Nine funders from the Great Lakes Bay Region (United Way of Midland County, Saginaw Community Foundation, United Way of Saginaw County, Midland Area Community Foundation, Bay Area Community Foundation, United Way of Bay County, Mt.Pleasant Area Community Foundation, United Way of Gratiot & Isabella Counties, and Greenleaf Trust), are thrilled to partner with Catchafire to bring time-sensitive, virtual support to more than 200 nonprofit organizations in the Great Lakes Bay region. Through this partnership, invited nonprofits will have access to skills-based volunteers on Catchafire’s virtual platform, where they can complete any number of operational or capacity-building projects together. This support will empower our nonprofit community to pivot within today’s workplace and environment to assure they are meeting the expectations and needs of the communities they serve. The Great Lakes Bay Region in particular has experienced multiple stressors in recent months, and Catchafire comes with tangible resources to help nonprofits respond and recover in the short term, and build resilience in the long term.
“At United Way, one of our main priorities is supporting non-profit excellence and capacity,” said Holly Miller, President and CEO of United Way of Midland County. “Catchafire is an incredible resource that harnesses the power of connection through skilled volunteers. It will open doors for nonprofits by bridging skills with needs. We are thrilled to partner with local funders and bring Catchafire to our community, which can widen capabilities and build capacity so our region can thrive.”
With this partnership, thirteen funders have now joined the One Michigan collaborative—a statewide program aimed at giving nonprofits in Michigan access to Catchafire’s on-demand support. Other grantmakers in the collaborative include founding member Michigan Health Endowment Fund (The Health Fund), Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, the Skillman Foundation, and Washtenaw Coordinated Funders, inclusive of the Office of Community & Economic Development, United Way of Washtenaw County, and St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor.
As part of One Michigan, nonprofits get access to Catchafire’s innovative virtual platform and programming to leverage a network of more than 100,000 skilled volunteers who will help pro bono with needs such as website development, online marketing, strategic planning, professional development, and other areas of critical work in fundraising, program delivery, human resources, marketing & communications, finance, and technology & operations.
Nonprofits post their immediate needs by choosing from over 140 projects, already outlined with steps and deliverables. Talented professionals apply to complete these tasks, and the organizations select a volunteer to do the work. Through these engagements, nonprofits get critical needs filled, and volunteers become deeply connected to the nonprofits’ missions. Over time, these connections can establish long-term relationships where pro bono professionals become repeat volunteers, social media advocates, donors, and potential board members.
Now more than ever, nonprofits leverage virtual support services like Catchafire to help with emergency response, recovery, and resiliency efforts. In Michigan alone, nonprofits with access to Catchafire completed 347 virtual pro bono projects on the platform since March 1, 2020. These projects have focused on fulfilling time-sensitive needs like transitioning to remote work; developing HR policies to keep staff safe and healthy; planning and organizing virtual fundraisers; better understanding the needs of beneficiaries; transitioning programs to a virtual environment; and receiving support from the CARES Act, among other programmatic, fundraising and operational needs. In the process, they’ve leveraged nearly 5,700 hours of volunteers’ time, saving more than $1,224,000.
While our Great Lakes Bay community may be struggling since the onset of COVID-19 and the recent flooding, Catchafire is now a resource that will help strengthen nonprofits in the region so we are prepared for the long road of recovery ahead.
To learn more about One Michigan or to learn how to participate as a grantmaker, please reach out to Ash Didwania, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Catchafire at firstname.lastname@example.org
About United Way of Midland County
United Way of Midland County brings our community together to improve lives. We amplify individual passion to take on our toughest challenges together. We don’t focus on a single issue because change is bigger than one organization or program. Together, we create new solutions to old problems and join with people from all walks of life to put those solutions into action.
Catchafire is a full service, on-demand solution designed to address the wide-ranging and complex needs of nonprofits by connecting them with talented pro bono professionals. Through Catchafire’s innovative web-based platform and network of more than 10 million professionals, nonprofits have access to people with expert skills who can help them with operational needs such as developing a website, building a strategic plan, designing a brochure, professional development, and other areas of critical work. Catchafire’s scalable and cost-effective model makes it possible for grantmakers to provide a full suite of capacity building services to any nonprofit that the foundation seeks to serve. Catchafire and its foundation partners are not only helping nonprofits improve their capacity, sustainability, and effectiveness, but also leveling the playing field by making capacity building available to any nonprofit or changemaker.