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We have a winner!

1 Feb

Congratulations to Adoption & Foster Care Mentoring (AFC) for winning Catchafire’s 2012 Holiday Campaign. AFC rallied its supporters behind the campaign to walk away with the most votes and $2,012 towards Catchafire projects.

Catchafire is in the business of “matching” – matching skilled pro bono professionals with organizations that need their help. AFC is also in the business of matching. It made its first mentor-mentee “match” in early 2002, and registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit two years later. Today, the organization continues to serve both youth in foster care and those adopted out of care. And just as Catchafire’s success is largely attributed to the high caliber of its pro bono professionals, AFC has enjoyed growth and success over the years thanks to highly committed volunteer mentors.

AFC is one of only a handful of mentoring organizations in the US. That may be surprising, but often it’s the story behind the organization that explains its origins, its success and its passion. AFC exists today thanks to its founder Justin Pasquariello. After four years without a permanent place to call home, nine-year-old Justin was placed with a foster family. Beating the sad statistics shadowing foster care, Justin was fortunate to find a caring and permanent home. His experience never left him though, and nine years later, while a freshman at Harvard College, Justin developed a mentoring program serving the foster and adopted youth in the Boston area. In 2001, Justin joined forces with Massachusettes Mentoring Partnership and AFC was off the ground.

Catchafire is proud to welcome AFC as its newest member and looks forward to helping them build capacity as they build lasting mentor relationships for hundreds of children in Massachusetts.

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New Year’s Resolutions made easy

3 Jan

A few days ago millions of people across the globe made a resolution when they woke up to the New Year. For the most part, it was a promise to change. It might be health-related – a new diet, a personal goal – learn to play guitar, or career oriented – get that promotion. The larger the commitment though, the less likely we are to see the change we’re preparing to work for. How many times have we all committed to those large, yet ambiguous resolutions? Ambiguous because, when it fizzles out by mid-January, we use the excuse that it was just a New Year’s resolution. Not this year!

Committing your time and talent to a worthy cause is a serious New Year’s resolution, but it can also be a manageable and convenient one. Catchafire projects are tailored for highly skilled professionals with busy schedules who are seeking meaningful change with social impact. They’re short-term, discrete and individual to provide both the nonprofit organization and pro bono professional with clearly defined and attainable goals, and a flexible schedule.

To paraphrase Mahatma Ghandi, Catchafire wants to be a part of the change you want to see in the world! Our 2012 Holiday Campaign can help us achieve this – we want to inspire 2,012 people to sign up by January 31st and commit to giving pro bono this year.

It gets better. Every one who registers with Catchafire by the end of January will have the opportunity to nominate their favorite nonprofit or social enterprise to receive a $2,012 donation towards a Catchafire membership.

Since the start of the campaign, 364 skilled professionals have already signed up and pledged to give what they’re good at this year. We have a ways to go to achieve our goal but it’s a new year and we’re resolute to make 2012 a year of impact. This year Catchafire projects are going to enable thousands of skilled professionals to fulfill their resolutions and be part of the change.

To take part in our campaign:

  • Share this blog post with friends and colleagues whose resolution is to make meaningful change or who may just wish to give what they’re good at in 2012.
  • Not signed up? Click here to register.
  • Already have a Catchafire account? Email campaign2012@catchafire.org to let us know the organization that you’d like to nominate to win the $2,012 towards Catchafire projects.

Here’s to making a difference with your resolution in 2012!

Guides for Giving Good

16 Dec

The Internet is awash with gift guides for the holiday season. Dig a little deeper and you can find a number of inspired guides for giving good.

Social Edge’s ‘Holiday Gift Guide for Social Entrepreneurs 2011’ is tailored to those whose wish list contains items a social entrepreneur needs more of: Time, Money, Impact, Sanity, Space, Energy, Sleep, Movement, and Joy! This cleverly crafted list provides links to a number of fantastic social good organizations, and gifts anyone can purchase in support of their causes. From watches (time) to sustainably produced snacks (energy), every category is covered!

Globalgiving’s ‘Gifts for Good’ is a list of charities who send their donors free gifts. For example, for a $25 donation toward the building of 2 classrooms in Uganda, you get a Ugandan paper bead necklace, and $15 toward school supplies for Kenyan students gets you a hand-carved wooden serving spoon. The list is broad in terms of worthy causes and awesome gifts.

These guides espouse the belief that it’s always better to give than to receive. This is also the philosophy behind our 2012 Holiday Campaign:

This season, Catchafire is asking skilled professionals to register on our site and give the gift of time. Once registered as pro bono professionals to receive matches, you will have the opportunity to nominate your favorite social good organization to win $2,012 toward Catchafire projects.

