New York City resident Ami Dar, 44, founder and Executive Director of Idealist.org--the largest volunteer and nonprofit career resource on the Internet--was singled out for his unwavering commitment to connecting talented and passionate people with nonprofit organizations that need help. Dar was born in Israel and grew up there and in Peru and Mexico. At 18, he was drafted into the Israeli army and served in the Lebanese war of 1982. The misery and senseless destruction he saw in Lebanon, combined with the extreme poverty he had seen growing up in Latin America, led him to start Idealist.org as way to make it easier for people around the world to take action on issues that concern them.
Idealist.org, launched 1996, features volunteer opportunities, paid positions, and other information provided by over 45,000 organizations in 170 countries, and receives an average of 35,000 visitors every day. The free site is available in English, French, and Spanish, and visitors can search the extensive content by location or interest. By setting up a personal profile, visitors can sign up to receive daily email notifications of new nonprofit opportunities that match their criteria.
"We started in 1995 with the idea of creating a one-stop shop for volunteer opportunities and nonprofit services in communities around the world," explains Dar. "Today, Idealist.org is a global organization that functions as the 'glue' between volunteers, job seekers, and nonprofit organizations."
In addition to being recognized by Time Magazine, Dar is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Stern Family Foundation's Public Interest Pioneer grant in 2000 & 2001. Dar was named one of the 50 most influential people in the nonprofit world by Nonprofit Times in 2002, 2003, and 2004. Most recently, he was named an Ashoka Fellow, and his work has been featured in leading media outlets like the New York Times and the Washington Post.