Staff Spotlight: Meet Derek the Dev

Did you know Idealist builds and maintains our own website, and has since 1995? We asked Derek Hurley—a software engineer known for his calm demeanor, red headphones, highly-developed cupcake-eating technique, and masterful martial arts skills—to tell us about life as a “dev” in Idealist’s Portland, Oregon office.

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Q: So… We’re coworkers, but I’m not very techie. What would you say you do here?

A: I’m a software developer. Basically, I write code that goes very close to the browser—I work with the things you interact with on the website, like buttons and menus. I also work with our designers on layout and color decisions, and sometimes with data… But really all of it comes down to aspects of presentation and interactivity.

Q: Okay, I think I get that. How did you find your job at Idealist and what attracted you to us?

A: I had a classmate my senior year of college who worked at Idealist; he said it was great and suggested I come by the office one day to introduce myself. There was no job posting or anything, but I stopped by and the management team was interested in meeting me. The more staff members I met, the more it seemed like incredible people worked here. Often in this field you find smart people, but people who are funny and friendly and humble, too? And when I learned more about what Idealist is trying to accomplish, I became even more interested. I was hired to work part-time for the last three months I was in college, then started full-time right after.

Q: What does the word “idealist” mean to you?

A: To me, an idealist is someone who always looks on the bright side of life, forgive the Monty Python reference. Someone who thinks people are generally good or want to do good, but that things arise that keep them from doing so. An idealist thinks, ‘Of course everyone wants to live in a better world,’ but they also understand that there are a million different facets to that agenda.

Q: Idealist is all about turning good intentions into action. Can you tell us about a good intention you’ve acted on in your life outside of work?

A: A personal interest of mine is helping homeless youth connect with resources that can help them. I was a resident assistant in college and more than once had to deal with transients in our dorms and hallways. I learned that there’s a whole social class out there—especially in Portland—that I think represents a lot of wasted potential. But between places like Outside In, Sisters of the Road, Virginia Woof... there’s a lot of help out there if people know where to look.

For me, coming up with the right approach has been one stumbling block. I don’t want to come across as intrusive, or like I’m telling them to do something or advertising for a particular place. I just want to start a conversation and then give them something to take away, like a note with an address on the money I give them, or a meal voucher they can cash in. I’m also not looking to start another organization—there are already lots of people who are providing these services well. I just want to help bit by bit in the course of my day.

So far, the people I’ve talked with about this intention have been really supportive; the Idealist community in particular has given me suggestions I didn’t know about before. Now it’s up to me to keep taking that first step—during my walk to work to turn and face these kids and have a conversation. I find they’re usually just grateful for the fact that someone stopped to talk, which helps me stay in that mindset of not having weirdness about just going up to someone and conversing with them; just saying hi.

Do you have a question for Derek the Dev about technology at Idealist? Or maybe you’ve done something to improve the lives of homeless youth and want to share your advice? Send him a message on Idealist.

 

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Interested in creative consulting, engineering, or art? Connect with your fellow Idealists!

You already know that you can come to Idealist.org to find an awesome job, volunteer opportunity, or internship, but did you know that you can also find some awesome people?

There are thousands of people working for social change on Idealist.org and they’re all right at your fingertips, ready to answer your questions, partner with you on a project, or help with an idea you’ve been developing.

Here are just a few of the many Idealists who want to connect with you. Don’t forget that in order to view their full profiles, you need to have a profile too. It’s super easy to sign up.

19872183-34bb-4340-8019-dd2a0913f238-mAfter studying political science and obtaining her Master of Public Affairs, Nikki worked as a crime analyst in Arizona, combining her love for design, analysis, research, and community service. She then transitioned into creative consulting, helping small businesses and nonprofits with branding, grant writing, and creative content. While working on one particular oral history project with a local community in Tempe, Nikki discovered a passion for storytelling, documentary photography, and the exploration of other cultures. If you’ve been bitten by the same community-oriented, creatively minded, storytelling, travel-hungry bug, send Nikki a message. She’d love to talk, learn, and connect with you!

