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What is volunteerism?

Here's some background information on the IVRC—everything from our goals and history to the advisory board of international volunteerism professionals who are guiding our work.

Goals of the IVRC

The primary goals of the International Volunteerism Resource Center are to (1) provide potential volunteers with the tools and resources needed to make informed decisions about meaningful, ethical, and sustainable international service, and (2) promote international volunteering as an opportunity to both do good with fellow global citizens and engage in invaluable personal and professional development.

History of the IVRC

Since 1995, has become one of the most comprehensive online re­sources for the global nonprofit and voluntary sectors, with more than 75,000 nonprofit organizations from 190 countries posting job openings, volunteer and internship opportunities, events, resources, and profiles on the site. attracts over 50,000 unique visitors each day, and over 500,000 people subscribe to our email alerts that match people with the opportunities they seek.

Beyond Idealist's demonstrated ability to connect individuals with organiza­tions (in English, French, and Spanish) and convene on-the-ground events internationally (including professional trainings and nonprofit career, grad­uate degree, and global volunteering fairs), hosts hundreds of Affinity Groups where indi­viduals can develop new networks to connect around shared ideas and com­munity action. also provides resources for job seekers of all ages, volunteers, young people, students, and nonprofit professionals.

Given that we know many of our users are interested in (and some have already participated in) international service, launched its International Volunteerism Initiative in 2008. This initiative seeks to increase the viability, quantity, and quality of global volunteer experiences as well as strengthen the capacity of international volunteer management professionals and NGOs to engage volunteers in effective, efficient, and meaningful ways.

Following the success of Idealist's first ever Global Volunteering Fair in Boston in April 2008, the International Volunteerism Resource Center was launched in September of the same year.

Advisory Board

A diverse and highly skilled advisory board provides guidance and direction to all activities of the International Volunteerism Resource Center. Advisory Board Members, as of September 2008, include:

Andy Jellin

Andy Jellin recently spent time abroad as the voluntary volunteer coordinator for Project Why in New Delhi, India. He has organized volunteer work abroad (teaching through Insight Nepal) as well as self-arranged his own volunteer experiences (Project Why). Now in Seattle, WA, he continues to do volunteer work and has much to say about "the common joys and difficulties of being a volunteer, no matter where in the world you are.

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