A Volunteer Once Again: Jolkona Foundation

Almost all of my life (or at least since I think the 2nd grade) I’ve always prided myself in giving back through volunteer work. After the last 2 years of getting so caught up in my career that I didn’t make time for volunteering, I finally decided it was time to get to it. Support the Jolkona foundationI thought this would be pretty easy, given my experience, professional expertise, and, oh yeah, willingness to work for free! As it turns out, there isn’t really a great place to find openings for volunteers. After a few posts on Twitter, and failed attempts at being told to email an organization and not hearing back, I recieved a note from the lovely Laura at Jolkona Foundation (through their twitter account – @jolkona). The funny thing was, I think the note was something about my dog, but I got so excited that I heard from them that I figured it was just all meant to be. A few days later I met with Laura for coffee and it was even more apparent that this was the perfect match.

Jolkona, which in Bengali means a drop of water, connects donors to low-cost, high-impact philanthropic opportunities and then shows the impact of their donations (through videos, photos, report cards, etc.). They are still considered a start-up nonprofit, which is what really peaked my interest. After working for three years in an office which has grown from 10 people to over 60, I really miss the chaos and energy of a startup. Aside from the “what’s in it for me”, this is an organization that I’m also really looking forward to represent because I think they’re doing something so cool.

Part of Jolkona’s mission is to teach today’s youth that you don’t have to wait until you’re older and rich to give back to society. Amazingly enough, your $10 can actually have a huge impact. What I like even more, is that they present donors with a variety of opportunities. Whether you are passionate about supporting arts & culture, education, empowerment, environment or public health, Jolkona has rounded up a wide variety of projects in need. They also have such a wide variety of projects that you can choose to donate anywhere between $5 and $2,000 and still have a huge impact. To top it all off, they work with projects that provide actual proof that your money is doing something. One of the coolest projects I’ve found is providing education to a girl in Afghanistan for 10 months for only $40!

Tonight was Jolkona’s first all-hands meeting. Every time I deal with this group I get more and more excited that I’ve chosen this organization to help out. This group is mostly comprised of volunteers, and from what little I saw of them tonight seem to be a fabulous group of people. I really look forward to collaborating with such smart, passionate people. Stay tuned for my adventures with this group!

One Comment

  1. Apr 6, 2011
    9:23 am

    Laura Kimball

    Welcome to the team, Melissa! And thank you for this incredible blog post! We’re so happy to have you on board, and, yes, it was meant to be :)

    Can’t wait to see what you now that you’re part of Team Jolkona!

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