According to its website, Catchafire “is a community of individuals seeking to support and strengthen the social good sector. We do this by matching professionals who want to donate their time and talent with nonprofits who need those skills.”
Linda Beheler, president of the CCPA Advisory Board at SMU, used Catchafire while searching for her last role. There are numerous public relations, branding, and internal communications projects for nonprofits across the county. Some take a day or less, others are more long-term.
This might be a great resource for students who are between internships or looking for a full-time position, as it can give them real-world experience for an organization that needs help. This is a non-paid consulting opportunity and can give students the chance to stay professionally active and showcase their skills.
Catchafire’s mission is to “drive positive world change through giving time and talent, catalyzing a ripple effect of good.” It is committed to providing transformational volunteer experiences, enabling individuals to use their talents in service of our shared humanity. Its vision is “a more empathetic, inclusive, and loving world.”
Since its inception, Catchafire has worked with over 5,000 nonprofits and 50,000 volunteers to provide assistance to nonprofits, volunteers, and the Catchafire foundation and its corporate partners.
The program offers “individual skills-based projects and consultation calls facilitated through Talent for Good’s dedicated and branded Catchafire platform, as well as live events that bring employees and nonprofit leaders together for team projects, rapid-fire brainstorms, round table discussions, call-a-thons, and more.”
Catchafire is great for organizations because it allows skills-based volunteering to become a powerful tool for employee engagement and corporate philanthropy.
Working with Catchafire as a consultant for a nonprofit might be as simple as writing a press release or creating a press kit. But it will give students something tangible that they can add to their resume and talk about when asked “what have you been doing since you graduated?”
Now, for this to truly be powerful on students’ resumés, students need to list it under a consulting title or under the name of the organization. Instead of saying they were volunteering, they should say they were consulting with “XYZ Company” to help them with a press release or event. Graduating students looking for opportunities can put their skills to work, all while supporting causes they believe in.
For those opportunities that are more long-term, a consulting position can be helpful for a LinkedIn account to show that someone is actively involved in a project.
How Catchafire Works
You begin by browsing through volunteer opportunities based on their preferences. Volunteering can range from an hour-long phone call to a several-month-long project. Once you find an opportunity that works best for you, you will create a Catchafire profile and apply for the position. If the position requires an interview, you will be contacted to schedule a conversation between you and the organization the position is for.
If all goes well and it’s a perfect fit, you’ll get matched with the organization and begin your working with them.
If you are interested in Catchafire you can begin here.
When creating your volunteer profile, you may select your skills from a wide range of disciplines such as accounting, brand management, web development and design, management, human resources, and social media. From there, you select the causes that are important to you, including but not limited to, animals, civil rights, business development, diversity and inclusion, and more.
From there, you can browse available positions according to timeframe, skillsets and companies.