Johego Secures First Customer

I’m delighted to announce that Johego is partnering with Families and Communities Together (FACT), a coalition of social service agencies in and around Hannibal, MO. FACT’s collaborative programs are focused on increasing the number of:

  • adults working,
  • children and youth succeeding in school,
  • healthy children and families,
  • young children ready to enter school,
  • children safe in their families and families safe in their communities, and
  • youth prepared for productive adulthood.

In order to support their programs, FACT is paying Johego to, among other things, expand our directory to include social services in and around Hannibal and to train local social service professionals to access the directory through Johego’s smartphone application on iOS and Android, by the end of April 2017.

We are tremendously excited about this opportunity. Thank you to The Mission Center and Health Literacy Media for helping make this possible!

– Michael Kehoe

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We Don’t Do This Often

2016-12-01_johego_team

An Exciting Opportunity for Johego:

An anonymous supporter has generously offered to sponsor a 1:1 donation-matching campaign on behalf of Johego. This means that, for the next week only, any and all donations to Johego, up to $5,000 total, will be matched dollar-for-dollar.

Why This Matters:

Back in April, Johego had its first-ever in-person fundraiser, and the response from the community was inspiring. Here are some of things your generosity made possible:

  • We built a smartphone application on iOS and Android, supporting more than 100 categories of social services and over 1,250 service providers.
  • We began formally field-testing our application with social workers, police officers, and other public servants.
  • We significantly expanded our team, adding one paid employee, three new board members, and two outside advisors, all of whom make Johego stronger.
  • We secured a grant from Missouri Foundation for Health, one of the largest philanthropic organizations of its kind in the United States.
  • We successfully applied to, and completed, Square One, a competitively selected entrepreneurship development program.
  • We developed partnerships with local nonprofits and for-profit companies that will help us deliver better services and position us to become more competitive for additional institutional support.

You Can Help Us Do More:

With your help, we can keep this momentum going: expanding the geographic coverage of our application, completing formal field-testing, and leveraging that momentum to apply for substantial funding from philanthropic foundations and other target partners. This donation matching campaign means that, for the next week only, any and all donations to Johego, up to $5,000 total, will be matched dollar-for-dollar, thereby doubling your impact.

If you are able, please send us a tax-deductible donation of $50 or more today, so that we can continue to build on our successes:

Donate

If you prefer, checks can be mailed to P.O. Box 23261, St. Louis, MO 63156. In any case, on behalf of the Johego team, thank you in advance for your generosity and support.

– Michael Kehoe

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Strengthening Social Services

At its core, our mission has been, and will always be, strengthening social services.

For much of our existence, Johego’s slogan has been Revolutionizing Community Development. Despite our previous blog entries about building a social movement, Johego has never been interested in revolutionizing community development for its own sake: rather, our hearts and minds have been moved by the reality that, every single year in the United States, tens of millions of dollars are unnecessarily spent by nonprofits creating and maintaining redundant (and quickly outdated) directories of nearby social service providers. For every dollar spent in this fashion, one fewer dollar is available for directly help people in need.

Meanwhile, as we’ve written about previously, despite a great number of nonprofits, congregations, and government programs dedicated to serving the public interest throughout the United States, more than 45 million people remain in poverty, including one in five children. During the 21st Century in the United States, this should not be the case. At its core, then, our mission has been, and will always be, supporting and strengthening those individuals and groups who are working day-in and day-out to deliver the social services that are necessary for human well-being and progress.

With that said, you may have noticed that Johego’s website and social media profiles have significantly changed during recent days. Nonetheless, Johego remains as committed as ever to improving community development, including mobilizing volunteers on behalf of social service providers, but we wanted to make sure that our branding best reflects our core mission. To that end, we are happy to announce our new slogan, Strengthening Social Services, and our new logo, which you can view below:

Johego Logo

We are currently working on a couple of initiatives to help bring our efforts to scale. We will be sure to keep you posted as they progress. In the meantime, thank you so much for your interest and support.

– Michael

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We Like It Here

Decatur, We Like It Here. For as long as I can remember, that has been the official motto of my hometown: Decatur, IL. Although the slogan has been associated with various community development efforts for decades, it has also been the source of no small amount of (tragic) comedy: in 2007, even The Colbert Report got in on the action through its Better Know a District series. Nonetheless, I am happy to report that, thanks to the work of countless people working in and out of the public eye, Decatur has dramatically and quantifiably improved.

Recently, Decatur’s slogan has taken on additional meaning for me and for Johego. Exactly one month ago today, Johego held its first-ever in-person fundraiser, at The Decatur Club in Decatur, IL. The response from the community was inspiring: despite a hailstorm that flooded nearby streets, we were able to raise nearly $37,000 in pledged and matched donations!

Photo: Johego Fundraiser in Decatur, IL (April 21, 2016)
Photo: Johego Fundraiser in Decatur, IL (April 21, 2016)

It’s hard to overstate how much Decatur’s generosity has meant to Johego: these funds will not only directly support our efforts to improve community development through technology, but they will also make it easier for us to secure large-scale grants from like-minded charitable foundations. When the right connections are made, things truly grow better together than they do separately.

