Feb 12th, 2023
Pro Bono Resources Save Grantmakers Time & Money
A world of impact is just one call away.
“There are several projects and priorities competing for my attention. I have so many questions and don’t know where to begin. I need strategic advice - how do I get started?”
At Catchafire, we hear this scenario from nonprofits all the time. Staff are overextended, under-resourced, and faced with an endless pipeline of projects on their plate. Nonprofits face roadblocks to getting the resources they need, including:
- Having a sense of organizational needs, but lacking the time or technical expertise to work on projects
- Budget constraints, impacting the ability to source help through consultants or additional staff
- Lacking the time and knowledge to vet and manage volunteers
Similarly, grantmakers are inundated with grantee requests, armed with the task of meeting the time-sensitive needs of their communities and ensuring they are good stewards of the financial resources entrusted to them to give out. As nonprofits face an increased demand in services alongside limitations in grant funding, grantmakers are looking for a modern approach to meeting community needs. Grantmakers recognize that supporting nonprofits goes beyond financial support and the traditional grant cycle – they need an equitable way to support nonprofits year-round.
In 2022 alone, Catchafire helped nonprofits save over $37 million dollars. Since 2010, the savings equate to over $222 million total.
For over a decade, Catchafire has worked with 130+ foundation partners to empower local nonprofits and modernize capacity building approaches. When grantmakers provide nonprofits with access to our platform, nonprofits can focus fully on their mission. Nonprofit staff are given the power to choose capacity building projects that will best help them achieve their missions, and we give them the human capital to get it done. We provide a comprehensive suite of support, training, and education to help nonprofits assess their capacity building needs and vet pro bono consultants. Grantmakers are able to accelerate their community impact.
How one hour calls support nonprofits
It’s an offering unlike any other – within one hour, nonprofits get quick answers to big problems that affect organizational sustainability. With Catchafire’s call feature, nonprofits are able to schedule unlimited calls year-round, curated to the topic of their choice, with experts on-hand to offer quick pro-bono consulting. By connecting with skilled volunteers, nonprofits receive expert support to strengthen organizational strategy, marketing and brand identity, finance and IT infrastructure, and more.
Consultation calls have a clear, measurable impact, saving nonprofits thousands of dollars.
"It is our go to. If we don’t know how to answer a question, someone at Catchafire can help guide us. I was able to call and see somebody who could handle the issues we were struggling with and on top of that, he was willing to consult with me later if I needed additional help...We’ve just had a wonderful experience with Catchafire."
Executive Director, The Family Youth Institute
Listen to Sameera's story here.
Calls save philanthropy thousands of dollars in consulting expenses
Nonprofits are in a constant flux of activity, with growing to-do lists and a need to fix more things than they have time for. Hiring a consultant can be expensive, and is oftentimes seen as a risky investment to make when budgets are already tight. By turning to one-hour consultation calls, nonprofits have a better assessment of their organizational needs, priorities, and challenges.
Speaking to someone who is an expert, whether in the nonprofit industry or in another field, allows nonprofit staff to brainstorm and bounce ideas with someone who can offer a new perspective to their organizational problems. With one hour calls:
- Volunteers on Catchafire are able to provide strategic advice and insight on what kinds of projects nonprofits need. By signing up for a website audit call, nonprofits can receive advice on what their website needs are. This then helps them follow up by posting a long-term website update project to work more extensively with a website professional.
- Nonprofits are able to have a pulse on the changing nonprofit landscape and stay up to date on the latest technology and donor trends. This leads to self-sufficiency as nonprofit employees are able to learn, brainstorm with others, receive critical feedback, and grow as professionals.
- Small, grassroots nonprofits with limited staff receive the critical support they need. On average, intensely resource constrained organizations use Catchafire the most.
Calls get nonprofits grant-ready
Funders want nonprofits to make transformational change. They want to award grants that lead to community improvements, tie to programmatic work, and have a return on their investment.
Calls and high-level organizational planning doesn’t fall into a traditional grant area - yet, this is crucial to strengthening an organization to put them in a better position to apply for grants.
Innovative grantmakers that partner with Catchafire are able to more quickly meet the needs of their grantees, straying away from the traditional ‘one size fits all’ grantmaking approach. Through Catchafire, grantmakers provide capacity building resources on a rolling basis compared to a traditional grant cycle.
Take Saahas for Cause - as a new grassroots organization, Saahas for Cause struggled to receive grant funding and faced a number of rejections.
