The Campaign for Black Male Achievement, in partnership with Catchafire, is launching a skills-based volunteer program (CBMA.Catchafire.org) in January of 2015 with support from the Skillman Foundation. The average nonprofit spends 8 percent of its resources on running its organization, compared to 20 percent of resources allocated on average for companies in the private sector. We believe that providing nonprofits with access to skilled professionals can help bridge the gap.
Skills-based volunteerism is a high-impact form of volunteerism that allows an individual to donate his or her on-the-job skills (or professional skillset not practiced in the workplace) to a nonprofit in order to build the organization’s capacity. Examples of skills-based volunteer projects that can be found on the CBMA Catchafire portal include: Brand Messaging, Social Media Plan, Strategic Plan, Board Assessment, Copywriting and over 70 more project types. Normally, an organization pays $2,000 per year to use Catchafire, but because of your relationship with CBMA and support from the Skillman Foundation, it’s available to you at no charge!
Think of us as an online dating site for organizations and volunteers seeking to change the world for the better. We match nonprofit organizations to talented volunteers who build organizational capacity and community by completing projects pro bono.
Skills-based volunteerism is an effective way for an individual to give their skills for the public good. It means that an individual utilizes their specific skills (usually their professional skills/expertise/background) to help a nonprofit organization on a specific project. For example, a finance or accounting individual by trade might use these skills to help an organization develop a budget.
We have over 70 projects to choose from on our site; view the project menu here.
Typically a nonprofit pays $2,000 per year to join Catchafire and list projects, which typically deliver $5,000 - $10,000 in impact. The Skillman Foundation has generously agreed to cover 100% of the cost, making this available to you for free! You can list up to 5 projects at a time.
This program will be running throughout 2015.
You can expect that the project will take between one to four hours per week from your organization over the course of two to three months. Projects will require more time in the first few meetings as you bring your volunteer up to speed on your goals, mission and programs. Once your volunteer is ramped up you will have weekly check-ins (15 – 20 mins.) with her/him and ongoing email communication. Each project is different and can be expected to require a different level of involvement (some require Board involvement, etc.). These talented volunteers you will be matched with can self-manage, so once they are up to speed, no hand-holding is necessary.
Projects are matched based on organizational needs, volunteer skills, and personal motivation for a cause area. These talented professionals can complete most projects virtually allowing your organization to benefit from the most skilled and passionate people at anywhere in the nation. As part of your selection process, you can consider if you would prefer a local volunteer, but it’s not required.
Yes. If you inform the volunteer that information shared with them from the onset of the project is confidential they will respect and honor your request. You may also ask the volunteer to sign a non-disclosure agreement if you would like (you must provide this). If you decide to go this route, we ask that you make the volunteer aware of this before you are officially matched on the project.
If you have an existing volunteer community, it’s a sign to us that you know how to harness outside support and talent for your growth and development. These talented professionals are results-oriented and high level. They are committed to completing a project within a specific timeline. They are an excellent complementary resource for organizations with a significant network of support. You can send links to your Catchafire projects out via social media and e-mail campaigns to engage your existing community as well.
If you have an active board that’s great! These talented volunteers will provide another level of capacity-building opportunities to your organization. Active board members can work directly with these folks to complete high-impact, high-value projects for your organization.