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Saul Garlick

Saul Garlick

Posted: December 1, 2010 05:01 PM

The holiday giving season is upon us. Last year alone close to 20 percent of total retail industry spending was attributed to the holidays, according the National Retail Federation. The pressure is on to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list and at a reasonable price during these strained and uncertain economic times.

Meet Taylor Corbett, an Occidental College student whose family has been giving the gift of a donation for over the past 10 years. Corbett has firsthand knowledge of the developing world and his family has much experience with poverty alleviation. The Corbett family's history of giving a gift of impact for the holidays all started with Heifer and giving tangible gifts such as an animal or seed to elevate the hungry and poor. Then they moved onto microfinance by loaning with Kiva. Taylor then crossed paths with Nadia Khawaja, co-founder of the micro-giving nonprofit venture Jolkona.

Last year, in an attempt to stave off yet another season of empty gifts, Taylor reached out to friends and family. He requested they give and receive gift dedications through Jolkona in lieu of exchanging actual presents.

One 20-something-year-old, 12 projects, and about $700 was raised during one holiday season. Taylor's mom was moved to tears when she received her gift dedication and her final proof of impact from Jolkona's partner project, which provides education to women in Afghanistan for a $40 donation, something that she is truly passionate about. Why is Taylor an advocate for giving through Jolkona? He says, "I knew it filled a gap where other giving models often drop off and it was so great to get my first proof of impact, seeing how my donation really made a difference a world away."In 50 words or less, Jolkona connects you with global philanthropic opportunities and shows the impact of your donations. Jolkona's web-based giving solution enables individuals to effectively channel small-scale gifts to high-impact projects which show tangible results for each gift.

Since Taylor's initiative to use Jolkona to dedicate gifts to friends and family, Jolkona has built a feature to allow anyone to dedicate gifts on the site for as little as $5. Jolkona co-founder Khawaja says, "Many of our features are suggested by our users. After hearing Taylor's experience in trying to dedicate gifts for the holidays, we were inspired to make it easy for anyone to create and send gift dedications and now gift cards which allow the recipient to choose which project they'd like the donation to support."

So having a hard time finding the perfect gift? Try sending a Jolkona Gift Card -- keep your holiday shopping meaningful by sharing a global impact that will keep the philanthropic spirit alive well after the holidays are over. Please visit www.jolkona.org to purchase your gift card, make gift dedications, and find out more ways you can make an impact through Jolkona this holiday season.

Follow Jolkona's impact on twitter.

 

Follow Saul Garlick on Twitter: www.twitter.com/saulgarlick