Celebrating the impact volunteers have on nonprofits in our region
By Felix Rodriguez, program associate, strong families, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
2020 was an incredibly hard year for a number of very obvious and very difficult reasons, and there were times when it seemed hard to find a glimmer of hope. Through these difficult times though, people have stepped up to support one another, to show what it means to be a community; whether it is packing and delivering meals, packing school bag kits, staffing support and crisis phone lines, the list goes on and the support can be unique and specific to the organization.
It is important, as this week is National Volunteer Week that we recognize the value that volunteers are for their communities and that was only reiterated in 2020. This past year also confirmed however that we most certainly live in a virtual world where entire projects, launches and campaigns can be, and were, accomplished between people across time zones and borders. If people can work from home, people can also volunteer from home and provide services and skillsets that go beyond the typical volunteer involvement but are just as rewarding.
In 2018, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta launched a partnership with Catchafire, an online platform that connects nonprofits with skilled volunteers on everything from retreat planning, membership strategy, graphic design projects to data collection planning, CRM training and proposal letter creation. Projects and services that otherwise nonprofits may not be able to afford. Projects range from one-hour phone calls to projects can that take several weeks to complete (see a full list of options here). The platform gives nonprofit organizations the ability to interview potential volunteers and choose the one who is the best fit for the organizations’ needs. Recently completed projects include: the design of an annual report for a family and children’s services organization that creatively showcases impact while also maintaining the confidentiality of families served; the creation of a mobile-friendly tool to aid a local organization’s immigrant client base communicate their needs and request services.
The Foundation is coming to the close of the third year of its partnership with Catchafire. Currently there are 277 local Atlanta-based nonprofit organizations registered on the platform sponsored by the Foundation. Collectively more than $1 million in project costs have been saved by these organization since July 2020 and an estimated over $3.5 million has been saved by local organizations since the start of the partnership. To learn more about the Foundation’s partnership with Catchafire please visit our website.
Interested volunteers who would like to learn or would like to sign up to become part of the local volunteer base to support their local community can do so here. Nonprofit organizations that would like to indicate their interest in utilizing the platform should complete the online interest form.