Ami Dar

Ashoka Fellow
New York City, NY, United States, North America
Fellow Since 2004
My work: Creating a web-accessible supermarket for social action that allows anyone to act on social change ideas.

Citation

This profile was prepared when Ami Dar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Ami Dar has developed a forum that can connect any individual with any social field of interest in just about any location in America. In 1995, not long after the invention of the World Wide Web, Ami launched Idealist.org in order to make getting involved in social action easier than ever. Idealist.org was designed to connect social action agencies to would-be citizen activists, linking like-minded individuals to one another and generating a critical mass of interconnected citizen sector organizations and people.The success of the Idealist.org model lies in the strength of its self-multiplying network. Ami Dar and Idealist.org prioritize building social capital for the citizen sector above all else, and have therefore made it as easy as possible to join Idealist.org’s network—either as an individual or an organization. Membership is free and quick. And because the network is held together by individuals and organizations who are passionate about social change, it continues to gain strength and grow in number. This vast network has directly contributed to the growth and success of thousands of citizen organizations in America who can now find staff, volunteers, information and resources in the same online arena. Organizations can now rapidly grow their pattern-changing ideas even when starting with little money and virtually no staff. And perhaps most importantly, citizens interested in social change can get involved in areas they care about more easily than ever in the U.S. and around the world.Idealist.org survived the dot-com bubble and burst to become the number-one online service for linking people to the citizen sector in the U.S., today boasting a community of 250,000 members and 40,000 nonprofit organizations. Thirty thousand of those organizations are based in the U.S., and 10,000 more are located around the world as Idealist.org continues to expand its reach internationally.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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