Rachael Chong was a successful young investment banker looking to give back to her community in a meaningful way. One day, her firm offered a volunteer opportunity to help build a house in the Bronx. As Rachael's 5'2" frame slowly hauled lumber across the schoolyard, she realized that she wasn't volunteering in the most effective way. So, she spent the next six months looking for a better way to volunteer her time. Rachael was shocked at the lack of opportunities to volunteer her hard-earned skills and expertise. Frustrated by her inability to serve the greater good while juggling a demanding career, Rachael left the corporate world for the nonprofit one.
A couple years later, Rachael was tasked with the challenge to help start up the US affiliate of BRAC, one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the world. To accomplish this daunting task with limited staff and budget, Rachael had to think of inventive ways to use her resources. She turned to her network of friends and former colleagues, getting each to volunteer their time and expertise on short-term, discrete, and individual projects. By doing this, Rachael helped to free up the time of BRAC USA's full-time staff to raise millions of dollars in the organization's first year.
Fresh off her success with BRAC USA, Rachael founded Catchafire with the goal of making it easy for every professional to give their skills (without having to quit their well-paying jobs) and to make it easy for every nonprofit & social enterprise to leverage the goodwill of professionals.