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The shop door opens with the tinkle of a bell. The black and white checkered flooring welcomes me nostalgically. The scent is unmistakable, yet I can’t remember the last time I smelt it. Out from behind the counter, dressed in black with his apron suitably dirty, emerges the equally charming and industrious Daniel. We’re in the Bill the Butcher shop in Laurelhurst. The winter sun streams through the windows. I feel like I’ve stepped back half a century. It’s perhaps somewhat embarrassing to say, as I’m about to interview a butcher, that I can’t remember the last time I went into a butcher’s shop. But maybe that’s partly the point, part of Bill the Butcher’s mission. Indeed, it’s appropriate that I feel like I’ve stepped back in time because Bill the Butcher is precisely trying to revert things to how they were: local meat, minimal middlemen, on your plate. No fuss. It’s not about being old-school, but it is about education. Daniel kindly agrees to sit down with me and talk about this (and other things) for a short while.

Daniel, where were you born?
San Diego, California

And where are you living right now?
Seattle, Washington

What’s the furthest you’ve been from home?
New York City

What’s the first thing you do when your alarm goes off?
Wake up

How do you take your coffee?
2 raw sugars and cream

If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Fuchsia

Summer or Winter?
Winter

What lead you to becoming a butcher?
Curiosity

What’s the best thing about being a butcher?
The discounted meat!

Which cut of meat should people know more about?
Flap meat – it’s delicious!

Are you or have you ever been a vegetarian?
Yeah I tried it.

How do you see your role in sustainable farming?
I cut the meat and sell it….and I’m very good at it!

What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
It’s a good cause, helping people who really need it. We should do it all year long!

Why is your shop better than the other Bill the Butcher shops in Seattle?
This is the only shop I work at.

Which Bill the Butcher shop is going to come in last in the Great Meat Race?
According to a recent e-mail, Redmond and Bellevue are in a dead heat.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
Filet – it’s tender and super classy.

If you were a cow, which kind would you be?
Texas Longhorn

If you were a cow, would other cows want to be your friends?
Sure

Do you have any good party tricks?
(He goes to do something. A kid and his mother walk in) Err… perhaps not.

And finally, 3 words to describe natural, grass fed beef:
Very, very delicious.

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 meet the butchers themselves in flesh and blood.

Check out Laura Kimball’s launch post, or go the campaign page for more details.

Remember: each store is in competition with the others to raise the most money. This is called the Great Meat Race. If you want the Laurelhurst shop to win, donate to the campaign here and join its community.


 

 

Less money, more need

Since the financial crisis of 2008 and its enduring aftermath, nonprofits have had to wrestle with a trying dichotomy: people have less money to give, but the need for giving is ever greater. Statistics and examples of those statistics are ubiquitous: read Allegra Abramo’s recent post on current US poverty levels, or watch this sobering story from the BBC, reporting on the dramatic increase of people in the UK turning to foodbanks in order to feed themselves and their families. As if the statistics weren’t bad enough, the financial crisis also threatens to incapacitate those who have remained largely unaffected with an insidious weapon: fear. With erratic markets, stagnant house prices, and banks slapping on new charges to an already exhaustive list of customer fees, the reluctance to make financial commitments has perhaps never been greater.

photo credit: Catherine's photo stream on Flikr

The affects of the crisis on nonprofits and philanthropic giving

The statistics concerning the affects of the financial crisis on nonprofits and philanthropic giving are a mixed bag: some dire; some surprisingly optimistic. From as early as 2009 the Institute of Philanthropy reported severe financial losses for major Foundations in the US, whilst also documenting that over 1000 nonprofits in the UK – an unprecedented number – were forced to close within twelve months of the crisis beginning. Worryingly, as recent as this last September, more than a quarter million nonprofits in the US were set to lose their tax-exempt status as a result of them being out of commission. On the giving side of things, earlier this year Philanthropy UK reported that donations from the wealthiest philanthropists dropped by 33%, and that donations to larger nonprofits had dropped by 11%. These last two statistics seem to confirm that the atmosphere of fear surrounding financial commitments has also pervaded philanthropic giving: people with money – even plenty of it – are less willing to give. The fall of 11% also begs the question of whether donors are being turned off by larger nonprofits. Whereas once people might have been more carefree about philanthropic giving and thus comfortable with allowing their donations to end up in the general funds of the more visible and well known organizations, now donors, rightly so, want more control. They desire to know where their donation is going, how much is going where, and they deserve to see the impact their donation makes.

