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Sep 7th, 2021

Catchafire’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Read about our commitment to racial equity.


Katherine Brady

Catchafire acknowledges and embraces the paradox of our business model, which operates within systems rooted in oppression (capitalism and philanthropy) while working to address one of the greatest inequities caused by those systems -- access to talent.

As we take intentional steps towards improving what we do and how we work in a way that fights systems of oppression, we want to share our journey with our community in order to hold ourselves accountable and to open ourselves up to receiving feedback along the way. We recognize that this work is difficult and uncharted for us, and as such we expect to make mistakes along the way. As a growth minded organization, our orientation to this essential work is to be thoughtful but expedient (to not become stuck by trying to be perfect), and to stay curious and to learn from our mistakes.

Catchafire’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion

Catchafire is on a mission to make it possible for every changemaker and nonprofit to get access to pro bono talent.

Catchafire’s commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the world and in our workplace is critical to our mission, our vision of an empathetic, inclusive, and loving world, and our existence as a business and human organization.

To realize the full potential impact of Catchafire in support of nonprofits, changemakers, volunteers, foundations and corporations and their work with marginalized and underserved communities, it is imperative that:

  • We continue to scale the number of nonprofits and changemakers we are able to serve. Our mission and our business model are bound together and we believe that as one becomes stronger so does that other. As we build a sustainably profitable organization, we will be able to expand and deepen our impact through a DEI lens externally and internally, as we will have more resources to invest in both.
  • We have a diverse team that not only represents the communities we seek to partner with but also has a nuanced understanding of the racial, ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability and other dimensions that characterize and affect these communities.
  • We build a diverse and representative team to ensure we can evolve and deliver our product and services through a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and racial equity lens. We need to be aware of our biases and our knowledge of how systems of oppression work to inform what we create to effectively support our changemaker and volunteer communities in alignment with our commitment to DEI.
  • We do the work internally to create a workplace where every person on our global team has equal access to opportunity (no matter their starting place), and where every person on our global team feels a sense of belonging and feels welcome and empowered to be their unique selves.

Catchafire’s commitment to racial equity

Catchafire acknowledges the pervasive inequities faced by people of color, across all other aspects of their identity, and posit that racial bias and systemic racism is a root factor in determining inequitable outcomes across many aspects of human life including the communities in which we serve. Because of this, Catchafire is committed to using a racial equity lens when we set company goals, work with clients, and establish and nurture ways of working and operating internally.

We also understand and do not expect that all of our clients or partners will share our perspective or focus their efforts on racial equity, but regardless of where others stand, we commit to being transparent about our own understanding of what drives inequity and disparities and we will engage in curious and open dialogue to align goals where we can and part ways when necessary.

We also recognize that our work at Catchafire is inherently implicated in the systems that have advanced and perpetuated systemic racial inequality; as we are part of the system of philanthropy and the system of capitalism, which is inextricably linked to white supremacist culture.

Because of this complex reality, at Catchafire, we know that we cannot effectively serve our changemaker community (many of who face and have faced racism for generations) and achieve our mission without: (1) honestly and directly facing our own relationship with race and conscious and unconscious biases; and (2) actively working to extricate these biases from inside ourselves and our workplace. As such, we assert that it is not sufficient that we only speak out against racism, but we must do the hard work of identifying its tendrils in our own hearts and culture and then doing what it takes to root it out.

Hear more about our internal journey:

https://www.philanthropyohio.org/news/initial-steps-catchafire-s-approach-racially-equitable-capacity-building

https://www.philanthropyohio.org/news/how-catchafire-launched-its-internal-dei-work-better-serve-community