Social Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century
Founder & Executive Director
Action Without Borders/Idealist.org
March 1, 2007Watch Ami Dar
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Ami Dar is the founder and executive director of Action Without Borders, the organization that maintains Idealist.org. Built in 1996 with $3,500, Idealist has become one of the most popular nonprofit resources on the Web, with information posted by 55,000 organizations around the world, and over 40,000 visitors every day.
Ami was born in Jerusalem, and grew up there and in Peru and Mexico. At 18, he was drafted into the Israeli army, where he served as a paratrooper 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 Action Without Borders as an organization that would make it easier for people everywhere to take action on the issues that concern them.
Before starting AWB, Ami worked as a waiter, a translator, and a marketing manager for a software company, and in 1992 he set up the US subsidiary of Aladdin Knowledge Systems (NASDAQ/ALDN).
In 2000 the Stern Family Fund awarded Ami its annual $100,000 Public Interest Pioneer grant (renewed in 2001) to help support his work with AWB. In the last four years the Nonprofit Times included Ami in its annual list of the 50 most influential people in the nonprofit sector, and in 2004 Ashoka invited him to join its global fellowship of social entrepreneurs.