substance to your life.

We started our volunteer program out of necessity because of our limited budget to hire people.  And what we found was that there are so many people who want to volunteer more than just their time, but they really want to offer their skills to make a difference.  So at Jolkona our volunteer program is all skilled-based and lines up with people’s skills and interests.  I hope to continue to see Jolkona work with such passionate volunteers and that volunteerism grows more and more every day.

What sort of volunteer work do you enjoy?  If you volunteer with Jolkona, what do you enjoy the most about it?

Check out some of our past featured volunteer posts for more reasons why you should get involved in volunteering in your community.

Happy National Volunteer Week everyone!  And a special THANK YOU to all the Jolkona volunteers – past and present – that have supported us over the years.  We truly would not be here today without your support!

 

GET INVOLVED!