Ask Ero: Answers for confused and baffled Idealists

Ero is Thoughtful Adjusted Cropped3In this series of blog posts, I’ll try to answer all your questions (regardless of how ridiculously unqualified I am to answer them.) Consider me sort of a tech-literate, bearded, Ann Landers, or a work-safe Dan Savage.

In the last installment of this series, I answered questions about editing for brevity, solving big problems, and listening to music. How were my answers? I hope you’ll tell me. Now, on with this installment’s question!

After recently losing a job, I’ve almost given up hope. I’m not getting call-backs, and it might be due to my age- I’m not fresh out of college anymore. When I do get calls, they’re for entry-level jobs. I’m also an artist, and appreciate a flexible schedule, so how do I know if I should be looking for freelance work or a full-time job? -Margo

This is such a great question that it deserves an entire post all by itself, so here goes!

First of all, why limit yourself to one kind of work or another? You may not want the commitment of a full-time job. But keep your eyes open for that anyhow, and apply for what sounds appealing. You can even go to an interview, get a job offer, then decide to turn it down.

But you won’t know what’s out there unless you’re looking for it. Your dream job might be just where you least expect it. It’s not unheard of, after all, to work part-time or contract gigs, and have a low-key small business on the side. Unorthodox work is pretty common for artists of all kinds, so I’d advise looking for everything at once. Your solution may be a combination!

Now, keeping your morale up is hard, especially after losing a job. It gets even more frustrating when you’re highly skilled and experienced, and the only call-backs that you do get are ridiculously low-paid. Low compensation can be a problem in the nonprofit sector (though compensation is a complex issue). But although you may not be seeing them now, well-compensated jobs exist. Keep up the search and don’t get discouraged.

As for age discrimination, this can be a serious problem, but usually there’s not much you can do about it unless you see it happen. When first applying for a job you can’t affect the behavior of people who read your resume– but you can adjust how you present yourself. Make sure your cover letter and resume really represent what you have to offer specifically for the job you’re applying to, instead of just showing years of experience.

Discrimination happens, but you may also be missing opportunities because you don’t seem like you really want a position. This is not at all to say that you should hide your age. But you want to be sure you’re presenting your strengths properly.

After all, what you really want is to find work that values you for what you are: skilled, experienced, and not at all entry-level. Plenty of other folks out there are in the same boat: it’s an aging workforce, and some will see you as a talented youngster who’ll liven up the workplace with your crazy youthful enthusiasm.

There’s also a truth that isn’t often expressed, which is that the jobs ecosystem is not a bag of rice, it’s a bag of extra-chunky granola.

Every single job is a different size and shape.  Some are startlingly well-paid, some poorly paid. Some need decades of experience and advanced degrees, some want someone with strange new ideas. Some want specific odd types of experience, or unique individual skills.

During the course of my work day I see a lot of job listings – Idealist.org has 10,470 right at this moment! – and almost all of them are surprising in one way or another. They vary a lot! 

You’re the obviously-just-right candidate for at least one of them. As a jobseeker your task is to find that opportunity, and then make sure to make your obvious-just-right-ness clear.

After all, you’re looking, not to succeed with all jobs…just ones that are right for you.The right work for you will come along if you keep looking, and keep putting yourself out there. (You can find lots of useful tips on our blog).

I believe in you. You can do it.

Have questions about anything I’ve said? Or about anything else (and I do mean anything)? Ask me.


Ask Ero anything (anything anything anything) at ero@idealist.org.

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On God’s Campus: Bridging the gap between faith and the LGBT community

Each June, millions gather worldwide in parades, rallies, festivals, and more to celebrate LGBT pride. In honor of this movement, this week we’re shining a spotlight on the LGBT youth community and the myriad of ways you can get involved. Today we’re featuring a project that is helping to make peace between two communities often at odds.



In December 2011 at the house of a George Fox University faculty member, Paul Southwick sat with a student in a secret meeting. The student was gay, suicidal, and struggling to come to terms with his sexuality on the religious campus.

“He cried and told me what he was going through, and it was what I had went through and heard other alums go through,” Paul says. “I thought, enough is enough. We need to be able to share our stories and let people know that this is the impact these policies and cultures are having. If we can personify the consequences, maybe there will be a little sympathy, and a little change.”

