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Archive for the ‘nonprofit’ Category

Screw Birthday Gifts; Let’s Start a Business Instead

Happy to report that Shanley’s campaign was fully funded! Thank you for all of your help!

When your friends are bloggers located on the other side of the country, buying drinks to catch up after a hard day or to celebrate a monumental victory can be, well, impossible. And sending them birthday wishes after Facebook reminds you of their special day is so passé.

Let’s be real, thirty seconds of your time typing out “happy birthday” on Facebook is not meaningful.

A New Kind of Birthday Gift

Shanley Knox and Florence Okun

Meet my friend Shanley KnoxShanley is a writer and social entrepreneur. At 20, she launched her first social enterprise. And this year for her 25th birthday, she’s doing what other 25-year-olds are not: trading in her birthday drinks to raise money for her second social enterprise. This time, it’s to launch Olivia Knox, which aims to change the face of manufacturing through refined East African craftsmanship that will supply luxury and lifestyle designers globally.

Through Olivia Knox, Shanley plans to raise labor standards and provide regular wages for a group of 40 female workers in Uganda, an area of the world where women are often marginalized and abused in professional working environments. Not just one or two, 40.

In her words:

She’s less than $700 away from reaching her goal and has less than four days to reach it; her campaign ends on Friday, January 31st, 2014 at 11:59 PT.

I already bought a round of drinks.  Want to grab the next birthday cocktail or birthday beer

Shanley Knox of Nakate Project

What do you say, shall we contribute a few birthday drinks to Shanley’s campaign?

You can make your donation through her campaign on Indiegogo, here: Have Birthday Drinks with Shanley for Uganda.

Photos courtesy of Shanley Knox 

Steve Jobs and Movember: Time to Get your Mustache on

Something magical has happened in my house since the night Steve Jobs died – and I’m not talking about the top 40 pop music that’s flowing up the stairs from my husband’s office into mine as I write this, but what he’s doing while listening to it.

He’s drawing.

The Evolution of an Artist

My husband, John, has always been a creative-type. By day and trade he’s a graphic designer, but he always had ambitions of being an artist. But no one ever told him that he could. So he pursued the next best thing, design. And he’s good at it.

For as long as I’ve known him, John has been a designer and an illustrator. But it wasn’t until he sat down, moved by the news of losing our generation’s Gutenberg, Edison, Picasso, Carnegie, that he drew this tribute to Steve Jobs and something inside of him opened up.

Over the past two months, John has been drawing almost every night and this month, he’s decided to sell a limited number of Steve Jobs’ Tribute Prints to benefit Movember. While pancreatic cancer took one of the most inspiring innovators of our time, John wanted to do something and help raise money to make sure that other men are not taken before their time like Steve Jobs was.

Why you should care about Movember

John Kimball Holding Steve Jobs Tribute Artwork

Movember is the month formerly known as November and is dedicated to growing moustaches and raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues; specifically cancers affecting men. To show my support for the men in my life, I have signed up as a Mo Sista. 

Why do I care about men’s health?


  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • A man is diagnosed with prostate cancer every 2.2 minutes
  • 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime
  • 24% of men are less likely to go the doctor compared to women

Those statistics suck.

John’s three-weeks into growing his ‘stache, but tragically, even though I’m a Mo Sista, I can’t grow a mustache. It’s physically impossible. So instead, I’m asking you to support our Movember campaign in two ways:

Support our Movember campaign through a donation – If you would like to and can, please make a tax-deductible donation of $5, $10, or $25 to our Movember campaign.

Or if you’re a charitable geek at heart –

Steve Jobs spotted in the wildPurchase a limited edition of John’s Steve Jobs Tribute print – You can purchase the print through his etsy store or by contacting me directly. All proceeds of the prints go directly to the Movember campaign and will be mailed out at the end of the month. You can purchase a 12” x 12” print on Luster paper or a 16” by 16” on Canvas. All prints are individually signed and numbered.

In case you’re wondering, the print looks amazing in person.

Time to get your Mo on

We only have one more week to grow and support these Movember moustaches, so please come along for the ride. And John will not be selling this print once Movember ends.

Funds raised during Movember will help make a tangible difference to the lives of others. Through the Movember Foundation and their men’s health partners, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and LIVESTRONG, Movember is funding world-class awareness, research, educational and support programs, which would otherwise not be possible. 

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having, please click on the links below:

Thank you for donating at our campaign and for helping me change the face of men’s health. Go the Mo!

Why I am a Mo SistaSteve Jobs Tribute Art auctioned at Seattle Geek Roast

I’m a wife and a daughter who has a dad, grandpas, brothers-in-law, uncles, cousins, one adorable nephew, and numerous amazing male friends. I care and love each and every one of them and want to do what I can help change the face of men’s health.

