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A Big Close for our Holiday Campaign!

1 Feb

January is officially over, and it’s time to give a standing ovation for everyone who signed up to use their professional skills for good during our $1 Million Give What You’re Good At Holiday Campaign!

From November 1 to January 31, an impressive 2,331 new people signed up on Catchafire.org to give what they’re good at and help New York City nonprofits in need. (We also added 361 awesome new nonprofits and social enterprise organizations to our roster over this time.)

This outpouring resulted in 83 new project matches — more than 3,200 of hours worth of professional services!

Here are just some of the matches that came out of the campaign:

  • New York Needs You, a nonprofit leadership program and career development resource for first-generation college students,  got a beautiful set of brochures created by graphic designer Carole Weitz. Carole had such a great experience with her match, she promptly signed up for another project.
  • Atlas Service Corps runs an internationally-focused fellowship program for promising young nonprofit leaders from around the world. They were matched with Jonathan Gass, who will help them to identify a list of potential New York City nonprofits with which to place their fellows.
  • African Services Committee needed help with their bilingual communications materials.  They were matched with Nassima Lauzon, a marketing professional and fluent French speaker. Originally from North Africa, Nassima was particularly interested in helping this nonprofit that delivers health, housing, legal and social services to African immigrants.
  • Choices in Childbirth, a nonprofit aiming to improve maternity care and educate women about alternative childbirth options, needed help planning an event. They were paired with Emily Voorhees who, in addition to being a marketing pro, happens to teach pre-natal and post-partum pilates, and is a doula.  Even we were surprised with the high level of compatibility on this match.

Though we didn’t quite hit a million dollars, we got very, very close, with the final tally at $909,000 in pro bono services for New York City nonprofits and social enterprises. We think that’s no small feat!

And even though the campaign is officially over, we still encourage skilled professionals to sign up or browse our current list of open projects for something that speaks to you.

If you’re a nonprofit in need of professional services, this is a great time to take advantage of all the new pro bono talent we’ve brought on board during the campaign. Check out our project menu to see if your organization could benefit from any of these projects. Or check out our nonprofit and social enterprise FAQ for more information on how our services work.

Thanks again to everyone who signed up for a project over the past three months — we can’t wait to see how your projects turn out!

Our $1 Million Campaign is Down to the Wire!

27 Jan

We have some exciting news about our $1 Million Give What You’re Good At Holiday Campaign!

We are now less than $120,000 away from meeting our goal of $1 Million worth of pledged pro-bono hours! We’re thrilled that so many skilled professionals have signed up to make a difference so far, and have brought us this close to our goal. But we need to close the gap by Monday, and it’s going to take a real push.

That’s where we hope you’ll come in — if you haven’t yet signed up for pro bono project, there’s no better time than now!

You can start by browsing our open projects. We have 37 wonderful open projects right now — everything from Event Publicity for the Susan G. Komen Foundation to a Social Media Plan for the Tibet Fund, and many, many more. We’ll also be rolling out new projects on Facebook and Twitter over the next few days. Once you find a project you like, all you have to do is sign up to join us, and let us know a little bit about your professional skills. It only takes a few minutes.

And if you’ve already signed up to volunteer your professional skills, we hope you’ll join us to rally others in these last few days of our campaign. Here’s what you can do:

  • Follow us on Twitter (@catchafire) and help spread the word by tweeting this: “I’m helping @catchafire raise $1 MILLION in pro-bono hours by Monday. We’re almost there! Please join us at http://www.catchafire.org
  • Like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/Catchafire.org) and help share our new projects and announcements in the next few days
  • Email your friends! It won’t take any time at all, and hearing directly from you can really make a difference. You can keep it short and sweet. Feel free to personalize it in any way you want, but here is what we recommend saying:
“I just signed up on Catchafire.org to use my professional skills to help a nonprofit in need as part of Catchafire’s $1 Million Give What You’re Good At Holiday Campaign! Together, we’re raising $1 Million worth of pro bono services for New York-area nonprofits. The campaign ends on Monday, January 31, and we have less than $120,000 to go! There are 37 open projects, which you can view here. I hope you’ll join me by signing up before Monday to volunteer your skills, build your resume, and make professional contacts.”

  • Good old-fashioned word-of-mouth! Do you know an ace accountant? Is there a PR whizkid in your office? Tell them about Catchafire and encourage them to sign up by Monday!

With your help, we know we can reach our $1 Million goal by this Monday!

A Special Thanks to Catchafire’s Holiday Campaign E-card Designers!

21 Dec

Catchafire received three great designs for the $1 Million Give What You’re Good At Holiday Campaign e-card!  The e-card is for volunteers (who are matched during the Holiday Campaign) to dedicate their Catchafire project to their family and friends. So rather than spending money on yet another present, this season our volunteers can give the best gift of all – the gift of their time and skills! Catchafire’s holiday campaign goes on until January 31st and is in full swing for those still looking to get involved!

Catchafire wants to thank our three great designers! Firstly, a big thanks for Angel Ng, whose design below will be used for the Campaign.  Also, a big thanks goes out to Sascha Mombartz (s@mbrtz.com) and Gino Jacques of Craze Creative Solutions (crazecreativestudio1@gmail.com) for contributing.

Designed by Angel Ng, this will be the e-card Catchafire will use for the holiday campaign

CEO of DonorsChoose.Org gets matched with volunteer Stephen Messer, Founder & CEO of LinkShare!

