Our 10 favorite things about the new Idealist

Our re-launch brings with it tons of improvements. Here are some staff favorites:


Join us: fill out your profile and connect with your community!

1. Enriched User Profile & Connections. Idealist has always been a community of people who want to make a better world. Now we are giving you more space to share who you are and what keeps you up at night, so that you can connect with people like you. 

2. Everyone Can Post! Until now, only organizations could post listings, but we know that individuals can have a powerful impact too. Sometimes the beginnings of an idea or a loose collective of people working together are the ones most in need of resources and visibility.  Now everyone can post listings: recruit volunteers, post a description of a program you run, or invite people to an event.

3. Improved Search. Finding the right opportunity in the right place that fits with your interests, skills, and availability is never easy. Now you can refine the search results right on the same page with keywords and filters (like a job’s salary range or a volunteer opportunity’s time commitment).

Refine the search results in the right column using the filters on the left.

4. Bookmarks. One of our most commonly requested features was a way to save your favorite listings. Now, you can bookmark the jobs you’ve applied to, the organization pages that interest you, or events you’re interested in attending. Wherever you are on the site, you’ll have one click access to all your bookmarked listings.

5. Save Your Searches. When you’re searching for jobs or volunteer opportunities, you often run the same search again and again. Save time with easy access to your frequently used searches, and get them emailed to you as alerts if you want.

Name your searches for easy reference!

6. Sharing & Recommending. When you see something you like on Idealist, you can share it with all your connections or privately recommend it to a specific person.

Idealist, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Myspace...

7. Info Centers. We’ve consolidated and edited our resource centers to bring you the most pertinent and up-to-date information about all the topics that can help you move from intention to action. Check out our new and improved resources for volunteering, nonprofit careers, and nonprofit organizations.

Find links to these at the bottom of every page.

8. Org-to-org Connections. We’re often asked, “How do I know if an organization is legitimate?” Now you can make more informed decisions about your involvement. In addition to seeing individuals connected to an organization, you can also see its relationships to other organizations, including funders, local partners, and affiliates.

9. Baking from Scratch. Idealist was originally built in 1995. When it comes to coding and improving a website, there are tools and tricks available now that we simply couldn’t take advantage of on our 15-year-old platform. So we started fresh, and we’ll be able to adapt more quickly from here on out.

10. Design. We cleaned it all up, aiming to make the user experience more intuitive and consistent, and more accessible to users with disabilities.

Have fun exploring, and if you have questions or ideas, please let us know.


Comments (15)

  1. CB writes:
    December 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    So I have noticed if you don’t sign-in, then you can’t fwd a job to a friend or one’s self… that’s disappointing.
    And in terms of job searching, it is really helpful to know the salary range of a job – organizations know it and should give at least a range. It saves the job seeker time as if they can’t afford to live in the city on that salary or move there… they shouldn’t have to find out after spending the time to research the organization, write their cover letter, adapt their resume, plus other requested actions (writing samples)… and possibly even get to the interview stage without knowing. It should be highly encouraged for employers to do.

  2. Elise Hoffberg writes:
    December 6, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Thanks for your comment, CB. We totally agree that knowing the salary of a potential job is a big help when searching. That’s why we added a few new fields, including salary range and details, for employers to fill out when they post a job. Once job listings are posted using the new form (or employers go in and edit their older listings), you’ll start to see a filter on the search results that will let you refine your search by a salary range. Hope this helps!

  3. Saeed writes:
    December 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Well done! The new website is really amazing. Good Job

  4. CS writes:
    December 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    The big problem is that I used to be able to input multiple criteria into the form — location, industry, etc. and get pretty much what I wanted. Now I need to wade through some fuzzy search and hope that what I’m looking for matches up with what is listed. The browse function is busted. Try browsing for jobs in New York. The locations aren’t alphabetized, meaning I need to hunt and peck for what I need, and because there’s no consistency of tagging, NYC is separate from New York is separate from new york is separate from Brooklyn, is separate from Manhattan. Ack! Frustrating!

  5. JX writes:
    December 7, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I agree with CS. I’m having massive problems searching for multiple criteria (location, job category, area of focus). This new site/UI is a frustrating mess! Please bring back the old search function. I feel like I’m wading through all these irrelevant results when I used to pick exactly what I needed from a drop-down menu.

    Not everything needs to be a social network–especially for those of us who are currently employed and want to keep any new job hunts confidential–it’s a little invasive to have your name pop up on a site (although I realize there are privacy settings). Let’s keep the job hunts as simple and user-friendly as possible, please?

  6. am writes:
    December 8, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    Agreed with CS, not everything needs to be a social networking site. Simple idealist.org was better.

  7. george writes:
    December 9, 2010 at 9:38 am

    The new search is AWESOME and allowing individuals to post is very interesting. Well done!

  8. Julia Smith writes:
    December 10, 2010 at 11:34 am

    George and Saeed: thanks!

    CS, am, and JX: Here are two updates about how we’re working to improve the search.

    (From Wednesday)

    (From yesterday)

  9. CM writes:
    December 10, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I agree with JX and CS! The old search was superior. I miss the ability to search by interest, area of focus: environment, writing, communications, etc… I don’t like the drill down aspect of new search. Bring back original idealist.org!

  10. James Lee writes:
    December 14, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Where is the search by interest area – That was one of the most value-added features of your search. Please bring it back NOW!

  11. Elise Hoffberg writes:
    December 14, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    CM, James, and everyone. Areas of Focus are back! Check out the Advanced Search page: http://www.idealist.org/search/advanced

  12. Carter McNamara writes:
    January 22, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I have a very large website (http://www.managementhelp.org) that has numerous links to resources on the idealist.org site.

    Those links are broken now, so I’d like to update the links.

    Where can I find the new links?

    For example, there was a link to an article “Should a Board Have Term Limits?”

    I searched for that article in the Search of the resources, and nothing was found.


  13. Julia Smith writes:
    January 24, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Carter,

    It sounds like you’re looking for articles that may now appear in our revamped info center, Resources for Nonprofit Organizations:


    For example, here is the page about Boards of Directors:


    Take a look and if this seems like it’s not what you’re looking for, please email me at julia at idealist dot org and we can figure this out.


  14. Erik Karff writes:
    February 15, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Hi Folks! I am in love with the new site. What a stellar job! One question I have is, how does one find “friends”. Many social media websites allow you to plug in an email address and the site searches your contacts for those who also have profiles.
    Any tips or is this feature not yet available?


  15. Elise Hoffberg writes:
    February 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Erik: thank you so much for your kind words. We’re happy you like it! One of our development priorities is too add a tool to make it easy to find your friends and other email contacts. Stay tuned!

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