That moment was a catalyst for creating On God’s Campus: Voices from the Queer Underground, a video campaign and book project started in the summer of 2012 that shares the stories of LGBT youth and alumni from conservative Christian campuses across the U.S. The goal is multi-faceted: connect youth with each other so they don’t feel alone, empower both gay and straight allies to take action and create support systems on campus, and educate school counselors and staff about this community.

“The whole purpose of this project isn’t to destroy these Christian colleges. It’s actually to preserve them. Because if they don’t make some changes they’re only going keep hurting people and become less relevant,” Paul says.

The issue is personal for Paul, who was a devout Christian growing up. As a student at Oregon’s George Fox in the early 2000’s, Paul was frequently harassed and told being gay was evil. As a result he battled depression, was hospitalized for panic attacks, and sent to conversion therapy in the hopes that he would become straight.

He was embittered. It was only when he went away to law school in Michigan, where he attended churches that accepted him for who he was, that his anger calmed and he started questioning how his faith and sexuality could intersect.

Now, a full-time attorney at law firm back in Oregon, Paul dedicates his free time to On God’s Campus so that others don’t have to suffer what he did.

“I’m more of an ally to faith communities. A lot of the gay community hates the church, and for a very good reason. I’m trying in some ways to bridge that gap and also figure out where I stand myself, personally and theologically,” he says.

What he’s learned so far

The project is ongoing and a work in progress, but Paul’s realized some lessons along the way:

1. Dream big, but stay grounded.
Paul and his co-producer Tiffany Stubbert originally wanted to do 100 interviews with youth and alumni, but quickly realized that traveling to the campuses, many of which are rural and isolated, would be impractical. They’ve since scaled the number back to 50, and are close to finishing that number.

2. When the time is right, just go for it.
Right before he launched On God’s Campus, Paul suddenly started hearing about LGBT students groups popping up on campuses “like popcorn.” Wanting to take advantage of the national momentum  that he knew wasn’t going to stop, he and Tiffany hit the ground running, despite a small budget and a lack of a long-term plan.

3. Heart first, ego second.
Their website doesn’t focus on blabbering all about their project, or related news. It’s all about the stories: original content that travels far on social media because it’s real and people can relate.

“People love being able to share their story. There’s a huge sense of empowerment that comes with it,” Paul says. “It’s just that nobody has asked them before.”

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If you or anyone you know is a student or alumni of a conservative Christian college and would like to share your story, please send Paul a message at ongodscampus@gmail.com.

Keep up to date and get involved with On God’s Campus via Facebook and Twitter.

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Are you your biggest obstacle? How an Idealist got over her fear of blogging for social change

Guest blogger Stefanie Muldrow shares her journey of overcoming fear to begin blogging for social good.

“Just do it.”

I stared at my wedding photographer from across our sticky cafe table. She repeated herself: “Just–,” she paused, “do it.” A quick meeting to discuss contract details had become a heart-to-heart as Emily described using her savings after college graduation to pursue her dream and start a photography business.

I admired her for this boldness and confessed that since college I’d been dreaming of starting a blog that promotes social good and community engagement but I had never managed to begin. Her response of “Just do it” addressed the fears I’d been grappling with in three quick, convicted words. That evening, I signed up for a website and began—finally.

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Adapted from a photo by Flickr user Divine Harvester (Creative Commons).

I have always loved to volunteer but it was not until after a service trip to rural Honduras my senior year that I decided to make a bigger commitment to the greater good. Volunteering at a school and an orphanage there, I came face-to-face with poverty and tragedy. But I was also surrounded by hope from the community in spite of it all. Our final day as I departed down the dusty, dirt road to the airport I knew I wanted to be part of that hope somehow.

That feeling only intensified after I graduated a few months later. I searched for a way to use my skill—writing—to inspire hope. I settled on a blog as the medium for this. By writing I felt I could raise awareness about the causes I felt strongly about—education, poverty, and youth issues—and also give visibility to those who are doing things, big and small, to improve the world.

But as I developed the idea in my head, I began to doubt myself: When would I find time? Am I qualified? What if it’s terrible and I fail miserably? Would I even make a difference? It took three bold words from a near stranger two years after the trip to silence my fears. Now that my blog is up and running, I find it so fulfilling and I wish I’d began much earlier.

What I’ve learned along the way

1. The closest thing to the “perfect time” to start is now.
You will make time if it’s something you feel strongly about. One of my largest obstacles was waiting for the “right time” to begin. “Summer break” became “after I graduate from college” which became “when I find a job.” Soon I realized that if I wanted to start before I retired it was now or never. When I finally began blogging I could not wait to get home from work and start on material for the next post.