In closing, I am delighted announce another opportunity to help Johego bring our community development efforts to scale: during the fundraiser, one generous sponsor offered to match up to $25,000 in donations made to Johego! Currently, we are approximately $3,500 away from maximizing this opportunity. Thus, if you are able, we ask that you consider making a donation of $25 or more today, in order to double your impact:

Donate

Whether or not you are able to donate, we appreciate your interest in our success. Thank you so much for your support!

– Michael

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An Exciting Opportunity for Johego

In recent posts, we talked about the resources required to bring Johego nationwide and the various ways you can help make that happen. In this post, we are excited to announce a fantastic fundraising opportunity made possible by a generous supporter.

1:1 Donation Matching Program Begins Today!

We are excited to announce that, between now and October 15th, a generous supporter has agreed to sponsor a 1:1 donation matching program on behalf of Johego! This means that for every dollar that you donate to Johego, this confidential supporter will donate an additional dollar to Johego (up to $1000 total), thereby doubling your impact!

We will be applying to several major grants over the next few months, including one application that is due in mid-October. We are trying to mobilize 50 unique donors before we submit our first application: the broader base of support we are able to show, the more likely we are to win these types of competitive grants.

If you are able, please send us a donation of $20 or more today to double your impact:

Donate

As a reminder, because Johego is a 501(c)(3) charity, your donations are tax-deductible! If you are not able to support us financially at this time, please consider sharing this post on social media and encouraging your friends to make a donation. With your help, we can finish our app, expand its coverage nationwide, and revolutionize community development.

Thank you so much for your support!

– Michael

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Introducing Our Beta Application!

Today, we are excited to announce that the beta (demo) version of our smartphone application is live! You can access the beta by visiting our new Demo page, or by clicking on the button at the bottom of this post.

Screen Capture of the Beta Application
Screen Capture of the Beta Application

We hope that this incomplete, yet functional, proof-of-concept will help illuminate how Johego is trying to revolutionize community development. In addition, we hope that you will send us a message using our email submission form so we can learn about your experience with the app. Your feedback is essential to our longterm success!

A Few Things You Should Know Beforehand:

  • Currently, the social service providers referenced by the beta application are located exclusively in the Washington, D.C. metro area, so you will need to type in a location from that region, such as 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (the White House), to see nearby services.

  • The beta application has been optimized for use on mobile devices, so it looks best on smaller screens.

  • If you are trying to view the beta application from within a mobile app (such as Facebook’s mobile app), you will need to, instead, copy this link and open it in a browser like Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari.

  • By utilizing this beta application, you are expressing your full agreement with the terms and conditions associated with the beta.

AGREE AND VIEW APP

Thank you very much for your interest! We look forward to reviewing your feedback!

– Michael

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Where We Are & Where We’re Going

Hello, everyone! Greetings from beautiful West Lafayette, IN!

West Lafayette, IN (during Autumn)
West Lafayette, IN (during Autumn)

Over the past few months, we have been hard at work trying to make our vision for our application a reality. In order to build the best product possible, we have had numerous conversations with experts in a variety of fields, from mobile application development to user-centered design to social service delivery. We have supplemented these conversations with our own independent research, trying to figure out why people engage in activities that strengthen their communities and what motivates them to remain active.

We are excited to announce that we are planning on releasing a beta version of our application over the next few months. (For those that are not familiar with the term, a “beta version” is an incomplete, yet functional, proof-of-concept.) Before it can be released, we will be taking care of a few remaining technical items and working with our attorneys to develop the terms and conditions that will accompany the application.

Therefore, we hope that you will take a few moments to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or LinkedIn. By doing so, you will increase the visibility of our efforts, and you will be among the first to know when the beta version is released. In the meantime, if you have a question, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you in advance for your interest!

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Welcome

My name is Michael Kehoe, and I am the founder and executive director of Johego, an organization that is dedicated to building stronger communities. During the coming months, I will be writing on behalf the Johego team, which currently consists of a full-time executive director, five volunteer board members, and a variety of part-time volunteers, including a data scientist, a computer programmer, a mobile app developer, a marketing specialist, and a user-centered designer. You can meet some of the team here:

  • Michael Kehoe
    Board Chairman & Executive Director

For the past few months, we have been working hard to create a smartphone application, that will empower individuals to become more constructively engaged in their communities. Over the next few months, we are planning on launching a beta version of our app, which will be made available through our website.

We decided to start blogging in order to keep people posted about our progress, to generate excitement about community engagement, and to share some of the insights we have gained from our efforts. We are planning on posting semi-regular status updates, providing background information about various initiatives, and sharing stories that will hopefully interest and inspire you.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you. You can connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Alternatively, you can use our Contact page to sign up for our email list or to send us a message.

We look forward to hearing from you during the months to come!

– Michael

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