Posts by Kim Davidson


Opportunity Spotlight: World Peace Day edition

Photo credit: live w mcs, Creative Commons/Flickr

Happy International Day of Peace, everyone! In 1981, the United Nations General Assembly declared the third Tuesday of each September the International Day of Peace. This day is dedicated to “strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples” and is observed by temporary ceasefire in combat zones by many states, political groups, military groups, and individuals. During these times of ceasefire, humanitarian aid is granted access into these zones.

The focus of this year’s observance is “Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future.” Conflicts often arise around control of natural resources, and sustainable peace often relies on sustainable development and good management of natural resources. In this week’s Opportunity Spotlight, we’ll take a look at ways to get involved in peace and sustainable development.

  • The Peace Corps was established by executive order in 1961 and authorized by Congress in an act that defines its purpose as: “To promote world peace and friendship through a Peace Corps, which shall make available to interested countries and areas men and women of the United States qualified for service abroad and willing to serve, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the peoples of such countries and areas in meeting their needs for trained manpower.” Since then, over 200,000 Peace Corps volunteers have served in 139 countries. Skilled volunteers work with governments, schools, NGOs, and entrepreneurs in positions related to social and economic impact. They need thousands of volunteers every year, and this year’s application deadline is September 30th, so get started today!
  • The Hunt Alternatives foundation has donated over $100 million toward sustainable development initiatives worldwide. They focus on advocacy for inclusive peace processes, fighting the illegal sex trade, inspiring women to political leadership, and supporting leaders of social movements among other more local initiatives. They’re currently seeking interns in Massachusetts and DC to work on event planning, post-conflict peace training, and coalition building.
  • In response to Kofi Annan’s 2003 call for an international conference of organizations working on conflict prevention, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict was formed  to “strengthen civil society networks for peace and security by linking local, national, regional, and global levels of action; to establish effective engagement with governments, the UN system and regional organisations.” By connecting stakeholders at every level with policymakers and those often left out of policymaking, the organization seeks to gather input and build consensus and inclusion into conflict-prevention process. They’re looking for an intern in The Hague to assist with public outreach.

Across the world, organizations and individuals are looking at world peace not as a dream, but as an achievable goal. They’re organizing volunteers, funding and compiling research, influencing policymakers, and training stakeholders. World peace is a tall order, and there’s lots of work to be done.

How are you observing today’s International Day of Peace?

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Opportunity Spotlight: Women’s Health Edition

In this series, we like to explore different aspects of the social-impact sector. Today, we’re highlighting organizations and opportunities on our site that focus on women’s health.

 

We’re talking more about women’s health (Photo Credit: a.drian, Creative Commons/Flickr)

 

Planned Parenthood of New York City provides health services for over 50,000 New Yorkers every year, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. They’ve also been leaders in reproductive health education and advocacy, supporting legislation and policies that ensure universal access to reproductive health care. They’re currently hiring for nine positions from human resources to case management to assisting in direct care.

If your interests lie in policy and politics, check out the Women’s Campaign Fund. They support women running for all levels of political office to advance “political participation and leadership of women who support reproductive health choices for all.” WCF is currently seeking a Vice President of Development in Washington, DC. You’ll set goals, organize events, cultivate foundation and corporate support, and manage the development staff.

The Society for Women’s Health Research is a national nonprofit organization based in DC that seeks to advance women’s health through research, education, and advocacy. They lobby for funding for research into women’s health issues, create educational materials, hold educational events, and establish groups and campaigns that advance the study of women’s health. They’re currently looking for interns, so if you’re looking for experience in the field, be sure to check them out.

There’s are many different aspects of women’s health – from access to health services to inclusion in the political sphere to funding for research – and there are lots of ways to get involved. Be sure to visit our site to find the perfect opportunity for you!

How do you contribute to the causes that are important to you?

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Opportunity Spotlight: Back-to-School Edition

Welcome back! Is it time to explore a career in education? (Photo Credit: Charlottes Photo Gallery, Creative Commons/Flickr)

Hope you’ve been sharpening up your pencils and writing your name inside your textbooks, because it’s back-to-school season!