2. Passion will fill in gaps in expertise.
I wanted my blog to address a variety of issues but I was not an expert; all I had was volunteer experience and a fire for a number of causes. However, when research for a post would lead me to an interesting and unfamiliar concept or movement, I would fervently investigate it. I believe that my passion to make a difference was (and still is) the force behind my thirst for knowledge.

3. Take yourself seriously (and others will too).
The first few months of setting up my blog I kept it a secret. I worked hard on posts that no one even read. It took time for me to realize that if I wanted to make a difference I was the first one that needed to believe that my efforts to make a difference were worth supporting. I started letting my friends, family and coworkers know about what I was trying to achieve. Now they are my best scouts for new post ideas.

4. You are not alone.
After creating a Twitter account for my blog, I learned that there were many others like me who were using similar websites to make a difference. I have had more success networking on Twitter than I have had at all of my college’s career center networking events combined. As soon as you can, find and connect with people who share a common goal. Their support will help you remember that your efforts are part of something bigger and will give you vitality when the going gets tough.

So you have an idea? Great! Don’t let your fear control you for another second. Just do it.

stefanie bio pic resizedStefanie is a Washington, D.C. -based writer passionate about encouraging others to start making a difference. At her blog, The Silver Lining Chronicles, she writes about community engagement, social good and philanthropy. When she’s not writing, she enjoys volunteering, gardening, and photography. Follow Stefanie on Twitter @_BeyondtheCloud.

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6 ways to raise a caring kid

Guest blogger Lisa Novick offers simple strategies to encourage giving from a young age. This post was adapted from the original version on the YesKidzCan! blog

Kids always want stuff. More, more, more! As parents, what do we need to do to raise kids to make them leaders of the “Giving Generation” instead of the “Gimme Generation?”

I haven’t met a parent yet who doesn’t want to raise a caring kid. But, who among us hasn’t heard ourselves or our friends scream, “I am so busy!?” How do we fit one more thing into our hectic lives?

So here is a new way to think about community service: make “giving experiences” part of your every day routine. What is a giving experience? To me, it is any teachable, memorable, or enjoyable moment – big or small – that reinforces the value of giving back for kids and parents. There’s no reason why a giving experience can’t be easy.

Here are a few ideas for building giving experiences into your life:

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Kids have fun baking dog biscuits to donate to local animal shelter. Photo via Lisa Novick.

1. Start young.
Involve your kids in a giving experience when they are as young as three or four. Even toddlers can help put outgrown shoes in a donation bag, pass along unwanted stuffed animals or toys, or gather canned goods.

2. Talk.
During mealtime, drive-time, or bedtime, ask your kids if they know what it means to be charitable. Explain that giving back can include donating money, time, or talent. Give or ask for examples of kind acts and build on these discussions over time.

For even younger kids, frame the discussion around what it means to be a “giver,” a “receiver,” or a “helper.” Also, ask questions such as “Did you help anyone today?” “Were you nice to someone today?”

It’s okay if your child does not have an affirmative answer. Just starting and continuing the discussion will help your kids notice their own kind acts.

3. Think small.
Reinforce your kids’ little acts of kindness. When your children show signs of compassion (such as saying hello to classmate who is shy, giving a friend a hug, or paying someone a compliment) acknowledge their actions by telling them how proud you feel. Encourage simple actions such as tying a younger child’s shoes, feeding the dog, or dropping off a neighbor’s newspaper. Simple actions can have extraordinary outcomes.

4. Find the right fit.
Take the time to select a service activity that works well with your kid’s personality and interests. If your child is shy, for example, avoid volunteering in an environment that is over-crowded, loud, or overwhelming. Tap into what your kid loves. If your child adores animals, support an animal shelter.

5. Take a different route.
Different kids are engaged by different things. Read a book with messages about giving back or kindness. Watch a movie or television program about social action, going green or animal welfare. Characters or storylines that illustrate good deeds can help reinforce the values you want to teach.

6. Piggyback.
Make a giving experience part of an existing outing, activity, or event. When you go back-to-school or grocery shopping, bring your kids with you to help purchase extra supplies or food to donate to a local charity. Consider building in a charitable component to a birthday or slumber party. When it is time to buy teacher gifts, give a donation or gift certificate in the teacher’s name and involve your kids in the charity selection.