 

7b96ffde-f57e-4fa3-b4a6-2d89d7fdffbb-mDhane currently resides in Kathmandu, Nepal where he volunteers in a small school and works with the Sahara Foundation. An American expat, Dhane has made his way to many corners of the world. He served in the Navy in the Philippines, South Korea, and the U.K. After returning and traveling throughout the U.S., Dhane attended college and graduate school for South Asian Studies and Community Health. Over the years, he’s taught in Thailand, China, Mongolia, Taiwan, South Korea, and Nepal. In Thailand, he founded a small home for children with the help of worldwide volunteers, and now he’s working on establishing a children’s shelter and education center in Kathmandu. Want to talk about setting up centers and nonprofits abroad? Or are you simply interested in travel, education, Asian studies, or what it’s like to find your home so far away from home? Contact Dhane to chat!

 

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Roberta has obtained degrees in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, Neuro-engineering, and Business Administration. Career-wise, this has translated into research for a Neuro-engineering lab, product development for medical devices, and advanced development concept work for commercial products. What diversity! As she continues onward, Roberta hopes to find a position that will allow her to use her multifaceted background to help people directly and indirectly with technology, engineering, and project management. Contact Roberta if you want to talk about one of her many interests! She would also love to hear from anyone with technology ideas for water sustainability, infectious disease, reduction, or science education.

 

fd6f7bd9-7d67-45a2-ab70-32e1fa831cba-mDedicated to news, journalism, and information, Avalon works in San Francisco as the Editor-in-Chief and Operations manager of Umano, a mobile application that turns compelling news articles into sound files users can listen to. Avalon’s commitment to journalism reaches further into, but also beyond, the field itself; leading up to Umano, she was a journalist and editor for Berkeley publications, worked as a research and PR coordinator for a documentary on civil rights issues, and served as a paralegal. Avalon also studied history and international development in college while competing on the Cal Women’s Varsity Rowing Team. Send Avalon a message to exchange thoughts on community development or how we discover and share information in the modern world.

 

083be541-45c7-4f3c-9c25-22c255451841-mA Londoner by origin, David moved further south to Lisbon, Portugal, where he lives and works as an artist and community arts organizer. David dabbles in many art forms: he illustrates, paints, draws, takes photos, and writes. He describes his art as having a quick, spontaneous style. You can see some of his work on his blog. In addition to making art, David sets up art workshops to bring people together. He founded a community art group Chill Out Community Arts (CHOCA) with the main goal of encouraging people to simply ‘do’ art. Write to David if you want to discuss making art, community organizing, or spreading the concept of ‘do’ art!

 

Looking for more Idealists who want to connect and collaborate? Check out the previous installments of this series, and spiff up your profile to make sure people can find you on the site. Happy connecting!

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If you don’t have one already, create a profile to offer your expertise to the community, and find people who can answer your questions. Sign up here and include information about your past work and what you’re looking to get involved in. When you’re done, send a link to your profile to nandita@idealist.org, and you might see yourself on our blog!

 

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“Whoops! How did that get there?” Mistakes we’ve made at Idealist

If you’re a human being, chances are you make a mistake sometimes. And if you’re a celebrity or work for a website, your mistakes automatically get beamed straight to the public eye—d’oh!

Here at Idealist, we strive to make our website as clear, up to date, and mistake-free as possible, but of course we’re human too, and sometimes a little something falls through the cracks.

Take this pull quote I found while thumbing through one of our info centers the other day:

 Put

Whoops! I might not be Shakespeare, but I’m pretty sure that editor’s note was not supposed to take center stage here. I’ll take that down now.

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Hey, nonprofit celebrities—before you call Bloopers with your own amusing gaffes, why not send them to us? Shoot an email to april@idealist.org and we’ll post the most mistakey of the mistaken.

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Interested in design, social justice, or economic ethics? Connect with your fellow Idealists!

You already know that you can come to Idealist.org to find an awesome job, volunteer opportunity, or internship, but did you know that you can also find some awesome people?

There are thousands of people working for social change on Idealist.org and they’re all right at your fingertips, ready to answer your questions, partner with you on a project, or help with an idea you’ve been developing.

Here are just a few of the many Idealists who want to connect with you. Don’t forget that in order to view their full profiles, you need to have a profile too. It’s super easy to sign up.

 

Zoraida

 

Zoraida in San Francisco describes herself as “a maker of things visually tickling.” With skills in graphic design, illustration, and layout management, Zoraida wants to connect with other makers, designers, techies, and simply good people. Need some design help or want to discuss ideas for visual projects? Send Zoraida a message!

