Archive | April, 2011

Join Team Catchafire! Now Hiring a Software Engineer

29 Apr

Our team is growing quickly, and we’re now hiring a Software Engineer! If you or someone you know would be interested in joining our team, and share our values, please visit our jobs page for more info.

Catchafire is looking for a passionate, quality-focused engineer with a social conscience. Your job will be to support, enhance, and expand Catchafire’s pro bono matching website. This is a mid-level position at a fast-paced, highly-collaborative, mission-focused startup located in midtown Manhattan. If you have passion not only for technology but also for applying technology to further social causes in new and innovative ways, we’d like to speak with you. Ours is a small and highly leveraged team where self-motivation, task-focus, and efficiency are essential.

View the full job description on our jobs page.


Question of the Week: What if My Skillset Isn’t on the Project Menu?

28 Apr

We get a lot of questions emailed to us from professionals looking to donate their time, organizations interested in our service, and members of the public who want to find out more about how we work. That’s why we’re introducing Question of the Week, a resource for the Catchafire Curious.

We get this week’s question on a pretty regular basis….

Q: I’m a skilled professional (a nurse, environmental engineer, opera singer, etc.) and I want to give back, but I don’t see my skillset represented on Catchafire’s project menu. How can I do pro bono with Catchafire?

A: Our project menu is a work in progress, and we’ve developed it based on two factors.

  • First, what nonprofits and social good organizations have told us are their greatest needs. When we started building the project menu, we started with projects we thought would help the greatest number of organizations build capacity the fastest, and we’ve been expanding it from there.
  • Second, what the greatest number of professionals have told us are their skillsets.

That’s why we need your feedback! If you don’t see a project that matches your skillset, please email us at and let us know what your skills are, and that you’re eager to give pro bono. We’re constantly expanding our project menu, and we rely on input from people like you. So keep checking back, and sign up for our newsletter, friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. We’ll announce all new project types as they are released!

There are currently 47 project types on our menu. Check out our project menu if you haven’t already!

Happy 2nd Birthday Catchafire!

25 Apr

Last Thursday, we threw a rockin’ 2nd birthday bash to celebrate the past year’s successes:

  • Growth from a one-woman show to 11 full-time staff
  • Launch of our Catchafire membership
  • Registration of over 1,100 social good organizations and 5,000 pro bono professionals
  • Contribution of over $2 Million in pro bono services by Catchafire professionals
  • Development of our Project Menu from 8 to over 50 projects
  • Introduction of our Seminars and social good organization Networking Nights
  • Features in TechCrunchFoxBusinessNPR, & CNN – just to name a few!
A huge thank you  to our sponsors for making this event possible and a huge success:

New Work City
: “Helping people kick ass” by providing a coworking space and community center for independents!

Brasserie Les Halles
: A lively French steakhouse; home base of chef-at-large Anthony Bourdain.

Applegate Farms
: Applegate products are made from premium cuts of antibiotic free beef, pork and poultry, that is raised sustainably on family farms and processed naturally without artificial ingredients or chemical preservatives for great tasting meats.

Grandaisy Bakery
: a European-style bakeshop tailored to modern, New York sensibilities.  Specializing in rustic Italian breads and pastries, Romany style pizzas and gourmet sandwiches.  With an emphasis on local ingredients, their unique distinctive product line flows with the changing seasons.

Brooklyn Brewery
: among America’s top 40 breweries!

Photography by Garret Ewald
After a 15+ year career in photojournalism, Garrett completed an MBA and worked for IBM for 8 years. Since 2009, he has been working on a variety of start-ups, including the 1 Life, 1,000 Words Foundation, a nonprofit bringing families together with photojournalists. In addition to photography for clients like Better Homes and Gardens and Landmark Publications, he has also returned to developing websites for organizations and small businesses, and video production. This is his first Catchafire project.

With Amazing Music by Dan Pugach Quartet: Drums, Keys, Bass and Trumpet playing reggae and funk!