Wouldn’t it be something if we all heard from our kids a little less of the “What can I get” refrain and a little more of the “What can I give?”  How are YOU helping to raise a caring kid?

Know a youth in your life who has an idea to change the world? Encourage them to apply for YesKidzCan!’s Social KidPreneurz Awards Program and win $100 to fund their idea. 

ColorHeadShot-1 Lisa Novick has worked in the field of philanthropy for more than 25 years as a consultant, fundraiser, and volunteer. She was a partner at a socially responsible consulting firm that helped corporations, nonprofits, and government agencies effectively support their communities and causes. While taking time off to raise her family, she and co-founder, Julie Chapman, discovered a need for more resources that help parents, educators, and community leaders teach kids about charitable giving. Combining their personal and professional commitment to doing good works, they launched YesKidzCan! – an online resource that helps bring “giving experiences” into young kids’ lives.

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Feeling derailed? 3 tips for staying on track

It’s something we hear all the time: You want to do good, but even your best intentions go awry. So what can you do about it? We asked Francesca Gino, a professor of decision-making and negotiation at Harvard Business School and author of the new book Sidetracked, for some advice.

FGino Photo for Book

Francesca Gino. Photo credit
Rosalind Hobley.

The three forces that throw us off track

Sidetracked addresses a problem most all of us can relate to: How is it that we spend so much time making plans and charting goals, then find ourselves far afield from them later, wondering where we went astray?

“Both in my own experience and in talking with others, one consistent surprise is that we think big things are going to move us and get in the way, but the reality is that very small and seemingly irrelevant forces have a huge effect on our decisions,” Gino says.

In many cases, the forces guiding us aren’t obvious. So the first step in getting set straight again? Awareness.

Forces within ourselves. Most of us harbor an overly positive view of ourselves, and Gino’s research concludes that our intentions are often as valuable to us as our actions. “For example,” she says, “I tell you I’m coming with you on Saturday to pick up trash in the park. If it rains and I call you to postpone, I’ll still feel as good about myself as if I’d actually done it, regardless of whether or not I ever do reschedule.”

Forces stemming from relationships. We are of course influenced by the people we know, but also by people we’ve never met. In a UCLA study mentioned in Sidetracked, it was found that hotels who advertise to their guests the environmentally-friendly option of reusing their towels during their stay get many more participants when they include a statistic about the large percentage of previous guests that have done so. Whether we are conscious of it or not, most of us feel drawn to join a crowd, rather than blaze new trails of our own.

Forces coming from outside. In a study involving car insurance, policy buyers were required to report the mileage on their cars’ odometers to determine their premiums: the less miles driven, the lower the cost. Participants were significantly more truthful when the form they filled out had them sign their name and an affirmation of honesty first and then give the mileage number—rather than the reverse. In this case, a very subtle, simple visual change was the sidetracking culprit.

Do you need help staying on track?

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Sidetracked

“We are all vulnerable to these forces, so let’s recognize them for what they are and take steps to minimize their impact,” says Gino. Here are her top three tips:

  1. Check your perspective. “It’s good to feel confident, but also important to realize when we’re giving ourselves too much credit,” Gino says. “To avoid getting sidetracked, we need to be honest with ourselves about what we do, and give ourselves credit for following through, not just for having good intentions.” Her advice is to stop sometimes and ask: Am I being egocentric? Am I discounting the advice or experience of others because I have tunnel vision with my own?
  2. Take your emotional temperature. “It sounds silly, but I think it works,” Gino says. “It’s very easy to take stress or other emotions you feel from one area of life into another, unrelated time and place.” So if you feel your emotional temperature rising in rush hour traffic, avoid getting sidetracked when you get to work by asking yourself: Are the emotions I’m feeling at the moment going to cloud my judgement? Should I cool off for a minute and then start my day?
  3. See the big picture. “Often, we’re very narrowly focused on the task at hand, and we forget to step back and zoom out,” Gino says. She advises periodically stopping to revisit the bigger goals we set out to accomplish and make sure they stay on our minds, even though the details of carrying them out can require the bulk of our attention.

Do you find yourself getting sidetracked? Why do you think it happens? How do you avoid it?

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Visit Francesca Gino’s website for more about her research on decision-making, judgement, negotiations, and other areas of behavior. Buy Sidetracked on Amazon or Barnes & Noble for more research and tips on how to stay your course.