Okay, so most of us aren’t students anymore (though if you’re thinking about it, check out our Graduate School Fairs!), but there are still lots of ways to get back to school this September.

Roseville Community Charter School in Newark, New Jersey is looking for a First Grade Teacher. This kindergarten through second grade charter school focuses on college prep and their ideal candidate possesses an “unyielding belief in all students’ ability to achieve at high levels, demonstrated success in yielding high results, and experience teaching in urban school environments.” If that sounds like you, check out this great opportunity.

Being in front of the classroom isn’t the only way to help students. The DC Public School system’s Office of Human Capital is at the center of a series of reforms focused on having exceptionally effective teachers in every DC public school classroom. They’re seeking a Coordinator of Teacher Effectiveness Strategy, who will work on a range of innovative initiatives spanning teacher recruitment, selection, compensation, evaluation, recognition, and retention. Washington, DC is working hard to create the best educator force in the nation, and this is an awesome chance to join them.

If you’re just looking to get started in your education career, Harlem Village Academies, one of the highest performing urban school networks in the country and a national leader in the education reform movement, is seeking a Development Intern to support their development, fundraising, and administrative work. You’ll gain experience in urban education while making a valuable contribution to education reform. The internship is paid and offers school credit.

The Friends of PS169 in New York, are looking for tutors for special education students in grades 1 through 8. An educational background isn’t a requirement, but patience is. You’ll work one on one with students who who are on the autism spectrum, have significant cognitive delays, are severely emotionally challenged, sensory impaired or multiply disabled to close the achievement gap. The school year’s getting started, and they’re still in need of passionate tutors, so sign up soon!

Whether you’re working in a classroom, supporting people who do, or giving students that extra push outside of class, there are lots of ways to get some school spirit. Are you working in education? Tell us about it!

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Opportunity Spotlight: Labor Day Edition

How can we work together to create strong workplaces? (Photo credit: kathera, Creative Commons/Flickr)

Labor Day’s not just the day we stop wearing white pants. Since 1894, it’s been the official day that we take a load off to celebrate the contributions of all workers. And in today’s spotlight, we celebrate organizations that support workers as well as job and internship opportunities within these organizations.

Restaurant Opportunities Centers United works on behalf of restaurant employees nationwide. Through advocacy, organization, research, and policy work, they aim to improve the wages and working conditions of over 10 million people in the restaurant industry. They’re currently seeking a part time Office Manager in New York, NY, so if you’ve got some administrative chops and you’re passionate about community and labor organizing, check out this great opportunity to get involved.

If direct organizing is more your style, sign on as Lead Organizer for Warehouse Workers for Justice in Joliet, IL. United Electrical Workers is seeking someone to develop and lead workplace justice campaigns for warehouse workers in Chicago’s logistics hub. You’ll be leading a team of organizers, providing education on workplace rights, training long-term community leaders, and developing innovative tactics to tackle workplace justice issues.

Just getting your feet wet in workplace organizing? Get a Union Organizer internship with UNITE HERE! in Boston, MA. You’ll be working locally on national campaigns to motivate service workers to stand up for their rights.

And take a look at some other workforce development organizations that joined the site this week, like the Newark Workforce Investment Board, New York’s Workforce Opportunity Services, and Philadelphia’s Opportunities Industrialization Center. These organizations build up employee skills and connect them with employers who need these skills to build healthy communities that benefit everyone.

Hats off to you all workers of America! And a special high five to all the organizations working on their behalf.

What are you doing to celebrate workers this Labor Day?

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Opportunity spotlight: “Life itself is the proper binge” edition

Julia Child's Kitchen

Julia Child's Kitchen (Photo Credit: c_nilsen, Creative Commons/Flickr)

This week was Julia Child’s 100th birthday! We here in the Idealist office are big fans of anything involving food, so in celebration, we’re highlighting some food related goodness recently posted on the site.

