The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is currently hiring for a Program Officer. For best consideration, please apply by June 30, 2023. See attached job posting for additional details.
By Tobi Printz-Platnick and Rick Moyers
Most grant makers would agree, at least in principle, that helping nonprofits build organizational capacity is an important role for philanthropy. Some foundations offer grants specifically for this purpose, providing dedicated resources to enable grantees to add staff, hire consultants, and strengthen internal systems.
At the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, we recognize the value of these programs, but we also believe every foundation — whether or not it has a formal program offering technical assistance or grant dollars for capacity building or organizational effectiveness — has a variety of options to help grantees strengthen their infrastructure.
Visit the Chronicle of Philanthropy to read more.
WASHINGTON, DC — The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is extending and expanding its partnership with Catchafire, a leading national platform that helps connect professionals who want to donate their time with nonprofits that need their help.
Since 2019, the Cafritz Foundation has underwritten the cost of access to Catchafire’s platform for many of its 400+ grantees, which are nonprofit organizations working to meet community needs in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In past years, eligibility to participate in Catchafire with Cafritz support was limited based on organizational size. Beginning in May 2023, all organizations that receive Cafritz Foundation grant funding will also be eligible for support through Catchafire.
During the first four years of the partnership, DC-area nonprofits completed more than $2.9 million in projects through Catchafire, representing 15,000 volunteer hours and more than 880 projects. Catchafire volunteers offer assistance on a wide variety of projects, including fundraising, data management, business systems development, translation, technical writing and graphic design. All the volunteers are skilled professionals who apply to work on a nonprofit’s project and are matched if both parties agree to work together.
“Almost all nonprofits have a wide variety of capacity-building and technical assistance needs but often don’t have the resources to hire consultants or access to professional networks to find skilled professionals who want to volunteer,” says Foundation Associate Director Tobi Printz-Platnick, who manages the partnership with Catchafire. “Catchafire provides best-in-class tools to help nonprofits fill that gap. After seeing how Catchafire volunteers helped nonprofits navigate the challenges of the pandemic, we recognized organizations of all sizes have unmet capacity-building needs. We are delighted to be able to expand this partnership to all the nonprofits we fund.”
“As we enter into our fifth year of partnership with the Cafritz Foundation, I am filled with gratitude for the incredible impact we have achieved together,” says Catchafire CEO Matt Miszewski. “Our collaboration has transformed countless lives in the DC area all through the simple of act of helping nonprofits and volunteers connect online. I am especially proud of the growth we have experienced over the years, both in terms of the number of organizations we have supported and the depth of our impact.”
Washington, DC Arts Forward Fund, a partnership between the Greater Washington Community Foundation, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and 10 other foundations and individual donors, is proud to announce new grants totaling nearly $1.7 million to 89 arts and culture organizations in the DC region.
Ten Local Funders Also Supporting New Funding Round in July
Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has awarded $1 million to the Greater Washington Community Foundation to support Arts Forward Fund, an equity-focused funder collaborative formed in 2020 by local funders to help arts and culture organizations in the DC region to stabilize, adapt, and thrive through the COVID-19 pandemic. The gift to Arts Forward Fund is one of 289 grants totaling $2.7 billion that Scott announced through a June 15 blog post on Medium.
WASHINGTON, DC — The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation announced that it is extending its partnership with Catchafire for a third year to provide hundreds of DC-area nonprofits access to services from skilled volunteers at no cost. Since 2019, the Cafritz Foundation has given nonprofits access to Catchafire’s platform, connecting them to the professional help they need to build capacity.
During the first two years of the partnership, DC-area nonprofits completed more than $1.4 million in projects through their Catchafire memberships, representing more than 7,338 volunteer hours and over 430 projects. In the last year especially, Catchafire’s virtual volunteers helped nonprofits meet critical needs as they responded to multiple crises.
“Throughout the pandemic, nonprofits have struggled with challenges such as operating with decreased volunteer support, shifting program delivery and dealing with event and fundraiser cancellations. Some have experienced significant changes in demand, while others have reassessed how work should be done going forward,” said Tobi Printz-Platnick. “Extending our partnership with Catchafire allows hundreds of nonprofits to access needed professional services at no cost, which helps them build capacity, continue to recover from this challenging year and better serve their communities.”
Catchafire helps to strengthen nonprofits by matching professionals who want to donate their time with organizations that need their help. Through the partnership with The Cafritz Foundation, 250 nonprofits will have access to skills-based volunteers through Catchafire’s virtual platform. This support empowers nonprofits to build capacity and strengthen their infrastructure.