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Ask Ero: Answers for baffled and confused Idealists

In this series of blog posts, I’ll try to answer all your questions about anything and everything regardless of how ridiculously unqualified I am to answer them. Consider me sort of a tech-literate, bearded, Ann Landers or a work-safe Dan Savage.

Ero is Thoughtful Adjusted Cropped3Last time you heard from me, I’d invited all of you to ask me even the most random of questions. I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d get any questions at all. I did. Thank you, readers! Now, let’s see if I can actually answer them.

I recently got a degree in ‘service design’ from SCAD, and just moved up to NYC a couple weeks ago. I’m a highly motivated idealist, and I have a rare, yet amazingly valuable skill-set. But how do I find an awesome job doing awesome work for an awesome company if no one knows what my field is– and no one is posting jobs in it?
-Yosef

This is a tricky question. First of all, networking is going to be important, but you’ll have to go beyond ordinary networking. Don’t just go to parties and mingle and talk about how great you are: get involved everywhere you can and show up as a representative of your field. Get involved in your professional organization. Go to every relevant event you can. Participate, and get visible.

The nonprofit sector, which is often starved for resources, may be an especially tough sell for someone in a field like yours, which will seem to many like window-dressing or a luxury service. You’ll need to go to extra lengths to show why your work is important and how it helps organizations succeed in their mission. Telling people why your work is valuable to each organization will be your responsibility. Take it seriously. No one else will do this for you.

Build a nice-looking webpage (which I see you’ve done) advocating for your expertise, but also advocating for why your work matters. Write articles for publications explaining how valuable the field is. Look for opportunities to volunteer and/or do pro bono work for causes you believe in, and build a spectacular portfolio from the results.

Because no one knows about what you do, you have a rare opportunity to show people why it’s important, and to become the representative that everyone thinks of when they want someone to help with that field.

One reality is this: in the short term you might find yourself doing a job that isn’t exactly what you hoped, but this doesn’t mean you can’t use what you know. Your plan will be to use the deep knowledge and rare skills you possess, to build your future a little bit at a time. So look for jobs in related disciplines, and that encompass things that are like your field. You’ll bring different knowledge to your work than any other candidates, but that’s a good thing. Highlight that difference on your resume, on cover letters, and in your interview, so that you stand out. Then once you have the job, make your unique skills count.

I’m working with a bunch of college students who are serving as mentors to graduating high school seniors over the summer. Someone told me that I could give them all Google phone numbers, which could map onto their existing cell phones so that they wouldn’t be giving out their personal info to the students. How does this work?
-Lisa

Google Voice ought to be perfect for your purposes. It just takes a moment to set up a Google Voice account: you tell it what number you want it to ring, then pick a number from the available options, to have as your GV number. Setting this up takes only a couple minutes, and there’s a good support page.

Now, this basic setup won’t help with outgoing calls, only incoming. If you want to make outgoing calls, you’ll need a Smartphone with an app. Android phones are especially good for this, but iPhones can do it too. There’s also some built-in tracking if you’re in an org using Google Apps (which I heartily recommend for most nonprofits). You also can get voice mails in your email inbox, which is pretty neat.

What is the meaning of life?
-Brett

Finally, a question I’m qualified to answer! A question that has tormented deep thinkers through the ages! No problem. I’ve totally got this.

Seriously, for me there’s one simple answer: love. Not love as a noun, love as a verb. Active love: giving and being generous and trying to improve the world in some small way. Doing this means you’ve got no time for fear or discontent or angst. And there’s nothing more satisfying than giving back to the world around you. There are so many ways to give and serve, and that’s why we’re here.

It’s why Idealist.org was made, it’s why the nonprofit sector exists, and it’s why we work in it. This is always a work in progress, and having patience with one’s own imperfections is also a way to act with love. Be patient and give it a little bit each day, and you’ll be on the right track automatically.

That’s all for this installment. Have questions about anything I’ve said? Or about anything else (and I do mean anything)? Ask me.

Ask Ero anything (anything anything anything) at ero@idealist.org.

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Ask Ero: Answers for baffled and confused Idealists

In this series of blog posts, I’ll try to answer all your questions about anything and everything regardless of how ridiculously unqualified I am to answer them. Consider me sort of a tech-literate, bearded, Ann Landers or a work-safe Dan Savage.

Ero is Thoughtful Adjusted Cropped3Hi, I’m Ero. I’m Idealist.org’s tech support guy. I love answering questions from people who use our website. And I’m here to help you when you’re helpless and confused.

