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Throwback Thursday: Jolkona & Waggener Edstrom, Growing Philanthropy Together

We’re celebrating Jolkona’s first 5 years at our Corks & Forks dinner/auction next Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 — and we’re especially thrilled that a table of representatives from Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, our original corporate sponsor, will be there to share the excitement!

The communications agency first partnered with us in 2010 for a matching grant campaign called MatchED, which doubled up to $5,000 of donations to educational projects showcased on our website. We’ve partnered together several times since then, and several WE employees are among our most dedicated volunteers.

Waggener EdstromA little trip down memory lane:

As we prepare to celebrate Jolkona’s 5th birthday together and look ahead to another 5 years of inspiring and empowering a new generation of philanthropists, the WE team in Seattle shared these thoughts with us this week:

What is your organization’s mission?

Through communications, we aim to be the voice of innovation and the catalyst of its impact.  Our vision is to be the pre-eminent leader in giving a powerful voice to innovations that influence markets, inspire people and improve lives.

How do you define “philanthropist?”

Simply put, philanthropy is giving back. Or more specifically, being generous by the way of your time, money or influence to help good causes.

At Waggener Edstrom we have closely examined how philanthropy has evolved over the years. In the past, the majority of so-called “philanthropists” were typically older, far along in their careers and would support by writing large checks to well-established foundations and charities. But we are seeing that model shifting drastically. Today’s philanthropists also include young professionals and digital-natives who are passionate about a myriad number of social causes from clean water to universal education to girl’s empowerment. They tend to give smaller amounts and expect organizations to show directly where their money is going. And money is not the only way young people give – the new generation of philanthropists also tend to donate their time, skills and even their influence on social media properties (read more about what WE considers “Social Citizens” here). Similarly, WE have evolved our approach from giving money to focusing on strategically using our time, treasures and talents to work together to drive impactful change in the communities where we live and work.

What does cooking together and sharing a meal mean to you?

The act of cooking and sharing a meal together is so human and universal. We are excited to participate in Corks & Forks to share this bonding experience with our colleagues and others passionate about making a difference in the world.

Why are you supporting Jolkona?

WE are passionate about supporting the new generation of philanthropists and appreciate the dynamic digital platform that Jolkona has built to create big impact through small donations. WE believes in the power of partnerships between the public and private sector and the budding social entrepreneurship sector. The company is also committed to supporting causes that our employees care about and engaged with. Three of our colleagues even sit on Jolkona’s leadership team: Seema Bhende, Director of Strategy; Melinda Moseler, Marketing Advisor for Brand; and Megan Fleming, Social Media Advisor. Through the MatchED and Good Deeds campaigns, numerous donations and volunteer hours, Waggener Edstrom has been supporting Jolkona for over 4 years and will continue to support as long as our employees are engaged in this kind of work.

Anything else you’d like to add?

WE love learning about new causes and projects through Jolkona’s monthly GiveTogether program. Keep inspiring and empowering people to give!

Thank you, Waggener Edstrom!

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