18 Nov

Calling all CEOs: Lend Your Advice To Change The World

9 Nov

Dear CEO,

Catchafire matches professionals who want to volunteer their skills with nonprofits that need them. Our initial focus has been on achieving this mission in New York City, which holds the unfortunate distinction of having the second lowest volunteer rate in America. To combat this statistic—and in the spirit of the holiday season—we’ve just kicked off the $1 Million Give What You’re Good at Holiday Campaign.

We know your time is tremendously valuable, so we’ve made it easy. As a CEO Volunteer, you can make an enormous impact on the future of one of Catchafire’s partner nonprofits, in just 3 hours of your time, between now and January 31. Today we’ve launched a new type of project on Catchafire called CEO Expert Advice, which will pair a select few highly successful CEOs in the business world with Executive Directors of high impact New York City nonprofits.

Here’s how it works: We will work with you to find a nonprofit leader who will best benefit from your expertise. Our nonprofit partners are emerging leaders working on important causes, but they need help growing their organizations into sustainable, successful and respected institutions. Many are struggling with the same growing pains that companies in the for-profit sector have, which I’m sure you can relate to: How do I build a team? What’s my fundraising strategy? How do I want to scale?

Once we’ve matched you with a nonprofit leader, the two of you will arrange an informal introductory meeting, in which the nonprofit leader will identify areas s/he needs help with. This initial meeting will begin a dialogue that you and your nonprofit leader will shape. We recommend you volunteer a total of three to five hours with your nonprofit leader, in one or more follow-up meetings.

For our nonprofit partners, we hope their time with you will be the beginning of a new chapter in their organization’s success. For you, we hope it will be a meaningful opportunity to use your expertise to make real change in the life of a worthy New York City nonprofit.

Please let me know if you’re interested, and I will answer any questions you may have about this initiative. I can also update you on our media outreach around this campaign. You can also get started yourself by creating an account on Catchafire and completing your profile. Through this campaign, we hope to highlight the volunteer work of our CEOs, and thereby encourage many more skilled New York professionals to volunteer with Catchafire.

Warmly,

Rachael
Founder & CEO
rachael@catchafire.org

 

It’s On! $1Million Holiday Campaign Design Challenge! Are you in?

4 Nov

Are you a designer with a passion for change? Enter our design challenge to create an E-Card for our $1 Million Holiday Campaign. We’re selecting three winning designs!

If you’re a winner, we’ll promote and publicize your work on our website, blog, and social media platforms! Your E-card will be distributed to hundreds of people that our volunteers will dedicate their holiday projects to. This is a great opportunity to build your portfolio, promote your name, and design for good!

How do I enter the Challenge?

Submit your design (1 design per person) to emily@catchafire.org by 5:00pm EST on December 1. We will announce three winning designs on Friday, December 3.

If you have any questions about the Challenge please leave your question in the comment field below or email emily@catchafire.org

Requirements:

  • Must include the Catchafire logo somewhere. You can download a vector copy of the logo here to use in your design.
  • Must be delivered as a layered PSD file so that we can adapt it to our email system. Please rasterize nonstandard (headline) fonts and only use widely available fonts for the body text so that we can customize it.
  • Must include the following text (note that the text indicated by <text> will be filled in automatically by our e-Card system):

    Dear <Name>,

    Happy Holidays!

    This holiday, rather than buying yet another present, I wanted to give the world the best gift I can offer.

    I am pledging to give the gift of my time and skills to a truly amazing cause, and I dedicating this gift to you.

    I have pledged to volunteer <#> hours of my time to <Organization Name & Link> working on <Project Name & Link >. By doing this, I am saving my organization <$ Value>. Follow my volunteer project story on the Catchafire blog.

    This gift contributes to Catchafire’s $1Million Give What You’re Good At Holiday Campaign. Read more here.

    <Volunteer’s personal message to be written here – please allow room for 4-5 lines of text.>

    Happy Holidays,

    <Volunteer Name>

    Learn more about Catchafire. Visit http://www.catchafire.org

$1 Million Give What You’re Good At Holiday Campaign

1 Nov

This holiday season, Catchafire is raising $1 million in pro bono professional services to NYC-based nonprofits and social enterprises. This year, give the best gift — the gift of your time and skills — to a cause you love by working with a nonprofit or social enterprise in need. Then dedicate this gift to your colleague, friend, family member, or loved one.

Why are we doing this?

NYC has the second lowest volunteer rate in the country. Catchafire wants to turn this statistic around, because we know how generous New Yorkers are. But we also know they are pressed for time. That’s why our projects are designed to be flexible and beneficial to your career.

Yes, you could donate $50 to your favorite charity this year, but you’d add 100 times more value by signing up for a Catchafire project, which will take just a few hours a week over the next 2-3 months to complete.

How can I participate?

Every volunteer project matched on Catchafire between November 1, 2010 and January 31, 2011 counts towards our $1 million goal. Watch Catchafire’s progress towards the $1 million goal in real time at www.catchafire.org. We’ll also be featuring the campaign’s heartwarming volunteer stories here.

How do I give this gift to my loved ones?

Make a pledge to give your time by signing up here. Indicate that you’d like to give it to [your boss, co-worker, best friend, mom, boyfriend]. We’ll send a designer Catchafire e-card on your behalf as soon as you get matched with a volunteer project. We’ll also give you the opportunity to share your progress with us, the people you’ve dedicated your gift too, and the world on our blog — so everyone can read about your good work this holiday session.

Happy Holidays,

The Catchafire Team

For more information, please visit: catchafire.org/campaign

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