(May 15, 2020) 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, DC 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.