 

 

Susana After obtaining her Law Degree in Mexico City, Susana went on to study Environmental and Sustainable Development, all the while working as an investigator of alleged human rights violations. In 2008, she founded a law firm based in Mexico City and moved to Seattle to continue her legal work. Now Susana is a law clerk who also proudly serves as the President of the Board of the Seattle Latino Film Festival. If you’re a film-lovin’ Seattle resident, contact Susana about getting involved with the festival! Or, no matter where you live, send her a message if you’re intrigued by media, human rights, social justice, and connecting generations.

 

ChristianChristian studied social welfare and international public administration in New York, and  would like to contribute to any cause that helps create positive community environments. As an LGBTQ person of color, he is especially interested in working with others from similar backgrounds and using his past experiences to help and support disadvantaged youth. If you share Christian’s passion for building, nurturing, and strengthening community, start a conversation with him–he’d love to hear from you!

Raffaela

Raffaela is a photo editor who also works as a photographer and writer, specializing in alternative travel stories. Currently in Milan (though open to traveling), she’d love to volunteer her skills to help with interesting projects. Over the past 15 years, she’s worked with many different photographers, publications, photo agencies, nonprofits, and blogs, giving her quite the range of experiences! Raffaela’s favorite part about her job is finding the hidden and bringing it to light; contact Raffaela if you want to photo-talk or have an idea that could use a photographer’s eye!

 

Jason

Jason’s got a knack for combining the unexpected, evidenced by both his interests and experiences. He studied philosophy in Utah, then got a Masters of Public Administration, and has recently just submitted his dissertation on conceptions of poverty in Buddhist social and economic ethics. In addition to his studies, Jason has taught philosophy, business management, and ethics courses and worked for places ranging from adult literacy nonprofits to refugee resettlements to microcredit organizations. Interested in poverty relief, microfinance, religion and development, or interfaith . . . or more? This guy would love to connect with you!

 

Looking for more Idealists who want to connect and collaborate? Check out the previous installments of this series, and spiff up your profile to make sure people can find you on the site. Happy connecting!

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If you don’t have one already, create a profile to offer your expertise to the community, and find people who can answer your questions. Sign up here and include information about your past work and what you’re looking to get involved in. When you’re done, send a link to your profile to nandita@idealist.org, and you might see yourself on our blog!

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Interested in photography, public health, or teaching English? Connect with your fellow Idealists!

Welcome Idealists!

You already know that you can come to Idealist.org to find an awesome job, volunteer opportunity, or internship, but did you know that you can also find some awesome people?

There are thousands of people working for social change on Idealist.org and they’re all right at your fingertips, ready to answer your questions, partner with you on a project, or help with an idea you’ve been developing.

Here’s a sampling of some of the people who want to meet you. Don’t forget that in order to view their full profiles, you need to have a profile too. It’s super easy to sign up.

 

Mohamed

 

Mohamed is a skilled photographer and videographer who grew up in Cairo. He’s interested in volunteering to document activities related to the social impact sector such as human rights and the environment. Check out his work and send him a message if you are interested in collaborating with him!

Emily Davis

 

 

Emily left the United States in 2009 to teach English abroad in Japan and Spain. She’s returning home this August and wants to meet other Idealists with international experience. She’s a great source of knowledge for anyone thinking about teaching English abroad, so get in touch! Also let her know if you have any great recipes for ramen.

 

Jordan Kifer

 

If you’re an artist and looking to connect with someone who shares your interests, talk to Jordan! She recently graduated from the University of Michigan and believes that everyone has some form of art to offer the world. Besides her experience in photography and qualitative research, she studied Spanish and Latino/a Studies while in college.  ¡Conéctate!

Andreas Fischer

 

 

Andreas is a social scientist from Germany and recently completed a round-the-world trip where he visited Nepal, New Zealand, and South America, among other places. After working as a Project Coordinator in Mannheim for four years, he has experience in the field of Public Health and wants to meet open-minded and creative people from across the world.

 

 

Looking for more Idealists who want to connect and collaborate? Check out the previous installments of this series, and spiff up your profile to make sure people can find you on the site. Happy connecting!

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If you don’t have one already, create a profile to offer your expertise to the community, and find people who can answer your questions. Sign up here and include information about your past work and what you’re looking to get involved in. When you’re done, send a link to your profile to matt@idealist.org, and you might see yourself on our blog!

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Idealist 101: Learn the secrets of our site

Well okay, they’re not really secrets—we’re pretty transparent here. But our new video series, Idealist 101, will teach you some quick and easy ways to make the most of your experience on our site.