While the Archstone Foundation rejected Saahas for Cause’s grant application, they granted them access to Catchafire. Archstone Foundation was able to extend the reach of their grant dollars, giving Saahas for Cause the capacity support it needed to get off the ground. After almost a year and a half on the platform, the organization has posted over 40 projects and calls, saving over $160,000 in consulting expenses.
As Saahas for Cause approached the end of their first year with Catchafire, they applied for a grant again. Not only did Saahas for Cause receive a grant from the Archstone Foundation, but they also received another year of access to Catchafire!
"I realize now that I would rather take Catchafire over a grant. The projects that I have gotten done have resulted in much more value in comparison to that grant. The Archstone Foundation denying me that grant was a blessing in disguise. I was able to get so many things done...Catchafire helped me find things I didn’t know I needed."
Founding Executive Director, Saahas for Cause
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Proven long-term impact
One hour calls serve as exposure to an on-demand advisory board, allowing nonprofits to tap into the talent and expertise of professionals that they can rely on. One call can teach valuable lessons that can change and influence the way nonprofits do work on a daily basis.
Through one hour calls, nonprofits and volunteers build long-term relationships. Many volunteers keep in touch with the nonprofit to address follow up questions or concerns, and go on to work on additional calls and projects with the nonprofit. Volunteers often become repeat volunteers, donors, advisors, or board members.
Nonprofit employees are able to receive critical coaching and feedback from volunteers on topics like leadership coaching or organizational strategy. For many nonprofits, professional development budgets are minimal or nonexistent; Catchafire allows staff to free up costs spent on professional development, allowing nonprofits to deepen their impact and serve more people.
"Calls not only save you money, not only save you time, but it gives you a better perspective of those you serve. It gives you a greater outcome of your mission and your drive to do the work that you do."
Executive Director, Destined for Greatness Mentoring
Listen to Shadora's story here.
Long-term impact of calls
Organization and volunteer responses are based on 11,140 call completion surveys.
Benefits reported by organizations:
- Increased effectiveness as a professional
- Saved time
- Helped raise funds
- Saved money
- Expanded network
- Enhanced ability to serve beneficiaries
89% of organizations and volunteers plan to connect after their first call. Nonprofits rate Catchafire volunteers highly at 9.2/10.
From one hour call to board member
Evette is a Learning Delivery Manager at American Express, with over 20 years of experience in curriculum design and organizational development. Evette’s volunteer journey with InnerConnected started with an organizational strategy call. She met with Megan, a first-time executive director, and provided advice on how she could restructure the organization and set them up for success.
Evette continued to provide project support to Megan and InnerConnected, saving them over $16,000. And it doesn’t stop there – Evette has joined InnerConnected’s board of directors, serving as their board president. Evette’s story exemplifies how one call can trickle down to impact so many, positively impacting grantmakers, nonprofits, and volunteers alike.
About Catchafire’s call feature
Catchafire provides over 150 project and call templates for time-sensitive nonprofit needs. These user-friendly project templates were built by our nonprofit experts with the goal of saving nonprofit time and money. Nonprofits receive high-quality deliverables while working with and learning from skilled volunteer professionals.
Our one-hour consultation calls allow nonprofits to receive immediate support from highly-skilled volunteers on specific questions and needs. Call topics include critical areas such as:
- Data analysis
- Event management
- Human resources
- Marketing and communications
- Public relations
- Social media
- Strategic planning
- Talent recruitment
- Tech systems
- Visual branding and brand messaging
Nonprofits can choose from these designed call templates and questions, or write their own. Within 48 hours, they’re connected with an expert.
Support your community with Catchafire
With Catchafire, you can:
- Support nonprofits on a rolling basis, year-round: Traditionally, nonprofits wait months for capacity building grant cycles. Nonprofits on Catchafire get matched with a skilled professional in an average of 5 days to help fulfill project needs and receive strategic support.
- Build organizational sustainability and resiliency: Quickly help nonprofits with current administrative needs, research, and projects, provide professional development opportunities for nonprofit staff, and build resiliency for nonprofits to grow and sustain their programming.
- Open the gates to small, grassroots nonprofits: Typically, larger organizations are selected for grants. Offering Catchafire provides a solution for nonprofits who were not selected to receive a grant; investing in the capacity of smaller, newer organizations helps them get their feet off the ground and become grant-ready in the future. Identify and support new nonprofits that are leading critical work in your community.
If you’re a grantmaker and want to learn more about equipping nonprofits in your community with responsive, high-quality operational support, let’s connect.
Email us here.
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