A Fresh Perspective on Catchafire and its Social Mission

6 Mar

We’re pleased to welcome Chris Chavez as the newest member of our team. Chris joined Catchafire last week and is busy training as a Service Officer. He took the initiative and poured his thoughts out in an email to the team after his first day. Realizing the value of his insights – to everyone in the Catchafire community – Chris goes home each evening to ponder the day and share some of his take aways. Here’s Day One’s Reflections:

Day One

What a day!  After an incredible first day at Catchafire, I had a great night explaining my role to members of the YNPN-NYC (Young Non-Profit Professionals of New York City) board over dinner. It was the perfect way to reflect on the day’s training points. Teaching – or in this case explaining – definitely works to crystallize knowledge gained. One board member is at an organization benefiting from a Catchafire membership. She spoke so enthusiastically and positively. It was the icing on the cake of my first day!

The Catchafire Culture

I love the collaborative and iterative style of Catchafire’s culture. I work best when I am empowered to make bold decisions and think big. Today’s training really connected me to Catchafire vision and mission – the history lesson of Catchafire’s origins was incredibly informative and will serve me well in my role as a Service Officer communicating Catchafire’s value to organizations. Paraphrasing something that Rachael and Thomas both touched on: the value in Catchafire’s service is that our organization builds on three pillars: commitment, quality, and the follow-through of a match with a talented pro bono professional. In conversation with Thomas, I also liked what I heard about the Catchafire community and the importance of providing for the needs of nonprofit organizations. To a potential new member, “Our goal to help your organization build capacity but, as a member of the Catchafire community, you have the opportunity to build lasting, meaningful relationships with like-minded orgs and individuals.”

Brainstorming and Finding my Bearings

The meta-conversations about vision, mission, personality, and pitch are solidifying my understanding of a Service Officer’s role. In addition to providing sound advice and a quality product, it’s important to communicate Catchafire’s mission – to provide a rising tide that will lift all social good boats… a way to improve and supercharge the social good sector by making volunteerism something that is normal, enjoyable, effective, impactful, infectious.

I’m ready to start failing… and more importantly to start succeeding at everything I’ve learned thus far. I’m also bursting with ideas to share with team. It’s going to be fantastically fun.


Chris Chavez is a Service Officer at Catchafire. Prior to joining Catchafire, Chris worked with the Fiver Children’s Foundation supervising communications, development, and programming projects to inspire at-risk children to make positive life choices. Chris holds a degree in International Relations from Vesalius College at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and an M.Litt in International Relations from the University of St Andrews.  


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