NEW YORK, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Catchafire.org, the game changing "eHarmony of volunteering," is kicking off a selection of projects during the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. This week 50 New York City-based nonprofits and social enterprises, 50 skills-based volunteers and countless Catchafire supporters celebrated the beginning of 2,000 volunteer service hours that will provide this week's featured Catchafire nonprofits and social enterprises with over $300,000 in media, marketing, branding and design services. Notable Catchafire supporters include branding guru Cindy Gallop, digital strategist Soraya Darabi, author Deanna Zandt, charity: water COO Rod Arnold and more. Among Catchafire's diverse set of NYC-based nonprofits are Charity: Water, Pencils of Promise, New York City Coalition Against Hunger, Peoples Garden NYC and Givology. Volunteers range from professionals at Catchafire corporate partners like TheKnot.com to top professionals from NYC's most prestigious marketing, PR and consulting firms.
"We are excited to showcase Catchafire's model, a scalable skills-based volunteer solution that builds a nonprofit's capacity to take on highly skilled volunteers, with this selection of 50 short-term, discrete and individual skills-based projects," said Rachael Chong, Founder and CEO of Catchafire. "We've matched each of our organizations with a Catchafire volunteer that shares a passion for their cause and has the skills they need to more effectively. Many have never met before and we look forward to seeing the sparks fly as they kick off their projects."
New York City, with its high density of talented professionals, is ranked a miserable 50 out of 51 in terms of its volunteer rate. Further, over the past five years, the volunteer rate in America has steadily decreased despite the fact that the vast majority of American nonprofits have expressed the need for skilled volunteers and professionals are equally keen to share their skills with nonprofits. Catchafire calculated that the disconnect between the supply and demand of skills-based volunteer projects leaves $50 billion of value on the table each year.
Chong's objective with Catchafire is to create a market for skills-based volunteer projects by enabling nonprofits with the ability to easily access and effectively use skills-based volunteers through their innovative project menu and business model. Further, Chong is passionate about igniting a fire within professionals to give back and engage with their communities. She believes that many professionals, a demographic that volunteers the least, are hungry to serve but want to do so in an efficient and effective way. Catchafire is focused on providing professionals with a high quality volunteer experience.
"Ferdinand Foch said that the most powerful weapon is the human soul on fire," said Cindy Gallop, founder of IfWeRanTheWorld.com, "the Catchafire model allows skilled professionals to act on their passions."
What differentiates Catchafire's model from other volunteer-matching organizations is their Project Menu, a tool that gives volunteers and nonprofits the opportunity to choose individual projects that result in one deliverable over approximately three months or 50 hours, maximum.
"Catchafire offers an exciting win/win opportunity for professionals who wish to give back to the community by utilizing their valuable skills and nonprofit organizations looking to complete projects that require specific skills sets." said Mallory King, founder of Arts to Grow. "We welcome Catchafire and look forward to a long and fruitful partnership."
Catchafire is a for-profit social mission business that connects professionals who want to volunteer their skills with nonprofits that need them. Catchafire's volunteer projects are packaged as off-the-shelf solutions to meet common nonprofit needs and to make it easy for professionals to find time to volunteer in the midst of their busy lives. Catchafire is a certified B Corporation headquartered in New York City and can be found online at www.catchafire.org