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Working at Idealist

If you've read some of the bios on our site, you already know that we've got some great people working in our offices in New York City and Portland, Oregon. We are a nimble and entrepreneurial organization, deeply committed to our mission, and we try to hire kind and interesting people.

Our goal is for our offices, policies, and benefits to be reflective of our values, and of how all of us would like to be treated. Our overall approach is based on extending as much trust, choice, and flexibility as possible to each person in our staff.

In addition to good coffee, snacks, and the occasional BBQ on our deck in Portland, we're happy to offer the following benefits to staff who work 24 hours or more per week. Most benefits are available immediately or after one month of service except where indicated.

Paid time off 

1st year: 20 days
1 year - 5 years: 25 days
6th year +: 30 days

10 paid holidays a year

Two-month sabbatical program (in addition to regular vacation) every seven years. Staff may use this time in any way they wish to refresh and recharge.

Sick days
Taken as necessary

Parental leave
12 weeks of fully-paid leave for new birth moms, and four weeks for new dads. We also have a generous leave program for adoptive parents, and an allowance for emergency childcare (up to $500).

Short- and long-term disability coverage
Short- and long-term disability insurance is paid by Idealist, and staff are covered at 100% for the first 12 weeks, and 60% pay for the remaining time (up to age 65).


Medical insurance
Nominal 5% staff contribution. Premiums for dependent children are covered at 100%, and partners at 50%.

Dental and vision insurance
Fully paid for staff and dependents, partners at 50%.

Health reimbursement account
Employer-funded HRA with $1,500 per benefit year to help with costs such as co-pays, prescription drugs, and out-of-network services not covered by insurance.

Life insurance
Employer-paid life insurance.

Employee assistance plan
Employer-paid service provides staff and immediate family members 24-hour (live phone or online) access to resources, referrals, and completely confidential short-term counseling.


401K plan (both Roth and traditional) that includes the following Idealist match of staff contributions:

3% of annual salary in the first year
5% after 1 year of employment
7% at 3 years
10% at 7 years

The plan includes immediate vesting of all contributions and quarterly deposits of the employer match. Eligibility is after 3 months of service.

Dependent Care Reimbursement 

For staff who are the primary caregivers of their child(ren) or claim parents/grandparents as a dependent on their tax return, a dependent care reimbursement policy is in place to help offset dependent care costs that are required so that staff may fulfill their work obligations. Up to $5000 per calendar year may be available, depending on your federal tax filing status and subject to other policy eligibility rules.

Learning and wellness 

Learning and wellness reimbursement program 50% match of expenses up to $500 for each category per calendar year. Learning includes general interest or academic courses or workshops not related to work. Wellness includes gym memberships, fitness classes and equipment, and holistic health treatments.

Work-related training/workshops/conferences and materials. We encourage staff to seek out trainings, conferences, and courses that they feel would benefit their work, broaden their contacts, and spark connections with other individuals or organizations.

Transit program 

We participate in the MetroCard and NJTransit programs (NYC) and the Trimet program (Portland, OR) that allows for the cost of transit passes to be deducted from paychecks pre-tax.

Staff volunteer program 

To help us stay involved in the larger community, Idealist is happy to offer our staff volunteer program to employees after one year of service. The program provides paid time off to staff who wish to volunteer for a local, national, or international project or initiative.