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Feb 7th, 2022

Catchafire’s Equitable Model Aims to Support BIPOC Communities

Our data findings about our nonprofit partners.


Gohar Chichian
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Our best way to empower and improve lives is by supporting the people and organizations solving local challenges every day. Catchafire exists to strengthen and accelerate the impact of these changemakers by bridging the gap to expert talent and resources so they can focus squarely on their mission. We believe in trust and choice –and the Catchafire model centers around allowing nonprofits to choose the projects that they want to invest in. Projects on Catchafire focus on marketing and communications, IT training, finance support, program growth, HR needs, professional development, and more. We know that nonprofits know what they need better than anyone else, so this model allows them to take on exactly what they need to support their vision and mission.

Traditional funding models have a threshold for organization size, budget, and program areas to be eligible for their grantee cycles. This high barrier to entry unfortunately means many grassroots nonprofits fail to meet these requirements, and as a result, fall short in getting the funding they need. This often results in staff members having to wear many hats, coping with burnout, high turnover, and an overall difficulty in supporting the needs of their communities. There is also a historic and deeply rooted underinvestment of communities made up of Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color (BIPOC). Due to the lack of resources and funding within their communities, many BIPOC start and lead nonprofits as an instrument to serve and support their communities.

Last year, we began to collect demographic data to understand and be able to better support our nonprofit community. In 2021, we found that 65% of nonprofits on Catchafire were direct service organizations, and that the majority of Catchafire nonprofits served low-income communities.

Here’s what we found:

Finding 1: Our model focuses on providing critical value for heavily resource-constrained organizations. Without equitable access to grants, these are the organizations that need Catchafire the most. Fifty percent of nonprofits working with Catchafire are intensely resource constrained and have an average yearly savings of $14,329 by working with volunteers on Catchafire.


Average value added to organization

Fifty percent of nonprofits working with Catchafire are intensely resource constrained and have an average yearly savings of $14,329 by working with volunteers on Catchafire.



Finding 2: Income status and race are historical determinants of funding. Our data demonstrates the correlation between underinvestment in BIPOC communities and a need for equitable access for BIPOC nonprofits. Catchafire disproportionately serves more BIPOC-led organizations, and in particular, Black-led organizations. Fifty eight percent of the nonprofits we serve are BIPOC-led, compared to 25% in the US, and 30% of our nonprofits are exclusively Black-led, compared to nine percent in the US. Without traditional funding streams, BIPOC-led organizations seek innovative alternatives and utilize Catchafire the most.


Average value added to organization

BIPOC-led organizations seek innovative alternatives and utilize Catchafire the most.



Level of resource constraint among nonprofits

Catchafire disproportionately serves more BIPOC-led organizations, and in particular, Black-led organizations.



Catchafire was created with the goal of providing an innovative and accessible way for volunteers to donate their time to causes they care about, and for nonprofits to have equitable access to tools and talent. Catchafire is changing the narrative around traditional fundraising models and creating a pathway for nonprofits to have the programmatic and operational resources they need to thrive. Catchafire strives to amplify BIPOC communities and cause areas, such as housing and gentrification, education access, voting rights, healthcare, and more.

As we continue to evolve and improve our equitable model to get nonprofits the support that they need, we encourage everyone to get involved.

  • Sign up to be a volunteer and offer your skills and time to a nonprofit.
  • Help BIPOC-led nonprofits gain a free membership to Catchafire here.
  • Fund a program and bring Catchafire’s resources to a group of nonprofits. Email [email protected] to learn more.

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