Catchafire’s Secret Sauce

16 Mar

In Chris’s previous blog entry he let the cat out of the bag:

It’s one thing to learn about mission and vision and to buy into the purpose of it all. It’s quite another to learn about the secret sauce making it all happen in practice. Though, in this case, the sauce isn’t so secret – It’s available front and center for all to see on

In today’s post Chris proudly holds the cat up for all to see:


The time had come to pick up the phone, get on the horn, and do a couple of mock calls to promote Catchafire’s service. Armed with a Snicker’s bar and two days of intensive schooling from Thomas, I felt prepared. We’d spent many hours discussing Catchafire’s vision and mission, and discussing how to discuss it! It was time to have this conversation with another person engaged on the other end of the telephone.

Building Community

I’m still new to Catchafire’s culture, but already I feel incredibly comfortable communicating it to others. This is thanks to the training and interaction with my more experienced colleagues have enabled my smooth transition into the team. I know it’s not easy when a new team member causes minor interruptions to everyone’s routine but I have felt nothing but support in my first three days on the job. I’m eager to do well and start contributing. I know that all of the prep will pay off, though I’m excited to start learning by doing.

The first two practice calls went well. By “went well,” I mean that each call allowed me to solidify shaky points in my training, and helped me to learn where I could direct more focus so I could more clearly communicate the Catchafire value proposition to potential new members. Spending time with Catchafire literature and talking to colleagues has helped me form a clearer understanding of the simple power of Catchafire’s vision and how that vision is buttressed by current technological and social trends. We are social beings – constantly communicating and developing tools to communicate.  Technology is making our lives simpler by reducing the time it takes for us to communicate.  Catchafire has found a great way to leverage the power of communications technology; to help individuals to use their skills and talents; to connect organizations that need to build capacity to individual passions that are searching for a meaningful outlet.

 The Secret Sauce

It’s become so commonplace; we sometimes forget the source of power inherent in networked technologies: information and its sources have become transparent (especially when thinking back 20, 30, 40 years ago). We turn on our computers, log onto the Internet, visit Google’s homepage, enter some words and phrases, and are directed to information sources that will satisfy our curiosity or enhance our interests. Catchafire applies the same kind of algorithmic efficiency and power to helping nonprofit and social enterprises recruit passionate and talented to help their cause. This tool allows fewer people to do more. It also allows the increase in output to maintain a high quality. Instead of sacrificing quality for quantity, quantity actually supports quality, with an ever-growing community of professionals and organizations benefiting from its own collection of various skills, talents, and passions.

What’s ahead?

I am looking forward to my first full week of work! I begin to meet my first Catchafire community members this Wednesday and I can’t wait. Every nonprofit, and every social enterprise with an internet connection is a Catchafire community member, they just don’t know it yet! I like to think big, a quality I am eager to introduce to the team in the weeks and months ahead – I already know that I’m in an environment filled with big thinkers. Google’s goal is to make the world’s information available and useful to everyone. Catchafire’s goal is to make the world’s passions available and useful to everyone. That’s the thought that will motivate me in the next week ahead – and beyond.


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