The first installment focuses on making your organization’s page the best it can be. Whether you’re currently hiring staff, looking for volunteers or interns, or want to connect with the best people and orgs, your organization’s page is how you represent yourself to the Idealist community. So make it shine! Let Matt and Kim from our Community Engagement Team show you how.

It’s also no secret that you make Idealist.

Aside from our blogs and info centers, all the org pages, personal profiles, and opportunity listings are generated by our community. So not only does it benefit you to make your contributions as fabulous as possible, it benefits the whole site and everyone who uses it. Why wait another minute?!

  • If you administer an organization’s page, watch the video and click here to update your page and make it pop.
  • If you use the site as an individual, share the video with your favorite orgs to help them make the most of Idealist.
  • Check out more tips and stay tuned for the next 101 video!

How have you made your organization’s page the best it can be? Share your secrets with our community.

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Interested in graphic design, education, or sustainable tourism? Connect with your fellow Idealists!

You already know that you can come to Idealist.org to find an awesome job, volunteer opportunity, or internship, but did you know that you can also find some awesome people?

There are thousands of people working for social change on Idealist.org and they’re all right at your fingertips, ready to answer your questions, partner with you on a project, or help with an idea you’ve been developing.

This week, we’re highlighting some of our favorite members from Colorado. Don’t forget that in order to view their full profiles, you need to have a profile too. It’s super easy to sign up.

Sean Sanford

Sean is an activist, researcher, and writer. In college he studied sociology with a focus on community research and studied affordable housing in inner city DC and religious leadership in the Unitarian church. He’s also volunteered with the homeless, taught fifth graders, and worked as a charter school liaison. Need some advice or looking for help on a project? He’s pretty much your go to guy for urban community issues.

 

Katie Hallaran

 

Katie recently returned to Denver from a few years in Cambodia and Indonesia where she worked on a social enterprise called Kinyei. She also built two other small businesses to create opportunities in sustainable tourism for the local population. She’s interested in meeting other likeminded folks who are interested in social change through collaboration and social enterprise. Shoot her a message if that sounds like you.

 

Katie Hutt

 

Katie is an artist and designer who loves Audrey Hepburn, elephants and Dr. Pepper. She spent the end of last year interning in Uganda, and now she’s working as a graphic designer in Fort Collins. She’s looking for some freelance design work for small organizations on a budget, and she’s especially interested in working on women’s issues. She’s also always interested in meeting new people. Send a message to get int ouch!

Jaclyn Karnowski

 

 

Jaclyn’s all about travel for the rest of 2013. She was a math teacher in the states for five years, then taught English in Chile, and she’s looking to volunteer anywhere interesting in the U.S., Chile, Argentina, or Peru. She loves the mountains and local veggies, and she’s passionate about food systems awareness for teenagers. Know about an opportunity she should check out? Let her know!

 

Looking for more Idealists who want to connect and collaborate? Check out the previous installments of this series, and spiff up your profile to make sure people can find you on the site. Happy connecting!

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If you don’t have one already, create a profile to offer your expertise to the community, and find people who can answer your questions. Sign up here and include information about your past work and what you’re looking to get involved in. When you’re done, send a link to your profile to kim@idealist.org, and you might see yourself on our blog!

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Interested in USAID, sustainability, or social work? Connect with your fellow Idealists!

Welcome Idealists!

You already know that you can come to Idealist.org to find an awesome job, volunteer opportunity, or internship, but did you know that you can also find some awesome people?

There are thousands of people working for social change on Idealist.org and they’re all right at your fingertips, ready to answer your questions, partner with you on a project, or help with an idea you’ve been developing.

Here’s a sampling of some of the people who want to meet you.  Don’t forget that in order to view their full profiles, you need to have a profile too. It’s super easy to sign up.

Jennifer Walsh

Jennifer is a CPA who has been working in the nonprofit sector for over five years. She has a wealth of experience in finance and HR, and also serves on the board of an organization focused on sustainable agriculture. Feel free to contact her whether you’re an aspiring treasurer or an eco-friendly farmer! She’s also interested in meeting other types of nonprofit professionals, so reach out and make a connection.

 

Katerina

Katerina recently moved to New York City from Toronto, and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Psychology at Pace University. She’s particularly interested in mental health issues and working with seniors. She’s looking for advice from people that have careers in the of field of psychology, so if you can help her out, connect with her!

