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Jul 15th, 2019

Delegating to a Team of One — How Small Organizations Build Virtual Extensions Through Skills-Based Volunteering

Skills-based volunteering helps scale your team.

Tyler Manley
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From day one, we have obsessed over what it looks like to support and strengthen the social good sector. We built Catchafire for organizations of all shapes, sizes, and cause areas who need to be able to do more with less. What we’ve learned is 45% of our nonprofit community as of late have fewer than 5 staff members. When we looked closer though, we uncovered not only themes around WHAT projects small nonprofits needed support with but rather just how incredibly strategic they are being in HOW they go about getting the most out of our marketplace.

45% of our nonprofit community have 5 staff members or less.

The value of skills-based volunteering when you’re a small organization soars because you are not just resource-strapped, but there’s simply not enough time in the day to teach yourself how to do the work and then also DO the work. Sound familiar? We’re seeing more and more organizations alike viewing our marketplace and access to skilled volunteers as an extension of their team. Below are 3 ways small organizations are scaling their team… all without hiring more.

Epitome of Soul

1 |
The expertise you don’t have. The staff member you can’t afford to hire.

Epitome of Soul, Inc. partners with community organizations to equip, empower, and encourage elementary and high school students to strive for academic excellence and cultural growth through the arts. They’ve been using Catchafire for this, that and the other…

“Because our staff size is less than 5 members, the volunteers on Catchafire have become like our extended staff. We’ve been able to accomplish so much more than we would have been able to accomplish on our own. ” — Nailah Butler, Executive Director

Kiddie Keep Well Camp

2 | Your Marketing department and your Professional Development team.

Larger organizations with established departments and comfortable budgets are positioned to hire more specialized roles.

Kiddie Keep Well Camp, a New Jersey nonprofit providing camping experiences at no cost to underserved children and senior citizens, repurposed Catchafire to be their Marketing department. They’ve completed SIXTEEN print pieces and solely rely on virtual graphic designers to create one-pagers, brochures, and invites. Their freelance design expenses remain $0.

Lori's Hands

3 | An avenue to build your Advisory Board.

Some of my favorite moments are when I hear about an organization and volunteer going beyond the project and building rapport offline.

As we head into our 8th year, I’m hearing this more often too! Lori’s Hands in Delaware got started with Catchafire by posting a simple 1-hour consultation call to talk with a business consultant who could advise them on scaling nationally. In the end, their first virtual volunteer actually ended up joining their Board and would later help them write a $150,000 grant proposal.

To all of you who are Jack’s or Jill’s of all trades and multi-taskers because you have to be, I’ve bundled up the top 5 projects you should hand-off to a skills-based volunteer here.

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