Idealist.org is a project of Action Without Borders, a global coalition of individuals and organizations working to build a world where all people can live free, dignified, and productive lives.
Purpose of Site:
To disseminate information from and about Action Without Borders. Idealist.org also has an online searchable directory of international nonprofit organizations and other nonprofit research resources.
First called the Contact Center Network, Action Without Borders was founded in 1995 to build a network of neighborhood Contact Centers that would provide a one-stop shop for volunteer opportunities and nonprofit services in communities around the world.
To promote this idea, AWB set up a Web site that started generating a strong interest from individuals and organizations. At the same time, AWB noticed that there was no single directory that would make all the nonprofit resources available on the Internet easily accessible to the millions of people who were already online.
Responding to this need, AWB set out to find every nonprofit site on the Web and to arrange all of these resources by both topic and geographic location, thereby creating a 'virtual Contact Center.'
A few months later, to help close the gap between technology-rich and technology-poor organizations, AWB decided to develop a Web-based system that would allow any nonprofit or community organization — whether it has a Web site or not — to have a presence on the Web through which to promote its mission and activities.
This new system, which AWB named Idealist, was launched in the summer of 1996 with fifty fictional organizations, to show how the interactivity of the Web could be used for collaboration and coalition building.
Since then, with the help of people from all over the world, Idealist has become the richest community of nonprofit and volunteering resources on the Web, with information provided by 20,000 organizations in 140 countries, and thousands of users every day.
The newly redesigned Web site is rich with information yet easy to navigate. The site's searchable database of nonprofit organizations and resources easy to use and comprehensive. The site links to nonprofit news and publishes personalized electronic newsletters.
The site's outstanding feature is the searchabale database of nonprofit organizations and resources. You can search jobs and career resources, internship information, and information on nonprofit organizations. You can even add your organization to the database when you visit the site.