Are you with me? 

If so, you know what to do – donate, buy, or help me spread the word about this campaign.

Thank you.

Every Ending is a New Beginning

Today is my last day as a full-time employee and the Director of Communications & Social Media at Jolkona. This is a hard post to write because, while this departure was my choice and I’m very excited for what’s next, it’s hard to say goodbye to an organization I worked so hard to build.

From Volunteer to Director


When I started at Jolkona, it was as a volunteer to run their social media. I remember my interview with Adnan Mahmud, their co-founder of Jolkona. It was probably one of the most rigorous interviews I had ever been on – and it was for an unpaid position. It was a challenge because I was selling him on my social media skills that had only been tested on my personal brand, but not on a business or a nonprofit. But I knew what I was doing. And I told him that I would figure it out and deliver.

I got the position (obviously), and my first assignment was to write the social media strategy for the organization for the entire year and present it at the leadership retreat that following weekend with all of the directors of the organization.

I won’t go into the nitty-gritty details, but that weekend as I sat around a boardroom with the other volunteer-directors of the organization – still not knowing what I was getting myself into – I knew I was sitting in a room with some of the most ambitious and passionate people than I’ve ever had the chance to work with before.

And I was right.

Throughout that year I learned, first hand, how to build a community online, launch a fundraising campaign solely by promoting it through social media, manage a communications and marketing team, land my first speaking engagement, and make a name for myself in the nonprofit scene.

And I was ‘just’ a volunteer.

I volunteered with Jolkona to help me build the experience to land me my next job; I just had no idea that at the beginning of 2011, Jolkona would be the position that I was looking for.

Almost 2 Years, 1,500 fans, and 3,000 followers later

The part that I have enjoyed the most about my role with Jolkona was the process of building their strategy, brand, and community online to the point where they are today. When I started, Jolkona had 805 Fans on Facebook and 1,028 followers on Twitter. Today, they have increased their fans by 90% with over 1,500 Likers on Facebook and have over 3,000 followers on Twitter (+195%). Not bad numbers for an organic following. And as of today, Jolkona has published 200 blog posts, and 15 newsletters – not bad for a scrappy nonprofit startup with extremely limited resources.

@NickKristof Jolkona tweet

The best part about my role at Jolkona was creating campaigns and partnering with some incredible businesses like Waggener Edstrom, CRAVE, thinkspace, and Bill the Butcher. I got to plan the branding, creative, launch strategy, and marketing elements of each campaign – oh, and launch each one. It’s an awesome feeling to work really hard and really long on a campaign and watch how people respond in real-time via social media. Not to mention donations.

There are three campaigns that I’m the most proud of:

Give to Girls: Invest in the Women of Tomorrow by Giving to Girls Today – Which launched on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and was sponsored by CRAVE. This campaign had a modest matching fund to help launch it and after one-day raised $6,000 for projects supporting women and girls through Jolkona and is the highest single-day of fundraising to date.

12 Days of Giving – Last year’s holiday campaign where 12 different campaigns launched by 12 different members of the Jolkona team were ‘unwrapped’ over 12 days in December. This campaign was 100% my idea and one of my favorite efforts, not because I learned first-hand how hard it is to fundraise, but because I designed, built, and rallied the team throughout this campaign and watched when people not-related to any of the 12 Days campaign owners left messages on Jolkona’s Facebook page and tweeted at Jolkona that they were so inspired by the campaign that they decided to donate. That’s why.

12 Days of Giving-donor testimonial on Facebook

Jolkona’s Groupon Campaign – At SXSW 2011 I met with Groupon’s G-Team and learned about how they’re leveraging their platform for good. In July we launched a campaign with G-Team and over the course of 3-days, we ignited our following and raised $5,380 in about $10-increments (total includes the contribution from our matching sponsor). Oh, and it landed Jolkona in the ‘cool’ book and this awesome blog post written by Debra Askanse: Groupon Case Study: Jolkona’s Groupon Experiment.

Eat Local, Give Global – This last campaign that I designed with Bill the Butcher and launched only yesterday. This campaign came out of something that I love doing, networking, and I’m excited to see how well it does from now through the end of the year!

During my time at Jolkona, I helped raise over $45,000 in micro-donations during nine giving campaigns that were marketed through social media alone. My work landed me the following press:

Over the past two years I have learned a lot about myself and grown by leaps and bounds as a marketing communications professional.

