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Apr 27th, 2022

How Volunteers Support Northeastern Nonprofits

It takes a village.


Gohar Chichian

With a large concentration of nonprofits, the East Coast is an ongoing bustle of activity as community members work to improve the quality of life for themselves and their neighbors. Nonprofits demonstrate grit, resilience, and dedication to their mission – but they need more support to fully thrive and execute their vision. Volunteers on Catchafire help boost the capacity and resources of nonprofit staff and, coupled with the generosity of local foundations, are able to sustain and build on their programming.

Our vision to strengthen nonprofits and communities is made possible with the support of partners like Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Philadelphia Foundation, and Tower Foundation, and volunteers like Pabitra who go above and beyond. The impact stories below demonstrate the strength of the Catchafire community.


JerseySTEM

Summit, New Jersey

Causes: Education, Gender Equity & Justice, Science & Technology

Foundation Partner: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

When JerseySTEM, a charity dedicated to bringing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (“STEM”) education to pre-teen and teenage girls and underserved children in New Jersey, needed to optimize its Mentors on-boarding process, it turned to Catchafire and to find someone willing and able to integrate two of their main platforms: Enboarder.com and Google Workspace. Being able to integrate these two great products would shave hours of needless manual work and allow them to dedicate time and resources where it matters, in the classroom teaching kids about STEM.

Mark Russo, a Director of Scientific Information Management at Bristol Myers Squibb by day and a serial volunteer during his free time answered the call:

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“It feels great to be able to use my professional skills to help JerseySTEM be more efficient in the work they do. It’s a small cost for me and a great value for the organization.”


Nabil Mouline, a JerseySTEM board member, added: “We are grateful to Mark, Catchafire, and our sponsor for the support they are providing us and we look forward to more skilled volunteers and sponsoring corporations to step up to the plate. It takes a village...” JerseySTEM has saved over $458,000 by working with volunteers on Catchafire!



Accessible Academics USA, Inc.

Buffalo, New York

Causes: Human Services, Education

Foundation Partner: Tower Foundation

Accessible Academics is a not-for-profit agency that advocates for and provides life, academic, and job skill support to people with special needs transitioning from high school, through college, to independence. Accessible Academics has saved over $101,000 on 37 projects ranging from Google Ads to marketing support to elevator pitch coaching and more.

Accessible Academics recently worked with a volunteer on Catchafire on a brochure update to reflect their new programming.

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“Catchafire has connected us with so many incredible, qualified volunteers. One great project that stands out was the design of all new tabling materials, including table top posters, table banner, and large back banner. It has helped us stand out at vendor events and stay true to our branding. That same graphic designer helped us with a new brochure.”

-Anne S., Chief Executive Officer



HERO

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Causes: Community & Economic Development, Education, Gender Equity & Justice

Foundation Partner: The Philadelphia Foundation

HERO empowers, educates, and equips youth to pursue a debt-free degree, pursue entrepreneurship, build strong families, and build their community. Since joining Catchafire in 2019, HERO has listed 36 projects that have saved over $129,000 in programming and operational costs. Volunteers on Catchafire have worked with HERO on various projects including organizational strategy, donor letters, finance, and brand messaging.

“We are currently working with a volunteer CPA who organized our financial statements to help secure funding to expand our programs. We also matched with an incredible accountant in The Bay Area who worked with our Development & Finance Team to update our organizational budget, which is necessary to submit to potential investors. In addition, volunteer executives have directly supported our Collective Leadership Team (10 college students) as panelists and guest speakers with our Black Youth 4 Justice & Young Entrepreneurs Club through virtual workshops.

Honestly, this sponsorship from The Philadelphia Foundation with Catchafire has been the saving grace of our organization since the beginning of the pandemic. It has been extremely challenging as HERO supports youth experiencing poverty and trauma on a daily basis. We were able to connect virtually with dynamic people who had the willingness to help and expertise to meet our unique needs. We actually have built relationships with volunteers who have joined our Board and Collective Team. Finally, our website was updated by Angela in LA, a recent graduate of UCLA, which was definitely a long term project! So grateful! THANK YOU!”

-Chiwishi A., Founder & Executive Director



Volunteer Spotlight


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Our top contributing volunteer from the East is Pabitra, a full-time volunteer copywriter from Bronxville, NY. Since signing up to volunteer with Catchafire in 2019, Pabitra has worked on 284 projects, saving nonprofits over $896,000!

What a talented copywriter!! Dug in and became an expert in the topic, and worked tremendously well with our graphic design volunteer to deliver a truly amazing, professional result. Thank you so much!! Hope we get the chance to work with you in the future!!”

- Elizabeth, Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, Healthy Communities Of The Capital Area



There’s many ways to get involved with Catchafire:

  • Sign up to volunteer and support critical programming for nonprofits.
  • If you’re a grantmaker and would like to learn more about equipping nonprofits in your community with responsive, high-quality operational support, let’s connect. Email us here.