Beyond nonprofit jobs: How an Idealist plays matchmaker to help women leaders


Photo credit: Peshkova,

Twice a year, women leaders from Kosovo travel to Washington, D.C. to shadow folks at nonprofits, think tanks, media organizations, and more.  They do this for one month as part of the National Albanian American Council’s Hope Fellowships.

To find a good professional match for the women, Allegra Panetto, current Program Assistant at the Hope Fellowship, turns to Idealist to search for similar programs they can learn from.

Recently, for example, a Fellow wanted to develop a project that focuses on empowering women in local governance in Kosovo by building leadership capacities for women on the ground. By using the keywords “democracy” and “leadership,”  Allegra searched Idealist and found Council for a Community of Democracies. She reached out to them, and now the Fellow will spend four days at their offices, learning best practices and sharing her knowledge of the region.

“I really like Idealist because it breaks down things in a clear way. I like that I can see how active these organizations are. If they’re posting jobs, then I’ll take that as a good sign, ” she says.

Her other tips on how to make the most out of our site? Searching with good, specific keywords, patience when sifting through organizations, and broadening your geographic region to include not only the city, but the entire metro area.

Allegra is just one example of how you can use Idealist to not only find a job, but do your job better. How do you use Idealist beyond nonprofit jobs? What tips do you have?

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Beyond nonprofit jobs: How one woman used Idealist to give away one million dollars

We know people mostly use our site to find nonprofit jobs. But did you know you could do so much more, like ask each other questions and maybe even find love? Here’s how one person used Idealist to connect with nonprofits who share the same vision.

Aleyda K. Meija had one million dollars to give away.

As Director for the first Caplow Children’s Prize, she was charged with finding people and organizations around the world working to prevent mortality for children under the age of five. She had no other constraints other than the issue of focus.


(Photo via Images_of_Money on Flickr’s Creative Commons.)

So she turned to the Idealist community for help. After doing a keyword search, she found several organizations that fit what she was looking for.

“If you know what you want, the search is really powerful,” Aleyda says. “On the one hand, the Children’s Prize is offering something – one million dollars. On the other, there are people and organizations out there that are offering what we’re seeking, which are solutions to reduce child mortality around the world. It’s reciprocal, but to make the connection is critical.”

The organizations she contacted through Idealist responded in less than two days after she sent them a message, exceeding even Aleyda’s expectations.

“I was just curious. I didn’t think anything would come of it,” she says. “But I’ve talked to representatives of these organizations several times now. I’ve had these powerful conversations to the point where we decided to host a Google Hangout, and include a panel of these representatives in child health where they’re discussing the issues and aspects that are unique to their own organization.”

Since Aleyda reached out a couple of months ago, global nonprofits such as Brown Button FoundationSafe Mothers Safe BabiesMother Health International, and Floating Doctors are going to apply or have already applied to the Prize. More than that, they’ve shared knowledge with each other as part of this small community.

“In addition to saving children’s lives, the Children’s Prize is also about making these more direct and empowering connections between a donor and potential recipients,” she says. “To impact social change across great distances, the collaborative process is to a large extent technologically dependent these days.”

Want to connect with others on our site but are a little unsure? Feel free to reach out to Aleyda for tips on messaging, organizing Google hangouts, and more.

Used our site for more than finding a nonprofit job? Let celeste know:

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