Idealist by the Numbers: Knitting, nerds, and ukuleles

Hi there! We’re Kim and Diana, Idealist’s Community Support Team. We read and respond to all the messages you send us, monitor the site’s content, and generally help you get the most out of your Idealist experience.

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Got a question about Idealist? Get in touch: idealist.org/contact-us

We learn all kinds of fascinating things on the site and in conversation with you. Here’s our first-ever Idealist Index (inspired by the old Harper’s feature), with a bunch of things we’ve spotted recently:

185,831: Number of people who registered on Idealist.org in 2011
9,590: Organizations that joined Idealist in 2011
10,430,742: Unique visitors to Idealist in 2011
20: Percent increase in number of jobs posted in January 2011 vs. January 2012

3,266: Current number of listings including the word “exciting
2: Listings including the word “exciting” in Buffalo, NY. (Kidding!)
10,622: People whose profiles say they’re looking for a volunteer opportunity
24: Volunteer opportunities that involve diving
110: Internships that involve dancing
19: Volunteer opportunities that involve knitting
1,107: Museums listed on Idealist

65: People who describe themselves as a “nerd” in their profiles
55: People who describe themselves as a “geek” in their profiles
8: People who describe themselves as both a “geek” and a “nerd”

28,575: Friends who “like” our Facebook page
36,082: Followers of @idealist on Twitter

5: Babies born to Idealist staff members in the last year
0: Pencils in the Idealist.org NYC office

12: Listings on the site that include the word “ukulele
1: Number of those listings located in Hawaii

One final number: 9,237. That’s how many messages we received through the Contact Us page in 2011. We love hearing from you, so please let us know what you think of Idealist, if it’s helped you connect with any geeky-nerdy Hawaiians, or if you have questions about any of these numbers. Leave a comment below or connect with us through our Idealist profiles: Kim’s here and Diana’s here.

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Have medicine, clothes, food, or tech to donate? We can help.

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Have too much canned corn at home? Consider donating to a food drive. (Photo by Bernard Pollack, Flickr/Creative Commons)

If you’re anything like me, you have a stash of clothing that you swear you’re planning to wear any day now, but that you haven’t touched in years. Or your organization has a pile of old laptops in a back closet. Or you have some medicine you’d really rather not throw away but don’t need. So many of you have contacted us (including a staffer’s beloved grandma!) asking where you can donate these goods that we decided it was time to put together a resource.

Take a look at our Community Support Team’s Resources for making a noncash donation page and visit Charity Navigator’s site for more great tips.

Here are a few highlights that we’ve compiled:

  • Donate items that are new, unused, or nearly new; a charity probably can’t make use of old junk any better than you can (…and may have to use valuable resources to do it).
  • If you are looking to donate medicine, it must be unused, unopened, and unexpired. Laws vary state to state, so make sure you check here or ask your pharmacist for more information.
  • Consider selling your items and donating the money you receive to charity. Try Craigslist, Ebay, or get offline and organize a garage sale!
  • Look for a local charity to maximize your impact. This cuts down on transportation costs for you or for the charity. Make sure you get in touch with them to insure your donation will be welcome and useful!

Check out our full resource here. Of course, you can also use Idealist to search for organizations in your area, and get in touch with them directly about your items to donate.

If you work with or know of an organization that we should add to our list, please contact us here!

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