The Jolkona model and its next generation of philanthropists

What, then, of the cases of surprising optimism I mentioned? Enter Jolkona stage left. One of the many remarkable facts about Jolkona is that we were born in the very midst of the financial crisis, June 2009. And one part of Jolkona’s success is centered around the fact that we offer the opportunity to give online, an area of philanthropy that, although only accounts for 10% of giving compared to 90% offline giving (according to a survey carried out by Blackbauk), is showing remarkable popularity. And the other part of Jolkona’s success is that we understand that average donations are modest, which is why we encourage micro-donations. This, then, forms the back bone of our core value: to encourage and empower the next generation of philanthropists through our transparent micro-giving platform.

So if the wealthiest philanthropists of yesteryear are falling short of the mark, then the next generation of philanthropists are donating through Jolkona and are stepping up to the plate, every small donation – every drop of water – at a time. Read this blog post to get a taste of the accomplishments donors made through Jolkona in 2010.

6 ways to give through Jolkona

Here, then, are six great ways you can give through Jolkona:

1. Give to our current Eat Local, Give Global campaign partnered with Bill the Butcher shops.

2. Give to the i4Japan project. See also Kayleigh Maijala’s blog post for more details

3. Give to the up and coming 12 Days of Giving campiagn. More to follow soon! Here’s last year’s campaign page for a flavor.

4. Send a Jolkona Gift Card to your friends, family, or colleagues. You name the quantity, they name the project.

5. Dedicate a gift to someone. You make the donation, they get the proof.

6. Start your own campaign with Jolkona.

If you give, say, $10 to a Jolkona project, then $10, and not a penny less, will go to that project. Always.  What is more, you receive proof of the direct impact your donation has made. Jolkona, therefore, answers boldly to the financial crisis by eliminating distrust from philanthropic giving, and by showing you that your pockets don’t have to be deep to make a difference.

 

 

AIDS doesn’t need much of an introduction. Its statistics are numerous as they are harrowing. But there is one statistic more conspicuous, more worrying, more jolting to the mind than perhaps any other, and this statistic is unchanging: there is no vaccine for AIDS; there is no cure.

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day, one of the year’s most recognized international health days. Its goals are threefold: increase awareness, commemorate those who have passed on, and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services. Go the World AIDS Campaign page for a whole trove of information. Educate yourself.

Getting to Zero

Crucial to the battle against AIDS is the Joint United Nations Programme, UNAIDS, who are behind the push for a new global response to AIDS. Key to their phraseology is Getting to Zero. This sets our three main goals for 2015:

Zero new infections

Zero AIDS-related deaths

Zero discrimination

Such goals are equally ambitious, urgent, and inspiring. To learn more, go the UNAIDS strategy webpage here.

Jolkona AIDS projects: NHCC and the Slum Doctor Programme

At Jolkona, we are partnered with two projects in areas of the world where AIDS is most prevalent: Africa and East Asia. Cambodia has the highest AIDS incidences in the whole of Asia. The identified infected population is somewhere near 65,000. Over 3000 are children under the age of fifteen. Most of those children are orphaned. They are left for nothing. New Hope for Cambodian Children (NHCC) provides full range housing, nutritional, health and educational needs for these children. They are a small beacon of light within a maelstrom of darkness. One donation of $75 supports the medical needs of one child infected with AIDS for six months. That’s $12.50 a month – what, a little more than your monthly subscription to Netflix? Go to the Jolkona campaign page, give, and help alleviate the suffering of these children today.

Tumaini is a community based organization in Nairobi, Kenya, partnered with the Slum Doctor Programme. Tumaini’s main objective is raising funds to provide HIV medication. While the Kenyan government and major grants, such as PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief), pay for a substantial amount of this medication, the funds fail to cover the need to its full extent. Tumaini works tirelessly to bridge that gap and to fill that need. One donation of $30 provides full HIV treatment for one patient for two weeks in Nairobi. That’s about a third of your average monthly cell phone bill. Cut the chit chat and let your money do the talking. Give to the Slum Doctor Programme here.

Zero new infections. Zero AIDS-related deaths. Zero discrimination. Be a part of Getting to Zero.

 

Feasting, in the truest sense of its definition, is one of life’s great pleasures – and privileges. Rightly so, we reserve such meals for special occasions. The holiday season is one such occasion; Thanksgiving is tomorrow. At Jolkona we’re running the Eat Local, Give Global campaign with Bill the Butcher to raise funds in order to facilitate sustainable farming for women in Sudan. Central to the equation of sustainability is the relation of produce to consumption. Needless to say, wastage in either of those areas is detrimental to the balance and cycle of sustainability. The infographic below illustrates the morbid statistics of food wastage here in America and Europe compared to other parts of the world. Quite frankly, it’s shocking. During this holiday season, then, eat well, delight in your feasting, by all means; but please, shop and prepare responsibly. Avoid as much food wastage as you can.

