Idealist connects people who want to do good with opportunities for action all over the world.

Helping Idealist Change the World

Social responsibility is a significant element in Transifex’s day-to-day operations. It comes then as no surprise to learn that helping not-for-profit companies achieve their objectives is one of the many drivers that motivate Transifex.

For Chief Operating Officer Tony Espinosa, the decision to help companies such as Idealist was an easy one.

“Donating our time, resources and product to Idealist is an important aspect to our own business. It comes under our Social Responsibility umbrella and is an essential aspect to our day-to-day operations,” Tony says.

It is easy to admire an organization such as Idealist, one that provides people with the opportunity to make a positive impact on and in the world, where it is needed most. Transifex and Idealist share similar business objectives, Idealist’s mission is to connect idealists – people who want to do good – with opportunities for action all over the world.

“We see a great synergy in what Idealist is doing and so helping them achieve their objectives made perfect sense,” Tony says.

As the number one resource helping people find careers, internships and volunteer opportunities with nonprofits, Idealist needs its message and services to be relayed to a huge audience.

It is where technology and communication work hand-in-hand.

“Our website is extremely important, with 100,000 daily visits and over a million monthly users. It is the platform and portal for Idealist to accomplish our mission on a global scale,” says Idealist’s Director of Technology Jason Kirtland.

It was in 2001 that Idealist identified the importance of its web presence and it acted quickly in identifying what needed to be done. The key to accomplishing its mission was to speak to its communities in their native languages.

“Idealist had the need for our services and a really admirable business model, and we had the expertise and desire to help them, and it was simply a matter of time before we’d partner with them,” Tony says.

“Our site had to be translated and maintained in Spanish and French, but we also had to hire native speakers to reach out to people and organizations in those languages, and respond to them directly as needed,” Jason says.

“We had been tracking the Transifex open source project since its inception, but not actively pursuing setting up an instance. That changed when we sat in on a presentation from Dimitris, and we discussed the future of the platform with him after his talk. The native support for distributed version control systems and multiple message formats were both killer features for us,” Jason adds.

Partnering with Transifex provided a far more streamlined process for Idealist’s development team. Before Transifex, Idealist used a tool that only allowed it to pull strings from its source code in one branch. This meant that translation became a bottleneck.

“The user interface of Transifex makes it easy to go through the translation workflow quickly, and also to search for a particular translation based on the source file, date updated, or the text of the source or translation,” Jason says.

Through Transifex, Idealist’s translators have many different cues to understanding the context of a string, from the message context entered by developers in the source code, to instructions entered by the translation coordinator, and the various occurrences a string has in different source files.

“The work was as challenging as it was rewarding, knowing we were making a difference and helping Idealist and so many communities,” Tony says.

The impact of localization through Transifex on Idealist’s business and global reach has enabled them to raise awareness of the meaning of volunteerism. In many places, such as in Latin America, volunteers are still seen as people from abroad coming to help. Idealist was able to turn this perception upside down, encouraging anybody to take action in their communities though the opportunities that organizations posted on its site.

“This would not have happened if we had not localized our website,” Jason says.

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