And a BIG Thank You to our wonderful event volunteers: Joe, Justin, Jonell, Rey, Jeff, Jennifer, Phi, Katie, Brian, Matt, Jane, Karen, Nick, Ashley, Jason, & Nidhi!

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Pro Bono Voice: Shawn Powers

19 Apr

Today’s guest post is by Shawn Powers, a PR professional who recently completed a Public Relations Plan for the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation. Want to give pro bono? You can start by checking out Catchafire’s open projects.

Earlier this year I was traveling somewhere, earning another 10,000 air miles, and I happened to catch an NPR interview about a growing movement for social good called Catchafire. The name was new to me but the idea of volunteerism was not. What stood out about Catchafire was its mission, using professional skills to strategically help nonprofits advance in their missions.

Researching Catchafire on the web, I quickly came to appreciate the professionalism of their mission and the wide assortment of nonprofits requesting help through their organization.

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Powerful Women Pro Bono Series Recap

15 Apr

All last week, for National Volunteer Week, we asked some of the most inspirational, interesting and powerful women we know to send us their pro bono stories. The result was our Powerful Women series. In case you missed any of them, here are all 18.

“Pro bono is a particular way for one to use her BLANK for good.” “It’s all about putting out a positive light — the more you give, the more you get.” “It’s a muscle: Having an idea, and then making it happen. You can do it every day of your life.”
“The single biggest pool of untapped natural resource in this world is human good intentions that never translate into action.” “Volunteering is like yoga, just get yourself there and the energy will take over.” “If we don’t put limitations on what we can do, then our opportunities are endless.”
“I believe that each of us is born with unlimited and untapped potential to give.” “I salute you volunteers. Go make me proud.” “What an amazing world it would be if every professional gave away 50 hours a year of their time for the public good.”
“Helping and empowering others will make the world a better place for us all.” “When the dollar sign is not your main driver, your purpose becomes very clear.” “Volunteer. Give pro bono. Help others. It’s the right thing to do, and it will boost your happiness.”
“It’s not about giving money, but giving either what you know, or helping through your own channels and platforms.” “Giving of yourself and your gifts is a profoundly transformative experience.” “By giving a little, I’ve gained a lot. You may want to give it a try. “
“I think the best kind of giving comes when you are supporting causes that nest deeply in your heart.” “You get to grow by giving, and giving starts with a simple YES.” “I love how the web allows us to contribute in ways we never could before.”

Powerful Women: Rachel Sklar

15 Apr

Rachel Sklar is a founding editor of and a former senior editor at the Huffington Post. She currently works with Hashable, the best way to track and store your connections to the awesome people you meet. She is the founder of two advocacy organizations: Change The Ratio, which promotes visibility, access and opportunity for women in new media and tech; and Charitini, which promotes social microgiving around events. Rachel’s post is part of our week-long celebration of Powerful Women who give pro bono, for National Volunteer Week. You can check out all of the posts here.

In my life, the word “volunteering” has always been synonymous with “stepping up.” To volunteer is to be that kid putting her hand up in class (yes, I identify strongly with Hermione) or running for the student council or joining the school paper or, as I fondly recall from high school, bringing the Rocky Horror Picture Show to the cafeteria and encouraging everyone to throw toilet paper and dress up in fishnets. (Adding value to the world? You bet.) Volunteerism means being a joiner – but it also means being a starter.

Powerful Women: Susan Danziger

15 Apr

Susan Danziger is the CEO and Founder of DailyLit, a leading publisher of serialized books in digital form. Susan’s post is part of our week-long celebration of Powerful Women who give pro bono, for National Volunteer Week. You can check out all of the posts here.

I feel honored to have been selected as one of the “20 powerful woman doing pro-bono work” by Catchafire. I love that Catchafire benefits both not-for-profits and social entrepreneurs as well as the volunteers who can give to a good cause and hone their skills in the process. That’s exactly what happened with DailyLit, the company I founded and run.

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