Click on this link to view the infograhic full size: foodwasteinfographic

To learn more about our Bill the Bucther campaign and how you can help women farmers in Sudan develop sustainable farming techniques which will benefit their families and their communities, go the campaign page here.

 

 

Part 2 of our Bill the Butcher interview series

Josh is a Washingtonian, born and bred. Currently residing in the state’s jewel, the Emerald City (Seattle), he is the head butcher over in the Redmond shop. Alarmingly honest and witty, Josh is both a wizard with meat and words. His major hobby is sausage making, he claims he’s never been too far from home (because his wife keeps him on a short leash), he takes his coffee with whiskey, and, much to his chagrin, believes beef liver is a vastly undervalued piece of meat. In his own words, it was the combination of a lack of college education and a genuine love for the craft of butchery that lead him to this current position. Here’s a snippet of our interview:

What’s the first thing you do when your alarm goes off?
Wake up.

Summer or Winter?
More of a Fall or Spring kinda guy.

What’s the best thing about being a butcher?
Can’t pick just one.

How do you see your role in sustainable farming?
An important link in the chain.

What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
Great cause. Education is crucial to understanding.

Why is your shop better than the other Bill the Butcher shops in Seattle?
I think each shop has its own personality and style, all of which are equally attractive and charming.

Which Bill the Butcher shop is going to come in last in the Great Meat Race?
I hope we all come in first.

Are you or have you ever been a vegetarian?
Not yet.

If you were a cow, would other cows want to be your friends?
Yes, unless they were lactose intolerant.

If I gave you a herd of cattle, where would you hide it?
It wouldn’t be hidden if I told you where I was hiding it.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
The brain.

And finally, what’s your best meat your joke?
What do you call a cow with two legs?    Lean beef.

The Eat Local, Give Global campaign is all about raising money to help implement sustainable farming techniques for women farmers in Sudan through supporting sustainable farming here in the U.S. We’re running the campaign in partnership with Bill the Butcher and its six shops in and around Seattle. Donate online, or go directly to your local shop, meet the friendly butchers themselves, and donate there.

Check out Laura Kimball’s launch post, or go the campaign page for more details.

Remember: each store is in competition with the others to raise the most money. This is called the Great Meat Race. If you want the Redmond shop to win, donate to the campaign here and join its community.

 

 

Part 1 of our Bill the Butcher interview series

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Jon now lives in Columbia City here in Seattle. After being laid off from a cushy desk job, Jon turned his back on the sedentary life style altogether and decided to take up something entirely different: butchery. Now you can find him in the Bill the Butcher shop in Madison (next door to a vegetarian restaurant of all places!), where he’s busy serving his customers top quality, sustainable, affordable meat. Ask him what the best thing about being a butcher is, and he’ll tell you straight and simple: the meat. And in a shop like Bill the Butcher, that makes a lot of sense. Jon is a deft wielder of butchering utensils, he has a sharp (!) sense of humor, would take winter over summer, and likes his coffee black. Here’s a short excerpt of our interview:

What are your thoughts on the Eat Local, Give Global campaign?
I think it’s great. It would be valuable to do it in this country, too, to educate farmers and consumers about sustainable farming. Of course there is great need in parts of the world like Sudan. So yeah, it’s certainly a worthwhile cause.

How do you see your role in sustainable farming?
Well, it’s pretty important. We’re the the middlemen between the farmers and the consumers. Obviously without us, farmers would have a harder time getting their product out there, and the same goes for the consumers being able to buy it. So we’re a good outlet, I suppose. It’s all a part of the sustainable farming cycle.

How does it work out being next door to a vegetarian restaurant?
It actually works out pretty well. They get busy on the weekend and we have a lot of people from over there waiting for their tables that come around here and take a look. And a lot of the times they actually come back and order something.

Why is your shop better than the other Bill the Butcher shops in Seattle?
Because I work here!

Which Bill the Butcher shop is going to come in last in the Great Meat Race?
Can there be a five-way tie for last? – because that’s what it’s going to be.

If you were a cut of meat, which would you be?
Brisket – it’s tough and fatty.

Are you or have you ever been a vegetarian?
No. No. How dare you?

If you were a cow, which kind would you be?
Hopefully the kind that doesn’t get eaten.

Do you have any good party tricks?
None that I can show you.

And 3 words to describe natural grass fed beef:
Delicious. Healthy. And…. can I use delicious again?!

The Eat Local, Give Global campaign is all about raising money to help implement sustainable farming techniques for women farmers in Sudan through supporting sustainable farming here in the U.S. We’re running the campaign in partnership with Bill the Butcher and its six shops in and around Seattle. Donate online, or go directly to your local shop, meet the friendly butchers themselves, and donate there.

Check out Laura Kimball’s launch post, or go the campaign page for more details.

