Action Without Borders is a global network of individuals and organizations working to build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives. The organization is a nonprofit independent of any government, political ideology, or religious creed. Its work is guided by the common desire of its members and supporters to find practical solutions to social and environmental problems, in a spirit of generosity and mutual respect.
Purpose of Site:
Since 1995 Action Without Borders has been using the Web to build an online community of nonprofits and community organizations around the world. The Web site Idealist.org allows organizations to connect with volunteers, potential employees, and other organizations with similar interests. Individuals can use the site to find volunteer opportunities, internships, jobs, events, and other resources. The site currently serves 27,000 organizations in 153 countries and is visited by 20,000 people everyday.
Founded in 1995 as the Contact Center Network, the organization was established to build a network of neighborhood contact centers that would function as one-stop shops for volunteer opportunities and nonprofit services in communities worldwide. The organization soon began focusing on the Internet as a way to provide nonprofit resources and volunteer information and created a virtual contact center.
Though Idealist.org's programs and initiatives reach thousands of people and organizations around the world, Action Without Borders is a small nonprofit with a staff of eleven. Its existing programs have been created with a very limited budget, and it currently receives funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Stern Family Fund, and the Surdna Foundation. Action Without Borders seeks support for general operating expenses, equipment purchase, and travel expenses.
The home page of Idealist.org has a clean, simple look but also reveals the depth of the site. In the top right corner of the page, Idealist.org helps new users navigate the online community with links to a First time here? section, About us, Help, and, for Spanish speakers, Idealist en espa�ol. A keyword search option is in the center of the page for users researching organizations and resources on the Idealist.org site. The home page also has a link that organizations can use to post job openings, events, services, resources, and volunteer opportunities. Individuals and organizations can access links to individual search pages for Organizations, Jobs, Volunteer Opportunities, Services, Resources, Campaigns, Events, Internships, Career Fairs, Career Center, and Tools for Orgs.
Launched at the beginning of 2001, My Idealist is a free service that allows people to sign up for e-mail updates of new information posted on Idealist.org by organizations that matches their interests and location. Users simply sign up with an e-mail address to receive a password to create their own My Idealist resource. The e-mail feature of My Idealist allows users to define what information they would like to receive from the jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, events, and resources posted on Idealist.org. For each of those categories, users can select areas of interest (e.g. Arts, Disability Issues, Peace and Conflict Resolution, etc.), highlight their skills, and select the geographic area where they are located and looking for opportunities. The My Idealist feature also includes a community Web forum for users to engage in online chats with others. Some 50,000 Web users are registered for the service, and about 5,000 new users join every month.
The Idealist.org Kids and Teens part of the site is designed to introduce kids, teens, and their families and teachers to the world of nonprofit organizations and initiatives. The kids and teens page helps young people find resources and information on topics such as how to start a project to help in their communities, how to find information about youth volunteering, and how to search nonprofit Web sites for young people dealing with issues such as human rights, the environment, and the arts. The site also offers teachers countless opportunities for supplementing and enhancing lesson plans, encouraging students to get involved with their communities, and suggestions for bringing community issues into the classroom.
Another impressive feature on Idealist.org is Idealist en espa�ol, which is the organization's Spanish language site. Launched in May 2001, it provides access to the resources of Idealist.org for Spanish speaking organizations and individuals locally, nationally, and internationally.