Monday, May 30, 2005

Click for Small Change™ supports idealist.org

[file under: Sensible Adsense]

I'd make a lousy farmer. Not for me the long long wait to see the fruits (and vegetables) of planting seeds and watering the plants. I much prefer quicker results. It has been, therefore, with considerable impatience that I have watched the Adsense 'revenues' on this blog crawl cent by cent towards the first dollar, only to add up to the grand total of 54 cents as of saturday. Then, yesterday happened. The traffic spike delivered a windfall, relatively speaking. The total now stands at $4.72!

I also realized as I was applying for the Google account that they don't make payouts until the figure hits $100. That's probably going to take a year or so to happen. So, I'm going to put up the money now and collect it when they decide to cut me the check.

Which brings me to the point of this post: As promised, the first proceeds from the Adsense program on this blog are going to make their way to a non-profit! woo-hoo! I realize 4-odd bucks is a really small amount and maybe I should wait until this pot gets a little bigger, but having served with a non-profit myself for over four years, I also know that these folks need the money like yesterday. However, 4.72 is indeed too small an amount, so I've matched it and written a check for 20 dollars to idealist.org.

idealist who, you ask?

Idealist.org is the website of Action Without Borders, a group that 'connects people, organizations and resources to help build a world where all people can live free and dignified lives'. In more practical terms, it brings together over 45,000 nonprofit and community organizations in 165 countries and hooks them up with volunteers and job-seekers. They have a Nonprofit Career Center that has hundreds of non-profit job and internship openings. This is a great resource to connect people who are looking for non-profit careers with opportunities therein. Oh, and their systems are all run on open source software: Apache, FreeBSD, mod_perl and MySQL.

In my experience, it is harder to get people to volunteer than to donate money. On the other hand, there are those who want to volunteer/work with nonprofits but oftentimes don't find the right group that meets their interests. Any effort to connect the two is laudable and, in my humble opinion, worthy of encouragement.

Non-profits need talent as much as for-profits. Maybe even more so, given the incredible constraints they operate under. Access to information about, and connections to, career opportunities in that sector can only attract more people. Also, for every 10 or 100 people like myself who come away from a volunteering experience with a renewed appreciation for the work being done, there is the one person who is influenced enough to make a career of it. Websites like these help facilitate this in their own small way. At least, I think so.

I'd like to end by quoting a comment on their website by a visitor, Susan:

If you're on Idealist, you're probably a non-profit professional. Your salary mantra is something like, "Another day, another 25 cents." We sacrifice making the big bucks because we want to leave this world a better place than we found it--and we know we can't take money with us.

I just donated a small amount to Idealist. It wasn't much, and it was all I could do, but I know it counts. I love it when folks send in $1 cash or $5 checks to my organization--we make every dollar go the distance. I know Idealist will do the same.
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