Next Generation of Philanthropy: Jolkona Foundation

Yesterday your read about the motivation behind Jolkona Foundation and a little bit more about some what they are trying to accomplish with the ability to measure the impact of each donation. Today they have some really great things to say about the next generation of philanthropists.

What is an example of the kind of partnerships you create with the Jolkona Foundation?

Our partner projects do work in one or more of our five different categories: 1) Public Health 2) Education 3) Environment 4) Empowerment 5) Cultural Identity. One of our first partners is an organization in Bangladesh that provides artificial limbs for a little over $200. Bangladesh has 15,000 cases of amputations per year (mostly caused by traffic accidents, polio, congenital diseases, etc.) and this organization can do about 1,000 cases, only 100 are done for free. More than 10,000 new amputees go un-served every year. For every gift that organization receives through Jolkona Foundation, they will send before-and-after photos of the person receiving that specific gift. So far the Jolkona Community has caused a 10% increase in the number of free limbs provided by that organization. Find out more about this project.

Why are you choosing to focus on people from 15 to 35?

The main reason is that is the group that we identify the most with. As I mentioned before Jolkona Foundation was started and inspired by 20 something year olds who felt they didn’t have a way to see the impact their donation would have. Therefore, it made sense for us to focus on that at the start. Additionally, targeting the youth makes the most sense for what we are doing due to our use of technology, social media, and “microdonations.”

How will giving change as more people from this demographic become philanthropic?

Although Americans in general are very philanthropic, we have been seeing a decline in American’s giving patterns. By targeting the youth and young professionals and inspiring them to give back at a younger age even with less resources, we hope to build a new generation of philanthropists and move the declining giving trend to an increasing one. Additionally, by creating a platform that allows non-profits to easily report back and show proof for individual donations, we hope to act as a catalyst for other non-profits to strive to improve their reporting back and showing of proof to donors via technological advancements. Last, we hope to change the idea of fundraising in dollars to fundraising for impact. For example, getting people to think that they want to raise funds to help educate 50 girls in Afghanistan instead of wanted to raise $2,500 for a cause. We think that building a connection between donor and recipient is key to improving philanthropic giving.

What role would you like Jolkona to play in changing philanthropy?

There are various reasons including lack of resources to do splashy ad campaigns, lack of technological know how to take advantage of available tools, or simply not enough hours in the day to do outreach after getting through the field work. We refer to these organizations “as little guys doing amazing work”. One of our major goals has been (and will continue be) to find ways that we can help these organizations do more of what they are doing. For example, if we can help them give exposure to more people (i.e. via our website), then, that hopefully frees up just little bit of their existing resources for their actual work. We will continue to find new innovative ways we help our partners go further with their hard work. We have been experiencing a decline in American’s giving patterns. By targeting the youth and inspiring them to give back at a younger age and with less resources, we hope to act as a stepping stone for future philanthropists and help to move the declining trend to an increasing one.

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