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Adnan Mahmud
Adnan Mahmud is the founder & CEO of LiveStories ( - a startup building data tools for the non-technical users. Prior to LiveStories, Adnan co-founded Jolkona (, a Seattle-based nonprofit whose mission is to educate, engage and empower a new generation of philanthropists by directly connecting them to changemakers on the ground. He is also active as a philanthropy consultant, with focus on youth engagement. He is a regular speaker on youth leadership for the U.S. State Department. His motivation comes from growing up in Bangladesh, witnessing some of the worst conditions that humans are forced to live through, and wanting to do something about it through his skills with organized networks and technology. Adnan previously worked at Microsoft for over 8 years with contributions to all the major Microsoft products. He earned a bachelor's degree from Angelo State University and a master's degree from the University of Southern California.

Entries by Adnan Mahmud

3 Obstacles Preventing Government Agencies From Being Transparent and Efficient

(0) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 1:14 PM

Ever since President Obama launched the Open Government Initiative in January 2009, government agencies have been in a mad dash to publish more and more data. The vision is to bring accountability to the government, foster collaboration across agencies, and encourage participation of the public by sharing data openly. In...

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Dear Aleena: 3 Things to Think About When Giving Back

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 5:22 PM


My Dearest Aleena,

Happy 1st birthday. When you were born a year ago, I shared with you 5 lessons your mother and I learned about philanthropy while building Jolkona. We hope as you get older, you will prioritize helping others....

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Three Ways to Galvanize Youth Philanthropic Action

(2) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 4:27 PM

It starts with accepting that the youth are not just the future -- they are the present. In the last couple of weeks, I had the opportunity to take part in events that highlight the role of youth in changing their community. During these events it was obvious that the...

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3 Lessons From the Biggest Industrial Disaster in Bangladesh

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 4:09 PM


Last April, Bangladesh -- my homeland -- experienced one of the worst industrial disasters in history: the collapse of an eight-story garment factory filled with workers. More than a thousand people died; many more were badly injured. At Jolkona...

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Top 3 Reasons Why Volunteers Are Special

(0) Comments | Posted April 11, 2014 | 3:02 AM

This is the 40th Anniversary of National Volunteer Week -- a time to celebrate people doing extraordinary things through service. I have been actively volunteering for the last seven years and in that time, I had the honor to work with many outstanding volunteers in Jolkona and outside....

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Nonprofit Data Users: 3 Challenges to Overcome

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 3:38 PM

Whether you're trying to sell cars, cola or causes, data is the hot topic these days. In the private sector, Big Data is transforming how businesses operate, enabling them to use social media and analytics to determine consumer interests and recommend products. Increasingly, nonprofits are also realizing the value of...

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Mandela's Gift: How to Be Loved by the People

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 8:21 AM

Millions of people all over the world are honoring Nelson Mandela this week. Political leaders, global philanthropists, and villagers alike are paying their respects to this inspirational man. President Obama and three of the past four U.S. presidents, kings and queens, billionaires and global icons are coming together to join...

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Funders & Doers: Teaming up for disaster relief, #GivingTuesday & Beyond

(1) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 8:16 AM

Whenever huge natural disasters like Typhoon Haiyan strike, our reflex is to be shocked and paralyzed by the devastation. In today's 24/7 media culture, we get bombarded by images of victims, orphans and destroyed homes. Of course, we all want to help, and many of us step forward to give...

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Shut Down, Not Shut Off: What Can Nonprofits Learn From the Government Impasse?

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 9:58 AM

We are now one week into the government shutdown. I'm relieved the U.S. passport agencies have remained open, but otherwise, the effects are starting to be felt in my office and at other nonprofits here in Seattle and around the country that receive federal grants or otherwise work closely with...

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Do Good & Do Well: 3 Tips for Social Entrepreneurs at Home and Abroad

(1) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 3:32 PM

Whether I'm in the United States or visiting a developing country, I always have the same message for youth leaders: We need more social entrepreneurs to take on our most pressing problems. My definition of a successful social entrepreneur is someone who has found the right balance: doing good while...

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Dear Aleena: 5 Lessons From a New Dad to the Youngest Philanthropist

(10) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 2:00 PM

My Dearest Aleena,

It's hard to believe you're already a month old! Every day, your mother and I are excited to learn new things about you and what we can do to help you grow. Fortunately, we can use much of what we learned from our first baby: Jolkona, the...

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Four M's of Millennial Giving: Micro, Meaningful, Mobile and Monthly

(5) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 8:59 AM

As a child in Bangladesh, I learned to walk past heartbreaking scenes of poverty and suffering every day, looking away with the notion in the back of my mind that "someday, I'll be able to help." After I finished college and started climbing the corporate ladder, however, "someday" kept getting...

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