What I am thankful for the most

Jolkona Floor Brainstorm

Branding brainstorm on the floor (with Ariel Gold and Nadia Mahmud)

Beyond the work itself, the part I enjoyed the most was the people. I am thankful to Jolkona’s co-founders, Nadia Khawaja Mahmud and Adnan Mahmud, for their trust and the opportunity to develop Jolkona into one of the most socially-media savvy nonprofits in Seattle. They set the strategic goals for the organization, and gave me the opportunity to figure out how to get there. Along the way I grew by leaps and bounds as a communications professional and as an individual. I got to develop and launch creative, marketing and fundraising campaigns; work with some amazing corporate partners; and talk to people, all day, through social media. For that I am forever thankful.

One of the thing I enjoyed the most is the team at Jolkona – the young 20- and 30-somethings who spend their free time working to build Jolkona and lending their skills are just amazing. And our interns, the sugar-crazed awesome interns who have taught me a lot about being a manager – I’m definitely going to miss them.

It’s been an incredible two years at Jolkona and I’m thankful for the opportunity to work hard and prove myself while building their brand. And I have been given the opportunity to join another startup and build again. I’ll go into more details about my new role with my new company on Monday, but for now I want to sit and reflect on the end of my era with Jolkona.

You never stop writing the book of your life; you just start a new chapter.

Change the Statistics: Join the Girl Effect

When I first saw this video, it shook my world. As someone who works in the nonprofit sector focusing on global development, these statistics were not new. But as a millennial that is moved by infographics and visual story, this message went straight to my core.

Did you know that for a girl living in poverty…

  • 96 million girls in developing countries are illiterate.
  • By 2016 almost 165 million girls will be married before the age of 18.
  • Half of sexual assaults worldwide are against girls younger than 15.
  • Less than two cents of every international aid dollar is directed at the solution of adolescent girls.

I needed to do something.

So I did. The Girl Effect inspired me to design Jolkona’s Give to Girls campaign last March.

Invest in the women of tomorrow by giving to girls today

We launched Give to Girls, a campaign to educate, empower, and provide health care for women and girls around the world. Or as we branded it – to invest in the women of tomorrow by giving to girls today.

We launched Give to Girls on March 8th, which was the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, and our community responded. In one day, we raised $6,000 in micro-donations (aka increments of $5, $40, and $100, etc.), which was the single highest day of fundraising Jolkona has seen to date! And we closed the campaign by raising $10,000 through the end of the month. I’m still proud of how the Jolkona community responded and the impact we made in a mere three weeks.

50 million girls live in poverty; that’s 50 million solutions

I’m not asking you to save a girl by donating (though, supporting grassroots organizations who are doing work on-the-ground is the best way to be a part of a massive change). Heck, I’m not even asking you to be a feminist.

But I am asking you to do something.

Think about going to school, learning to read, and to write. Think about graduating. Think about choosing the college of your dreams and the major of your choice. Think about graduating and landing that first big job – or starting your very first company. Now think about the intangibles, think about who made you who you are. Think about the qualities of your personality, your strengths and your weaknesses, and what doors you were able to push open because of the opportunities like access to a great education, provided for you.

Now imagine where you would be if you didn’t have those things. If you didn’t have this thing called a “choice.”

Would you be who you are today and where you are today if you were one of the girls in the Girl Effect video?

The clock is ticking

I’m not asking you to save the world. But if there’s one thing you do today, will you share this video with one person – be it a friend or a stranger or someone who helped change the statistics for you.

Share this movement with someone you care about and introduce them to the Girl Effect.

Because if you don’t help change the statistics for one of these girls, who will?

This post is part of the Girl Effect Blogging Campaign, organized by the amazing Tara Sophia Mohr. You can read all of the 520+ Girl Effect Blog posts, by visiting this page.

Statistics via the Girl Effect

Mashable Article: How Non-Profits Can “Woo” Corporate Partners

Last Friday at 8am while John was making me breakfast, I started the computer and my TweetDeck notifications went wild all because my article, HOW TO: Choose & Approach a Corporate Partner for Your Non-Profit, had just been posted.

Mashable Social Good Screen shot 2011-05-30 at 11.24.27 PM

This is the first article I’ve had published on Mashable, and you can image how excited I was and still am. Here is an excerpt:

Making the First Move

Now that you have a list of corporations who would make a perfect match for your non-profit, it’s time to ask them out on the first date. Even though you’ll be dating the entire company, you’ll want to start with anyone who can get you in the door. Think of your first point of contact as your matchmaker.

First Date Rule: Keep it causal. Share with your matchmaker what you’re working on and why his company would be a good fit to sponsor your campaign and partner with your non-profit. Woo them.

Second Date Rule: If your matchmaker is interested and sparks fly, ask him for an introduction to the decision makers at the company and set up a formal meeting. If your matchmaker is truly passionate about your idea, invite him to be a part of this meeting as an advocate for the partnership. Again, woo them. Advocates are key.

You can read the rest of the article, including what to do on the third date, here.

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