  • If you’re looking for an internship in the DC area, Share Our Strength is seeking a Corporate Partnerships/Dine Out Intern. Share Our Strength is a national nonprofit devoted to wiping out child hunger. Their Dine Out campaign partners with restaurants to raise money for their programming. Participating restaurants donate a portion of sales, host a fundraising drive, or incentivize employee donations. You’ll be helping research prospective partners, plan events, create presentations, and generally support the work of the campaign.
  • If a little competition is more your style and you’ll be in San Mateo, CA this weekend, check out the San Mateo Fire Fighter’s Chili Cook Off! Fire departments across the Bay Area will offer up their best homemade chili – $10 gets you a sample of all the chilis, a bowl of your favorite, and one drink. Kids 12 and under are totally free! All the proceeds will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
  • Want to think about food full-time? Apply to be the new “Food, What?!” Associate Director!  Food, What?! is a Santa Cruz-based youth empowerment and food justice nonprofit that partners with low-income and at-risk youth to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food. You’ll be the third member of a small team, working on fundraising, marketing, and program support and leadership. Farm and gardening experience is a plus!
  • Or join Open Table in Maynard, MA. Their volunteers organize food drives, grocery shop, cook, and serve food as part of a weekly community supper program that serves over 225 guests. The organization aims to relieve not only hunger, but also social isolation, offering a warm, welcoming community to anyone in need. Many of their guests require other social services as well, and Open Table often operates as a resource center, referring guests to other community organizations and providing assistance whenever they can.

Julia Child said, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” Whatever you’re passionate about it, you can find ways to do good while doing what you love by taking a look at all the great opportunities to intern, volunteer, or work with the perfect organization.

Are you following your love of food? Or music? Or sports? Tell us about it!

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Opportunity spotlight: "Life itself is the proper binge" edition

Julia Child's Kitchen

Julia Child's Kitchen (Photo Credit: c_nilsen, Creative Commons/Flickr)

This week was Julia Child’s 100th birthday! We here in the Idealist office are big fans of anything involving food, so in celebration, we’re highlighting some food related goodness recently posted on the site.

  • If you’re looking for an internship in the DC area, Share Our Strength is seeking a Corporate Partnerships/Dine Out Intern. Share Our Strength is a national nonprofit devoted to wiping out child hunger. Their Dine Out campaign partners with restaurants to raise money for their programming. Participating restaurants donate a portion of sales, host a fundraising drive, or incentivize employee donations. You’ll be helping research prospective partners, plan events, create presentations, and generally support the work of the campaign.
  • If a little competition is more your style and you’ll be in San Mateo, CA this weekend, check out the San Mateo Fire Fighter’s Chili Cook Off! Fire departments across the Bay Area will offer up their best homemade chili – $10 gets you a sample of all the chilis, a bowl of your favorite, and one drink. Kids 12 and under are totally free! All the proceeds will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
  • Want to think about food full-time? Apply to be the new “Food, What?!” Associate Director!  Food, What?! is a Santa Cruz-based youth empowerment and food justice nonprofit that partners with low-income and at-risk youth to grow, cook, eat, and distribute healthy, sustainably raised food. You’ll be the third member of a small team, working on fundraising, marketing, and program support and leadership. Farm and gardening experience is a plus!
  • Or join Open Table in Maynard, MA. Their volunteers organize food drives, grocery shop, cook, and serve food as part of a weekly community supper program that serves over 225 guests. The organization aims to relieve not only hunger, but also social isolation, offering a warm, welcoming community to anyone in need. Many of their guests require other social services as well, and Open Table often operates as a resource center, referring guests to other community organizations and providing assistance whenever they can.

Julia Child said, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” Whatever you’re passionate about it, you can find ways to do good while doing what you love by taking a look at all the great opportunities to intern, volunteer, or work with the perfect organization.

Are you following your love of food? Or music? Or sports? Tell us about it!

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Event spotlight: Birds, tax law, hacking, and boards in Boulder

Hark! A lark! (Photo credit: Meghan Kearney/USFWS, Creative Commons/Flickr)

With all the awesome organizations and people in the Idealist community, there’s no end to the variety of exciting opportunities to get involved. Whether you’re into birds or boards, tech or taxes, we’ve got something for you. Check out this sampling of great upcoming events:

Presidio Family Bird Count

On September 9th, join the Golden Gate Audubon Society for bird spotting in San Francisco’s Presidio. In the afternoon, young participants will have the opportunity to present their tallies. Last year, over 50 kinds of birds were recorded. The event is totally free and includes a “binocular bootcamp and birding basics” class for those who arrive early.

