When I’ve profiled charities and nonprofits in this space, I’ve tended to focus on organizations whose focus and mission are directly photography-related. Indeed, many photographers who are charity-minded are already well acquainted with the work of one or more of these organizations. While I’ll be going back to profiling more of those great nonprofits and their work in this space, I’m making an exception this month for Idealist.
Here’s the thing: I think that photo charities are great. They’re even better if you have a cause about which you’re passionate, and to which you want to donate your talents and services. But what if you just want to get your toes wet, or if you’re not 100% sure where your passion and time are best spent? That’s where Idealist really shines.
The idea for Idealist came to founder Ami Dar in the mid-1980’s. Eleven years and a couple of name changes later, Idealist launched. In the decade and a half since, it’s become the closest thing online to a one-stop shop for anything and everything related to nonprofit organizations. Not only are there literally thousands of volunteer opportunities from all around the world, there are also jobs, internships, programs, and a pretty lively community around the whole lot of it.
And while it’s not a portrait charity, it’s a great fit for photographers who might want to volunteer. Sometimes you might just be looking for a shorter-term volunteer gig, or maybe you’re not confident enough in your photography to volunteer as a photographer but you’d still like to do something. You’re likely to find something here. It’s also good from an organizational standpoint, especially if your NPO/NGO’s mission isn’t explicitly related to photography or portraiture, but you could use a bit of help behind the camera.
So, whether you’re looking to donate (time, money, or services), work, launch your own organization or project, or find just the right person for something you’ve already got up and running, give idealist.org a try (if you haven’t already). It’s a phenomenal resource.
Postscript: visit Idealist on the web to find out all about who they are, what they do, and what, in turn, you can do: www.idealist.org