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Interviews

How to Find Work That Matters and Makes a Difference with Idealist

"It's easy to be cynical, it's easy to be down. It's almost harder to keep a positive attitude and to keep love in your heart." Idealist's community manager, Madeline Bornstein, shares how her company connects individuals, companies, and grassroots organizations to create meaningful impact in people's lives.

By

Le

on

October 29, 2019

About Idealist: A Way to Find Jobs and Opportunities that Change the World

So what do you do if you wanted to change the world but didn't know where to start? Finding yourself reading The Good Startup is good start, especially this week when we're featuring Idealist, the platform for finding jobs, internships, and volunteering opportunities with companies or nonprofits that are doing good for the world. They aspire to help us all live in a world where everyone lives a free, meaningful life that make sure no opportunity for action is missed or wasted.


Companies such as Girls Who Code, Mount Sinai, and Greenpeace are often using Idealist to post their latest job listings because the Idealist community already attracts people with the work ethic that believes we can truly impact the lives of others. By bring people, organizations, and causes together, Idealist is one of the most trusted ways to find the projects that deserve to get support from the right people. Their website has more than 120,000 partner organizations and 1.4 million visitors who are ready to solve the world's problems.

In addition to the job and volunteer opportunity platform, Idealist has also launched Idealist Days, a grassroots movement where anyone can organize their own local gatherings and connect with others to improve their communities and the world. Events occur once a month (10/10/19, 11/11/19, 12/12/19, 01/01/20, etc,) and you can be an early part of this global network by joining the Idealist Days Facebook group which already has over 44,000 members.

Idealist has one extra new feature on their website: graduate school programs. Working with over 500 grad programs, Idealist has planned grad school fairs in major cities across the US and compiled a directory of admissions staff for potential Master's students. Helping individuals reach a higher level of education is one of many ways Idealist is fulfilling their vision of encouraging the world to pursue their passions that positively impact others. Many programs are in public policy, global sustainability, education, and more, and Idealist has the network to directly connect you with admissions staff to help you find make the best decision for your future.

Interview with Madeline Bornstein, Online Community Builder at Idealist

Image result for madeline bornstein

How did you find yourself at Idealist, and what was it like starting out?

"I found myself at Idealist actually by looking through Idealist's job board. I had been working at tech-focused start-ups for a while and knew I wanted to get in the nonprofit world and work for a mission-based organization."


What are your personal goals and how do they align with Idealist's mission?

"My personal goals are to make a change in the world. I have always been an exceedingly nurturing person, and I believe that a community made up of said nurturing people can do good deeds.

Idealist Days takes that passion head-on and nurtures a movement of do-gooders. I love my role here. Interacting with people from all over the world every day who want to make a difference in their communities is so uplifting."


What are your company's values and missions, and how do you incorporate them into your day-to-day?

"Idealist Days are monthly days of action and possibility. We imagine a better world, we connect with other people, and we act to move these intentions into said action and possibility.

This is incorporated into my day-to-day constantly. I am constantly connecting with our online community to bridge the gap from intention to action, and to publicize these actions so they influence other people around the world."


What inspires you to keep doing what you're doing?

"My family, friends, colleagues, and fellow community of Idealists inspire me to keep doing what I'm doing. The current environment and state of the world inspire me, too.

It's easy to be cynical, it's easy to be down. It's almost harder to keep a positive attitude and to keep love in your heart. These days are days to hope, live your best, and take some time to help heal the world, and that, in turn, is contagious."


What advice do you have for people who want to make a difference in this world?

"Listen, don't hear. Listening requires forgoing your own narrative for others. Every day I am listening to others' stories and unique experiences, and being brought into worlds that aren't mine.

This is how we cross bridges and paths and make a unique community. Listening brings people closer together."


What major accomplishments has your company experienced so far, and what does the future look like for you?

"Idealist Days have grown from an idea to a grassroots movement of real days of action. We've seen Idealists all around the world set aside time to plant in their community gardens, teach young women healthy menstrual habits, organize training classes for teachers, and send coloring books and supplies to children in detainment camps.

Each Idealist is so wholeheartedly supported in their endeavors, and it's such a glorious feeling to be a part of. For me, the future includes growing this group, and it's an honor to be a part of it."

Go ahead, your opportunity to change the world could be waiting for you at idealist.org.

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Do Things Worth Doing.

The Good Startup is this ambiguous, awkward brand going through puberty right now. Rebellious, existential - but still a heart of gold - I have this weird hobby of designing ways to make your life better (and more badass) than it was before.