 

Rob

Rob just returned to the United States after working for USAID in Iraq for two years. Before that, he was studying English Literature in Ohio. Check out his profile to find out how he got from the Buckeye State to Baghdad, and keep in mind that he’s looking for friends and collaborators!

 

 

Leslie Piken

Leslie just graduated from Simmons College with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work. Congrats, Leslie! Her goal is to become a holistic psychotherapist, so if you have experience in that field, send her a message! She’s also looking to collaborate and share knowledge with other social workers.

 

Ullas!

Ullas is kind of a big deal when it comes to biology. He’s got a Master’s in Microbiology and a Ph.D. in Virology, and speaks five languages to boot. He’d like to do whatever he can to remedy economic disparities, so if you’re a fellow researcher or interested in socially relevant biological research, send him a message!

 

Looking for more Idealists who want to connect and collaborate? Check out the previous installments of this series, and spiff up your profile to make sure people can find you on the site. Happy connecting!

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If you don’t have one already, create a profile to offer your expertise to the community, and find people who can answer your questions. Sign up here and include information about your past work and what you’re looking to get involved in.

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New look, same great stuff

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Ero just looks different without a beard. He’s still giving our users the same great tech support.

You may have noticed that, just like our tech support representative Ero, Idealist has recently undergone a makeover—the first step in a grand spiffy-up of our whole site. We’re doing some housecleaning, planning some new initiatives, developing some new tools… all in the name of making your experience with us as easy, valuable, and pleasant as possible.

But the big takeaway for now? Don’t worry: not much is actually different… yet!

All we’ve done so far is tweaked the way our pages look to pave the way for lots of functionality improvements in the future. We’ve hardly removed anything or changed the way any features work. You might see some buttons that used to be blue and are now gray, or a few links that live in slightly different places, but that’s about it.

We’re rolling the changes out incrementally, which will give us regular opportunities to learn from your feedback as we plan and tinker. Hearing from you is the number-one way we have of identifying effective improvements, so if you run into any trouble, please comment below or drop Ero a line at Ero [at] Idealist.org.

Ultimately, our goals are to:

  • Make Idealist easier to use. We’ll put the things you most want to see and do front and center.

  • Make Idealist more responsive. We’ll deliver mobile improvements that will make accessing the site from all your devices a smoother experience.

  • Make Idealist faster. We’ll improve performance so every page will load in a snap.

And as always, we’ll keep you posted on new developments as they happen. Thanks for being along for the makeover ride!

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Join us in celebrating the Colorado nonprofit community!

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(Photo via C. G. P. Grey on Flickr’s Creative Commons.)

We’re thrilled that people and organizations all across the globe are using Idealist to post and find opportunities, further their careers, and turn their good intentions into action. Thanks for helping us build this amazing community!

To make our network even stronger, this year we’re reaching out to nonprofit communities around the U.S., state by state, and inviting them to make the most of of our site.

Starting today, we’re heading to the lovely state of Colorado: land of the Rocky Mountains, the Aspen Filmfest, and John Denver. Many organizations are already a part of our community—like HistoriCorpsColorado Wildlife Heritage Foundation, and Charter School Growth Fund—but we know there are more out there. That’s where you come in!

Help us go the extra mile

This month, posting Colorado-based jobs will be free. FREE! Our normal $70 price is pretty low to begin with, but we’re excited to offer this sweet deal as we aim to bring you every nonprofit, government, and social enterprise job in the state. (Yes, we know it’s a lofty goal, but why not dream big?)

If you’re thinking about how awesome this is for your organization, don’t wait another minute.

Or if you’re just a superfan of Colorado and want to see it represented on Idealist more, there’s no shortage of ways you can help.

  • Tell your family, friends, colleagues, networks, and the organizations in your area who you think could benefit.
  • If you’re already a member of our community, log in to your Idealist account and spread the Colorado love by connecting with others.
  • If you’re not yet on Idealist, create a profile.

Over the coming weeks we’ll also be showcasing people and organizations in Colorado doing great work, featuring everything from advice of experienced social entrepreneurs to innovations in food rescue to volunteering after retirement.

What’s your Colorado story? Tell us below! And thanks for helping us spread the word.

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Fun fact: Our very own April Greene hails from Colorado. Some of her favorite things from the state include: the Rockies, yucca, cute snowboarders, delicious sunsets, Garden of the Gods, microbreweries, the Olympic Training Center, and Rocky Ford melons.

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