There’s a pretty good chance you’re feeling helpless and confused right now. I know, because I get phone calls on a regular basis from people who want me to rescue a lost cat.  Or who’d like to send me a large pile of used medical equipment. Or who think I’ve just personally rejected their resume for a teaching job in Canada.

As a garden-variety computer nerd who happens to love nonprofits and the people who work for them, I’m incredibly ill-equipped to answer any questions other than “How do I use the Idealist website?” I’m actually pretty good at answering that question, which is why I have a job answering questions about the Idealist website.

I can tell you, for instance, how to sign up, reset your password, add or remove your organization, pay an invoice, and much more.

But you call and ask me how to help the sea turtles, or what the tax rate is in New Jersey. Normally I’ll answer back that I’m not really qualified, and try to point you in the right direction if I can. But in these blog posts, I’ll answer any question you ask.

Until I get your first questions, I’ll try to shed light on how the website works. I’ll start by explaining two things that people don’t always know about Idealist:

1. Everything on our website comes from you.

We maintain a great website full of useful tools, but aside from our blogs, every single bit of content in it is made by our user community, the amazing Idealists around the world. Yes, I’m talking about you.

If your nonprofit has an account on our site, it’s because someone at your organization made one. If you’re getting email alerts, it’s not because we stole your identity; you signed up for an account with us.

We do our best to keep the website up-to-date, but we only built the playground, we’re not the parents.

2. We’re here to bring people together.

We’re not a corporation trying to sell your personal data, and we’re not really interested in ripping you off. We’re a nonprofit, too, and our mission is to make the world better by helping people be effective at doing good.

We want the website to work as well as it can, so that you can connect with others, copy good ideas, take advantage of our resources, and find organizations who you know would love to have you as an employee or volunteer. We couldn’t do it without you.

Have questions about anything I’ve said? Or about anything else (and I really do mean anything)? Ask me.

Ask Ero anything (anything anything anything) at ero@idealist.org. 

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So you say you have an idea to make your community better. Let us help.

Over the past few months, you’ve helped members of the Idealist community take one more step forward on their idea. (Go ahead. High five yourself in the mirror for a moment.)

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Act on your idea before the light burns out. (Photo via Spigoo on Flickr’s Creative Commons.)

Together you:

  • Offered Lisa your expertise on how to best connect job seekers looking for a new career, and encouraged her to take advantage of what’s already out there.
  • Helped Alex further refine his idea to institute a progressive income tax in Oregon.
  • Reached out to Everita in support of artists and learned more about what’s going on in the post-Soviet region.

We know there are more world-changing ideas out there hiding in notebooks, scribbled on napkins, and retreating in heads.

No matter what stage you’re at in your process, we’d love to hear from you.

  • Individuals: Whether you want to start something of your own, volunteer with an existing organization, or simply want to be a better neighbor, let us know what challenges you’re facing and advice you’d need.
  • Organizations: Looking for knowledge on how to implement a new program, campaign, initiative, etc. or want to improve an existing one? Facing an institutional roadblock you’re sure another organization somewhere has experienced? Tell us about it.

Sometimes saying it aloud is all you need to do to get the momentum going. We promise we won’t bite.

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Don’t waste another minute. Send your awesome ideas to celeste@idealist.org.

 

 

 

 

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A message to the class of 2012 from the Idealist community on Twitter

Yesterday, one of our interns shared her reflections on Michelle Obama’s commencement speech to the class of 2012 at Oregon State University. While many of us were inspired by Michelle’s words, we wondered what advice our community of change makers would give to this year’s graduates.

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What advice can our community on Twitter offer to the class of 2012? (Photo Credit: Eldh, Creative Commons/Flickr)

To that end, we asked our friends on Twitter to complete the following sentence: “Dear Class of 2012, if you want to change the world, remember…” Here is the advice they shared:

“Dear Class of 2012, if you want to change the world remember to find friends to help you out. No one can do it alone!” ~ @aimee587

“…if you want to change the world, remember you must change yourself first.” ~@SummerStrauch

“…remember to live humbly and compassionately.” ~@MAWGtheFROG

“…remember to start small but think big and watch the ripples reach a nation.” ~@KaulanaNC

“…remember to listen to those you seek to help.” ~@NonprofitJen

Thanks to everyone who shared their advice! You can read all of the responses by searching for #idealist12 on Twitter. Be sure to follow us @idealist and join the conversation.

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