Our goal of registering 2012 professionals by the end of January is ambitious but we’re a determined bunch! We launched this campaign in early December and have already registered 192 new professionals – 10% toward our goal!

Here are some ways you can help us spread the word:

Email:
Catchafire has just launched its 2012 Holiday Campaign with the goal to encourage more people to give the gift of time and talent. Those who register on Catchafire by the end of January will have the opportunity to nominate a favorite nonprofit or social enterprise to receive a $2,012.00 donation towards a Catchafire membership. Register here to nominate.

Twitter:
Tis the season…Nominate a nonprofit or #socent to win $2,012 towards Catchafire projects! Register to nominate – http://bit.ly/urMOjP

FB:
Tis the season….Nominate ur fave nonprofit or social enterprise to win $2,012 towards Catchafire projects! Register to nominate – http://bit.ly/urMOjP

Catchafire 2012 Holiday Campaign

7 Dec

This holiday season, we want to inspire 2,012 people to sign up to give pro bono. 

Every one who registers by the end of January will have the opportunity to nominate their favorite nonprofit or social enterprise to receive a $2,012 donation towards a Catchafire membership. To give the gift of your time & talent to an amazing social good organization, sign up and make your nomination.

Already a registered Catchafire professional? Email campaign2012@catchafire.org to let us know the organization that you’d like to nominate to win the $2,012 towards Catchafire membership. Please put the name of the organization in the subject line.

Help us spread the good word:

Email:
Catchafire has just launched its 2012 Holiday Campaign with the goal to encourage more people to give the gift of time and talent. Every one who registers on Catchafire by the end of January, will have the opportunity to nominate a favorite nonprofit or social enterprise to receive a $2,012.00 donation towards a Catchafire membership. Register here to nominate.
Twitter:
Tis the season…Nominate a nonprofit or #socent to win $2,012 towards Catchafire projects! Register to nominate – http://bit.ly/urMOjP
FB:
Tis the season….Nominate ur fave nonprofit or social enterprise to win $2,012 towards Catchafire projects! Register to nominate – http://bit.ly/urMOjP
Thank you to everyone who has given their time pro bono this year!

Giving is a bigger gift than receiving

7 Dec

I love the holiday season most of all because it reminds me that deep within all of us is the desire to give in order to make someone’s life a little better.

As a kid, throughout the month of December, egged on by the amazing brilliance of the advent calendar that popped out a new little gift every day, I would ask myself the question: “What do I want for Christmas?” Of course, it always had to do with someone giving me stuff; and, even as I grew up, it was easy to continue that line of thinking – thinking about what gifts you’d hope to receive from others. A few days ago, my mother gave me the good advice that being able to give is a bigger gift than anything you can receive. This woke me up and shook me about. I was reminded that I am so blessed to have so much to give.

So the new question to myself this holiday season is: “What do I want to give for Christmas?”

My answer this year is: The gift of time. I’m heading off to Bangkok to spend time with my mum. Over the past two years, I’ve dedicated most of my time to growing myself and my company, never leaving enough time to take a trip to see my mum. It’s the biggest gift I can think of to give her, and I know that I will enjoy it way more than anything I will receive this year.

To pass on the good vibes, my question to you is: “What do you want to give this holiday season?

To inspire you, here’s what some of my team has to say (in 140 characters):

Alex – “I’ve been cooking for people – I really enjoy taking care of people in that way – cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 12 people was the start!

Dana – “Random acts of kindness: Holding doors, letting others jump ahead of me in line, and finding other simple ways to make someone’s day better.

Andrew – “Chores. My wife and I are expecting a baby in January, so this holiday season I’m doing more around the house, so my wife can rest and prepare for the birth.

Joe – “A former co-worker and friend is fighting leukemia and has maxed out his insurance. I will give what I can to help pay his medical bills.

Thomas – “Want to work pro bono for something! No really – need to walk the talk with giving back. Will definitely do a mentorship, or volunteer on a project.

Ryan L – “Spending more time with my family and friends!”

Jared – “Going a little bit further for those of my friends, loved ones and neighbors who are in need.”

JC – “More time to strangers, even if its just courtesy on the subway…it makes a difference.”

Jie – “Be with family and friends I haven’t seen for more than three years. Cook for my parents and brother.”

Ryan M – “Let the people in your life know that you love them. Tell them how important they are to you and make sure they know they’re not alone”
Priyanka – “Time with friends and family that is uninterrupted!”

“What do you want to give this holiday season?” Let us know by tweeting us @catchafire.

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