Stay Exempt Workshop

Every year, thousands of nonprofit organizations in the U.S. lose their 501(c)(3) status because they don’t file with the IRS or don’t file correctly. This one-day workshop on September 25th in Portland, Oregon will help you navigate tax compliance and regulations to keep your organization exempt.

Helping Hacks: The Goodnik Hackathon

Have a nonprofit tech project that needs help? Are you a hacker, developer, database genius, or project manager? Or do you just want to help connect some techie folks with the organizations that need their expertise? Then get involved in Goodnik’s Hackathon. For one weekend, August 24th – 26th, New York’s best developers and designers will team up with the city’s nonprofits to create innovative solutions to real technological challenges. Neat, huh?

Boulder County Board Match

Board service is a great way to get involved with causes you care about. If you live in Boulder County, Colorado and want to learn more about participating on a board, or if you’re looking to build your own org’s board, head over to to the Boulder County Board Match on September 19th. You’ll be able to make connections with local organizations, gain professional development, and learn everything you could want to know about nonprofit board service. There’ll even be childcare available if you can’t find a babysitter that day.

Is your organization throwing a party, offering a workshop, or launching a project? Add it to our event listings! Just log in and click on “Post a Listing” to get started.



Opportunity spotlight: Sports for non-Olympians

The 2012 Olympic Games kick off today! Though few of us will live the dream today and compete, there are lots of other ways to get involved in some healthy athletic competition while making the world a better place.

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Not an Olympic champion? No worries. You can still become a great athlete and give back!

Good Sports partners with local sporting good manufacturers to provide athletic equipment, footwear, and apparel to disadvantaged youth across the country, lowering the cost of participation in activities that might otherwise be inaccessible. Besides the obvious benefits of an active lifestyle, “kids who participate in sports enjoy better nutritional awareness and improved self-esteem.  What’s more, these kids are 57% less likely to drop out of school, 49% less likely to take drugs, and 37% less likely to become teen parents.” They’ve provided over $6.5 million in equipment to more than 400,000 young athletes to date. They’re looking for an intern, so if you’re in Quincy, MA, interested in the sports industry, and want to support a great cause, check out them out!

Coaching Corps trains college students to be volunteer coaches in after-school programs in California. The organization also develops and promotes best practices in youth sports and after-school programming and advocates for public and private support and investment in youth sports for low-income communities. They’re currently looking for thirty people to join their AmeriCorps program. You’d do some coaching yourself, help recruit volunteers, and receive lots of training in youth services.

The Union Settlement Association knows it’s never too late to promote fitness. They’re seeking a volunteer Exercise Leader for older adults. The organization works with a predominantly immigrant population in East Harlem, serving over 13,000 residents every year. Their programs include education, childcare, nutrition, senior services, counseling, the arts, job training, and economic development. The exercise leader would get older residents excited about physical activity by running a weekly fitness class that caters to a range of mobility levels. If you’ve got an hour to spare every week, share your passion and motivate some older folks to stay healthy!

And, of course, there is the Special Olympics. With nearly 4 million athletes around the world, the Special Olympics is the largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities in the world. Over fifty local chapters are listed on Idealist, and they hold events year round. Check out opportunities near you to work with these remarkable athletes.

Know any other great opportunities to get involved in athletics? Have a great sports story to share? Tell us about it!

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Volunteer opportunity spotlight: books, resumes, Amharic, and stream bank erosion

As a thank you to our community, each week we’re highlighting interesting organizations and opportunities that you’ve shared on our website. Because of you, Idealist.org is a hub for people who want to create a better world. Thank you.