“We’re excited to continue our work with DC area nonprofits to help them fulfill unmet needs,” said Catchafire CEO Rachael Chong. “With the support of the Cafritz Foundation, we’re able to help DC area nonprofits access expert professional services, saving them time and money so they can focus on serving their communities.”
Catchafire volunteers offer assistance on a wide variety of projects, including fundraising, data management, business systems development, translation, technical writing and graphic design. All the volunteers are skilled professionals who apply to work on a nonprofit’s project and are matched if both parties agree to work together. Local nonprofit organizations are reaping the rewards.
DC Special Education Cooperative, which works to ensure that all students with disabilities in the District of Columbia receive a rigorous, individualized and inclusive education preparing them for post-secondary success, has used Catchafire to improve internal systems.
“Catchafire support has helped our small nonprofit to address urgent matters and dig into projects that had been left on the back burner. We have been so impressed with the level of expertise of Catchafire volunteers. Their skill and dedication has freed up the Co-op team to focus on our mission. This is a game-changing service for organizations like us,” said Julie Camerata, Executive Director at the DC Special Education Cooperative.
Washington, D.C. — Recognizing the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on arts and culture organizations throughout the region, the Greater Washington Community Foundation has joined with The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and eight other grantmakers to launch the Arts Forward Fund, a million-dollar initiative to provide critical support to help arts and culture organizations in the DC region to stabilize, adapt, and thrive despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Washington, D.C. — The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is thrilled to be partnering with Catchafire once again to bring time-sensitive capacity building support to nonprofits in the greater DC area. In the coming year, the Foundation will be increasing the number of nonprofits — from 120 to 250— that will have access to Catchafire’s virtual menu of projects, each with specific deliverables and project steps, to help them with their operational and capacity building needs.
Through this collaboration, 250 grantees will have access to skilled volunteers, empowering them to further their missions in the arts and humanities, community services, education, health and the environment.
“The Foundation is thrilled to offer the Catchafire platform to more of our grantees with smaller staff. Catchafire’s arrangement of volunteer support can help strengthen nonprofits’ infrastructure and build capacity while allowing teams to focus on achieving their organization’s programmatic goals,” says Tobi Printz-Platnick, Associate Director.
In our first year of partnership, the program saved nonprofits more than $450,000 by leveraging 2,168 hours from skill-based volunteers around the country on 135 projects. “It’s our first try with Catchafire and I can honestly say that in 20+ years of fundraising for small nonprofits, it’s the first time I’ve felt like something was really easy and helpful in getting the job done,” said Wendy B., at Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding, Inc., after matching with design volunteer Mary Kathleen who created a suite of event materials.
Through Catchafire’s innovative web-based platform and programming, nonprofits can advertise opportunities to a network of more than 10 million volunteers (pro-bono professionals) to help them with operational needs such as developing a website, building a strategic plan, designing a brochure, providing professional development and other areas of critical work.
Nonprofits post their immediate needs choosing from over 140 projects, already outlined with steps and deliverables. Talented professionals apply to complete these tasks. Organizations then select a professional to do the work. Through these engagements, volunteers become deeply connected to the mission of these nonprofits, often creating relationships that last long after the assignment is complete.
We are seeing that now, more than ever, nonprofits are leveraging Catchafire to help them with their COVID-19 related needs. Grantees like Common Good City Farm, an urban farm in DC, is engaging skills-based volunteers through Catchafire who are taking on the daily administrative work like writing thank you letters, budgeting, and copywriting, so the Common Good City Farm team can prioritize designing new programming that adheres to social distancing, and fundraising to make that possible.
Grantees that are selected to be part of this program will be learning more about how to take advantage of this resource in the coming weeks.
About The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation is the largest private, independent, local foundation focused exclusively on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Foundation is the legacy of Morris Cafritz, one of Washington’s leading commercial and residential builders from the early 1920’s to the mid-60’s. An outstanding civic leader known for his generosity, Morris Cafritz established the Foundation in 1948. His wife, Gwendolyn, one of Washington’s leading hostesses in the post-World War II years, was President of the Foundation from 1964 to 1988. In December 1988, Calvin Cafritz was elected to the Board of Directors and since February 1989, has served as Board Chairman. In July 1993, he was elected President and CEO of the Foundation.
Since 1970, when electronic record keeping was initiated, awards totaling more than $507 million have been granted. In the last 10 years, $194 million has been awarded to more than 985 organizations in the areas of Community Services, Arts and Humanities, Education, Health and the Environment. Since Mr. Cafritz’s leadership began, the Foundation has awarded more than $454 million to 10,433 projects.
The Foundation is committed to improving the quality of life for residents of the Washington, D.C. area.
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.