Call to Action
If you’ve ever volunteered for an organization or thought about doing it, you may have heard about Idealist.org. It’s a site to learn about various non-profit organizations, including related volunteer and job opportunities.
I recently received a disconcerting email from the founder about how the organization may be failing due to lack of funds. I’ve posted the email message body below and I highly recommend we each take action however we can.
You know how sometimes in life you go through a bad moment, and when
your friends hear about it later, they say, "Why didn’t you say
something? Why didn’t you ask? We would have helped."
That’s where Idealist is now, and I am writing to ask for your help.
Very briefly, here’s what happened. Over the past ten years, most of
our funding has come from the small fees we charge organizations for
posting their jobs on Idealist. By September 2008, after years of
steady growth, these little drops were covering 70% of our budget.
Then, in October of that year, the financial crisis exploded, many
organizations understandably froze their hiring, and from one week to
the next our earned income was cut almost in half, leaving us with a
hole of more than $100,000 each month.
That was 16 months ago, and since then we’ve survived on faith and
fumes, by cutting expenses, and by getting a few large gifts from new
and old friends. But now we are about to hit a wall, and this is why I
am reaching out to you.
If over the past 15 years Idealist has helped you or a friend find a
job, an internship or a volunteer opportunity; connect with a person,
an idea or a resource; or just feel inspired for a moment, now we need
your help. I wouldn’t be asking, and not like this, if this were not a
There are two ways you can help. First, if you can, please make a
Some people in this community are not in a position to contribute
right now, so if you are, please give as generously as you can. Thank you!
Second, please spread the word about this appeal by sharing this
message with friends and colleagues who may have benefited from
Idealist over the years. Since 1995 Idealist has touched hundreds of
thousands of lives. If in the next week or two we can reach everyone
who’d give us a hand if they knew we are in trouble, I believe we’ll
come out of this crisis even stronger than before.
I believe this because while this has been a tough stretch, I’ve never
been more optimistic about the future. The content on Idealist has
never been richer, our traffic is surging, we are building a whole new
Idealist.org that will be released later this year, and the potential
for connecting people, ideas, and resources around the world has never
been more urgent or more exciting.
Your contribution will allow us to maintain all our services, and it
will also give us some time to diversify our funding. Being able to
breathe, recover, and plan ahead for a few months will be an
Thanks so much for your support. Idealist has always been a
community-driven site, and we can’t do this work without you.
What Do You Think?
Feel free to share below how you will act to help idealist.org.