By Cheryl Mahoney
Have you ever found the same person or idea or organization turning up in your life in a lot of different places, all around the same time? When that happens to me, I generally figure that the universe is trying to tell me something. Lately, it’s been happening with Jolkona Foundation. First there was a comment here on Philanthrobuzz (thanks, Joy!) Then Jolkona Foundation and UniversalGiving joined Social Actions at the same time. And I think I also saw them on Twitter, and they were mentioned in a couple of articles, and my memory blurs on where else, but it was enough that I decided the universe wanted me to look into this. Of course, another time I thought that was when four or five friends independently recommended the same author, and then it turned out I didn’t actually like his books very much. But I’m happy to report that I’ve read the universe’s signals better this time, and Jolkona Foundation looks like a great site.
“Jolkona” means “a drop of water” in Bengali. I assume the symbolism is that one small donation is like a drop of water, but many drops, and many donations, create an ocean and an enormous impact. Jolkona Foundation lets you search for very specific projects to give to, you can donate right through their site, and they’ll give you proof of impact on your gift. The idea is to make giving easy, and to let people have control over where they’re donating their money. Jolkona also wants to appeal to youth, and to bring together the collective power of many small donations to make a big difference. Sounds like values we can thoroughly embrace!
Jolkona looks like another example of shifts in the nonprofit world in response to trends in giving. People seem increasingly concerned about the impact of their charitable donation–as they should be. I think some of it is the economy–if people are forced to give less, they want to make sure that what they give has as much impact as possible. There’s a few key ways I’ve observed to do that: know exactly where your money is going, so that you know it’s a cause you really care about; give to quality organizations, so the money is going to people who know how to use it to the best advantage; give internationally, where a dollar’s high value lets a seemingly small amount do so much more than it could here.
So if you want to take advantage of all those ways to make an impact with your donation, Jolkona Foundation is a good organization to check out. And, of course, so is UniversalGiving. 🙂