Backpacking in Chile, Ami Dar had the idea for a global network that would help connect people and organizations to do more with all the resources we have.
Began the organization as the Contact Center Network, an attempt to start a network of meeting spaces in different communities, where people could connect with neighbors who might share interests and ideas for local action.
Launched Contact.org, a simple HTML website with 2,500 links to the websites of nonprofit organizations in 100 countries and all 50 US states.
Contact.org becomes Idealist.org, a searchable database. Remember when the web looked like this?
Renamed our site Idealist.org (an "idea list" for idealists...), and turned it into a searchable database of organizations and the information and opportunities that they posted.
Received small seed grants from the AT&T, Markle, and Packard foundations.
Got our very first press mention in the Village Voice.
1996 - 2006
Changed our organization's name from the Contact Center Network to Action Without Borders and began to think of ourselves as a global network.
Published the Nonprofit Career Center and other resource centers related to the nonprofit sector.
Reached the milestone of having 10,000 nonprofit organizations registered on the site.
Began offering Email Alerts so that people could get notified about new opportunities posted to the site.
Started charging US-based organizations $40 to post jobs on Idealist (up until then, all listings had been free). SEIU was the first organization to pay for a job listing.
The Stern Family Fund awarded us a $100,000 Public Interest Pioneer grant, which doubled our annual budget overnight.
Introduced My Idealist, a system that allowed individuals to personally customize the content of the daily Email Alerts they received from Idealist.
Partnered with the University of Chicago to offer the first of our Idealist Nonprofit Career Fairs. Over 40 organizations and 400 individuals joined us for several hours of face-to-face interactions. The event was so successful that we decided to expand the fairs to several cities around the United States.
Received the Webby Award for best website in the Community category, and Forbes called Idealist one of its "Favorite Sites of 2002."
Ran our first Idealist Career Day, a customizable workshop allowing students to explore the range of career choices in the social sector.
Invited people around the world to meet face-to-face to talk about how they could work together in their communities.