Remember: each store is in competition with the others to raise the most money. This is called the Great Meat Race. If you want the Madison shop to win, donate to the campaign here and join its community.

 

 

Why global development?

Everyone’s heard of “global development,” sure. A thousand times no less. We all kind of get it. And we all kind of don’t. It’s the type of phrase that, when mentioned in the media or conversation, draws us largely to nod our heads knowingly as we acknowledge its familiarity and “importance.” Yet at the same time, somewhere in our subconscious, it’s shrouded in uncertainty. Most of us will perhaps envisage an ambiguous umbrella term for a collection of macrocosmic goings on in a place which isn’t our country, and that certainly has little – if nothing – to do with our local habitats.

Of course, I’m going to tell you we’re wrong, because unbeknown to a multitudinous amount of people in the Pacific North West (I used to be one of them) is this startling statistic: one out of every three jobs in the state of Washington is, in some way or another, related to foreign trade and the evolution of international communities. In fact, Washington impacts international trade more than any other state in the country. If you like number crunching: annually, Washington exports over $53 billion worth of goods and services, reaching every country in the world. Suddenly global doesn’t sound so global after all. Indeed, global is local. The macrocosm becomes the microcosm.

Get global. Get involved

11.1.11 is Global Action Day. Over 300 nonprofits are involved. Jolkona is proud to be one of those nonprofits, and Global Washington is pulling the whole thing together. (Read Nadia Eleza Khawaja’s recent post for more background details.) The ways you can get involved are so numerous you wouldn’t believe it. Just a handful of examples are:

At Jolkona there is not one single project which isn’t in some way connected to global development, and here are but a few:

For more information about other ways of getting involved, go to the Global Action Day act page: http://www.globalwaday.org/act/#.

Global is local

If one thing needs to be reiterated, it’s this: giving time, money, energy to global development does not mean contributing to something far away and unassociated; it means investing in a fabric that, although perhaps intangible in the immediate, is tightly woven into our very own communities, whether the cause is on our doorstep or 5,000 miles away. Global development is local development.

Note: Statistics taken from Global Washington: http://globalwa.org/

 

Late July of this last summer, Jolkona raised money through our Groupon campaign to fund women grassroots leaders to come to Seattle and participate in a 10 week training program. The deal was this: for every $500 raised, Jolkona would fund one week of training for one woman. In addition, all funds raised would be munificently matched by Seattle International Foundation, and then implemented by iLEAP. Let me say right now that it was – and continues to be – a brilliant success, and on so many levels. And here’s why:

The total raised from the 3 day Groupon campaign, plus the additional donations since then, including the generous match from SIF, is a vertiginous $20,000! (I’m not usually one for wielding exclamation points in my grammar, but that one is thoroughly warranted.) And with that amount raised, Jolkona was able to fund fellowships for two women for the entire 10 week training program. Please, allow me to introduce them to you:

Claudia Vanessa Siliezar (left) and Margaret Edwin Molomoo (right)

Claudia Vanessa Siliezar (left) and Margaret Edwin Molomoo (right)

Claudia Vanessa Siliezar is from Honduras – she is a Sociology and Law professor at CEUTEC-UNITEC in La Ceiba, and is coordinator at GOjoven Honduras, where she is involved in promoting women’s rights, especially those pertaining to reproductive and sexual health, as well as in combating violence against women.

And….

Margaret Edwin Molomoo is from India. She works for Tarumitra, where she educates students, farmers, and women about the methods and benefits of organic farming in villages surrounding Bahir. Her work has assisted many farming groups in changing their use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers in their farming practices.

Thanks to the funds raised, Claudia and Margaret, already stalwart pursuers of a fairer society, are now even better equipped to grow their successful, high-impact programs.

In connection with this, we are inviting you to the extraordinary annual Women in the World’s Breakfast, held at the Four Seasons in Seattle, where you can meet our fellows, Claudia and Margaret, in the flesh. Buy tickets here. And to whet your appetite, here’s the inspiring video of last year’s event:

The raising of the funds and the opportunity and skills it provided Claudia and Margaret were not the only success stories of this campaign. Another aspect deserving of sincere pats on the back was the campaign’s collaboration: the three-pronged spearhead of SIF, iLEAP, and Jolkona. You see, unfortunately, too many nonprofits try to go at campaigns alone, and what this campaign exemplifies is the exponential difference nonprofits can make when they work together. Remember: a problem shared is a problem halved.

Our goal is to fund 5 women; so far we’ve funded 2. The campaign is still running and SIF is still matching every one of your donations, dollar for dollar. Make a difference. See the results. Give to the campaign here: Invest in Women Grassroots Leaders from Around the World.

GET INVOLVED!