Archive | April, 2012

Be Inspired. Be Committed. Give Pro-Bono.

16 Apr

This National Volunteer week Catchafire would like to celebrate all of the professionals who serve their communities pro bono. For many of them, volunteering time, skills, passion, and talent is more than a choice. It’s a lifestyle.

Join us in celebration and tell the Catchafire community who inspires you through their pro bono service.

On our homepage at Catchafire.org, our team will share a few words and an image recognizing a professional who inspires us with their pro bono service. These are individuals who rock their skills and talents to boost the capacity of communities in need.

Here’s 2 Ways You Can Get Involved:

1. Take a minute to give a shout-out to a friend, lover, family member, neighbor, colleague or peer who dedicates time to give back pro bono:

Step 1: Submit your nominee at www.catchafire.org/nominate.

Step 2: Share a photo (instead of a thousand words!)

Photos should capture a cause, celebrate a community commitment, recognize a person’s fun spirit, or all of the above. Your submission and photo will be included on the Catchafire pro bono Wall of Fame so your personal inspiration can bask in the glory of their fellow rock star pro bono professional peers.

  • If you use Instagram, tag #catchafire to a photo that represents your nominee and write their name next to it.

2. Spread the word:

Help pro bono service go viral.  Post tweets and facebook updates that reflect your commitment to make every week a National Volunteer week.  We have crafted a few to start you off.  Copy and past the following to join the digital celebration.

Sample Tweets:

  • It’s #VolunteerWeek. Join @Catchafire. Nominate a person who inspires you with their pro bono service: http://bit.ly/HEcdEE
  • It’s #VolunteerWeek. Be Inspired. Nominate a person who inspires you with their pro bono service: http://bit.ly/HEcdEE
  • For #volunteerweek, join @catchafire, nominate a person who inspires you with their pro bono service: http://bit.ly/HEcdEE
  • Want to give back? Move it from your to-do list to your to-done list for #volunteerweek! Sign up. give back pro bono: http://bit.ly/HPkUcu
  • Who inspires you through their community service? Join @Catchafire and celebrate them for #volunteerweek. Shout out their commitment at http://bit.ly/HEcdEE
  • We’ve shared stories of professionals who give back pro bono. Who inspires you? Join @Catchafire and recognize them for #volunteerweek http://bit.ly/HEcdEE

Sample Facebook Posts:

  • It’s Volunteer Week! Be Inspired. Give Your Talents Pro Bono! Join Catchafire and nominate a person who inspires you with their pro bono service! http://bit.ly/HEcdEE
  • It’s not just funds that social good organizations. They need talent that will help them grow their capacity and impact. Be Inspired. Join Catchafire and nominate a person who inspires you with their pro bono service! http://bit.ly/HEcdEE
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Seeing the Forest for the Trees

3 Apr

Here’s the final installment from Chris Chavez, one of Catchafire’s newest team members. (See his first two posts below) These were his reflections at the end of a week of intensive training. That was three weeks ago, and incredibly, he has already welcomed four organizations to the Catchafire Team. Chris isn’t wet behind the ears, he’s on fire! Here are wise words from a (once-trainee) Catchafire Service Officer:

The Trees

My brain is heavier than it was in the morning! A lot goes into making Catchafire’s service as efficient and as helpful as it is. There are a lot of ingredients that ensure Catchafire members are satisfied with their experience: multiple stages of contact, clear communication between Catchafire teammates, consulting of organizations before they join our community and after, following the progress of projects, and keeping a healthy buzz around what we do – innovating pairing of hearts and minds with causes that need to build their capacity.

Open my Eyes

This morning I prepared myself to sustain a few dings and dents from some good ol’ fashion experiential learning… Well, the gods must have been listening because Thomas (aka Kathy) tripped me up a few times during my practice call. At the end of the day, I improved in some areas while regressing in others. Isn’t that always the case? I have a clearer sense of what I need to focus on in preparation for my first community calls next Wednesday.

The Forest

A final take-home from today’s training. Don’t take the power of algorithmic matching for granted. This a light bulb moment for me: we use algorithms every day to find information (on Google); to find relationships (on Facebook); to find special someones (on match.com); to find places to eat, drink, and be merry (on yelp).

Catchafire is predicated on the same logic of sites and digital locales that we may be starting to take for granted. The sheen behind this tech is no longer as brilliant and arresting to non-digital natives – my mom has a Facebook account, google is a verb and Google’s a company! Even so, we cannot forget that individual creativity, evaluation, and rigor is driving all of our searching and supporting all of these algorithms and online activities. Catchafire uses everything – the creativity, the passion, the statistical models, the commitment, and the skills – to help professionals and organizations take part in a community of activity. It’s exciting and inspiring to join the effort.

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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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