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Interesting and unique ways to create a better world (Photo Credit: Many Languages One Voice)

Volunteering is a great way to share your skills, pick up some new ones, and be part of some high-impact, meaningful work. This week, organizations posted almost 1,000 opportunities to pitch in. Here are some highlights:

Book Design Volunteer (New York, NY)

Behind the Book is looking for volunteers to help turn students into published authors! The organization organizes inspiring workshops that help students write and illustrate a story or create an anthology of their collected works. They need a volunteer to then edit and format the materials and upload them into blurb.com to make beautiful and inspirational piece of work available to the public. If you have an eye for design and a passion for education and literacy, help budding young authors get out their first published works.

Volunteer with Upwardly Global (San Francisco, CA)

New immigrants to the U.S. often find it difficult to rebuild the careers they left behind. Accomplished surgeons and engineers take entry level jobs, and American employers miss out on a diverse, skilled, ambitious and too often untapped pool of talent. Upwardly Global seeks to eliminate barriers to employment and close the gap between college-educated, work authorized new Americans and employers who need their skills. Volunteer for a few hours or a few times a week to mentor a job seeker, hold mock interviews, or share networking tips. Your industry knowledge and experience with the American work culture are invaluable resources to new immigrants, and you’ll get some great cross-cultural experience in the process.

Amharic-Speaking Volunteer (Washington, DC)

Some kinds of volunteers are particularly hard to find. Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) needs help collecting and sharing the histories of Washington, DC’s immigrant communities, but they can’t do it without the language skills. If you’ve got what it takes, let them know! Photography experience is a plus.

Meadow Monitoring (Sonora, Modesto, and Groveland, CA)

Like meadows? Like looking at them? Then head out to the Stanislaus National Forest to help out the Tuolumne River Trust. Volunteers will be trained to conduct basic field work, and they’ll report back on erosion, conifer encroachment, and vegetation cover in the meadows to help determine which areas are in need of habitat restoration. If you’re lucky enough to be able to participate in this one, send us back some pictures!

Don’t see a volunteer opportunity here for you? Don’t worry, we’ve got thousands more! See anything you’re particularly interested in? Tell us about it!

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Organization Spotlight: Theatre, cricket, and garden furniture edition

As a thank you to our community, each week we’re highlighting interesting organizations and opportunities that you’ve shared on our website. Because of you, Idealist.org is a hub for people who want to create a better world. Thank you.

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Today's star: YOU! (Photo Credit: Spigoo, Creative Commons/Flickr)

For each of these installments, my plan was to pick one neat new organization or opportunity on the site to share with all of you, but there’s just too much awesomeness out there to share just one. Here are a few that struck my fancy this week:

La Petite Morgue

I don’t know a lot of French, but I think you get the vibe of this organization. La Petite Morgue presents performances of original and classic works of horror. In their innovative works they combine the interactive haunted house experience with the experience of a live stage act to “reach theatre fans who are scared of horror and horror fans who are scared of theatre.” Their upcoming production is called “Fresh Blood.”

The Cricket Association of the Blind, Nepal

While touring schools for the blind in India, Nepali teachers discovered Indian students playing cricket with special balls that made a distinctive sound as they whizzed by. The Nepali teachers brought them back to their own schools, and the sport has since spread across Nepal to seven schools for the blind and twelve districts throughout the country. The Cricket Association of the Blind promotes the sport through events, raising money, providing scholarships, and encouraging awareness. They aim “to give blind people dignity, opportunity, a social platform and a robust counter to the old and tired perceptions of visually impaired people in Nepal and South Asia.” This year, they’re hoping to send their first team to the World Cup!

The Forest Trust

Every product has a story, and TFT is looking to rewrite the stories of products we use every day – from garden furniture to shoes to paper. TFT is a UK-based global nonprofit that works to bring about sustainable development by improving products and supply chains. They focus on the “extraction” stage of production, working with companies and local communities to change social and environmental dynamics surrounding the use of natural resources. Their member businesses include eighty retailers and manufacturing companies, and their projects impact about 8.5 million hectares of forest land across the globe.

High fives all around! And if you ever see an organization you like, add a comment to their page or click Connect to show your support and keep up to date with the opportunities they’re offering. The Idealist community is brimming over with great ideas, interesting work, and exciting people. Take a look around. Leave anything interesting you find in the comments!

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