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Uniting forces to build strong communities

Four_forces__-_Cover_1.width-940Our communities are strongest when the forces tasked with change–philanthropy, business, government, and volunteers–work together. When united, we shift resources and power back to communities.

These four sectors exist as forces because they have the voice, money, flexibility, and responsibility to take action. However, because they primarily operate independently of one another, there is seldom space for collective impact. As part of Catchafire, we bring the four forces together to make great things happen and create lasting change in our communities. Side by side, we strive to do good.

For over a decade, we have unified forces for impact – What does this collaboration look like in communities on a daily basis?

Over $250 million dollars of nonprofit value created, and over 12,000 nonprofits supported: Through collaborative investment in the nonprofit community, staff can focus on their mission and the issues that matter most.

Over 1 million volunteer hours donated: Volunteers from around the world come together on Catchafire to lend their expertise, build relationships with nonprofits, and give back to causes and cities close to their heart.

A network of 130+ grantmakers and companies in the Catchafire community: For grantmakers, they’re able to go beyond the grant, have a better understanding of nonprofit needs, and build relationships with underserved nonprofits. Companies mobilize their employees to join the platform as volunteers, driving social impact and employee engagement.


“We’ve got to work as one machine working towards a shared set of positive societal outcomes. We get to bring those four forces together.”

Matt Miszewski
CEO, Catchafire


The stories below are examples of what happens when we come together to build stronger communities.


Companies encourage their employees to find their cause

The MassMutual Foundation activates connections and untapped opportunities within communities so that all families can build their financial capability and thrive.

The MassMutual Foundation partnered with Catchafire to connect their talented employees with nonprofits. It gives MassMutual employees the opportunity to lend their expertise and give back to the community. Since 2021, MassMutual employees have donated nearly 800 volunteer hours and created almost $240,000 in value for nonprofits.

Companies partner with Catchafire to drive social impact through employee volunteer programs that:

  • Provide events and team volunteering opportunities
  • Invest in employee engagement, professional development, and skill building
  • Meet CSR goals with real-time reporting
  • Elevate company brand with media-ready impact stories


“Making a difference in the community means more than providing financial assistance through corporate philanthropy. The intellectual capital resident within MassMutual and companies all across the country represents a highly valuable asset that can help nonprofits in significant ways. Catchafire provides us with the means to connect our very talented and generous employees with specialized volunteer opportunities.”

Dennis Duquette
President, MassMutual Foundation


In Detroit, our work with The Skillman Foundation is supporting the next generation.


With over 22,000 nonprofits of all sizes, Detroit is home to a dedicated nonprofit community. The Skillman Foundation wanted to give capacity building support to organizations providing wraparound services to Detroit youth. They partnered with us in 2020 to strengthen the nonprofit ecosystem in Detroit and provide extra resources for their partners. Now in year four, the partnership has helped create over $1.4 million in value for Detroit nonprofits.

In the first year of their partnership, The Skillman Foundation opted for a unique approach to supporting Detroit nonprofits. Rather than merely providing its partners with access to resources on Catchafire, it widened its net of access and targeted additional youth-serving organizations in Detroit that did not fall within the Foundation's traditional funding guidelines. Catchafire was able to amplify the Foundation's equity strategy by providing it with a recommended list of youth-focused and resource constrained organizations–ones that The Skillman Foundation would otherwise not be able to give to.

The extension of these resources to a wider range of nonprofit partners was a game changer for the organizations who may have previously been identified as not grant ready. Four years later, these organizations are all still benefiting from access to Catchafire as a source of capacity support, and the Foundation has seen nearly double its ROI. The Skillman Foundation has become a regional catalyst for Detroit, contributing to a state-wide approach and improving the nonprofit ecosystem throughout Michigan.

Partnering with Catchafire allows foundations to:

  • Take their grant dollars further
  • Provide flexible, year-round support for grantees
  • Build relationships with underserved nonprofits
  • Understand nonprofit needs and trends


“Too often, organizations working closest to an issue receive the least support. In Detroit, that inequity gets compounded by race. Catchafire is linking Detroit’s Black leaders and leaders of color to pro-bono resources so they can strengthen their organizations without having to sacrifice service to the community.”

Terry Whitfield
Program Officer, The Skillman Foundation


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