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Driving $1 million in impact with skills-based volunteering

Particularly over the last few years, volunteering has evolved beyond traditional hearts and hands roles to harness the unique skills and expertise of individuals for a greater impact. Skills-based volunteering offers a powerful way to contribute meaningfully to the causes you care about, while creating substantial value for nonprofits. By leveraging your professional talents in areas like marketing, finance, and IT, you can help organizations tackle complex challenges, optimize their operations, and amplify their program’s reach - all from your home or desk. This not only strengthens communities but also translates into millions of dollars in impact, empowering nonprofits to achieve their missions more effectively.

Catchafire’s skills-based volunteer program offers virtual and in-person opportunities for individuals to give back. This includes:
  • Microvolunteering - supporting nonprofits in 15 minutes or less
  • One hour consultation calls
  • Full-length projects
  • Nonprofit board service 

The benefits of skills-based volunteering are many, and we’ve outlined a few tips to ensure a successful volunteer experience on Catchafire. 

Tips for skills-based volunteer opportunities

Whether you’re a seasoned volunteer or just starting your community service journey, we’re here to help you make the most out of your volunteer experience on Catchafire. With these tips, you can maximize your volunteer experience, build meaningful connections, and make a significant impact in the communities you serve. 

1. Determine how often you want to volunteer

How often do you want to apply to projects and check your dashboard? Some of our volunteers have added a recurring, weekly calendar reminder to search for new projects. This way, they have time regularly carved out towards applying for and working on new volunteer projects for nonprofits. Create filters based on the causes, nonprofits, and project types you’re interested in volunteering for. 

2. Reflect on your community service goals

How is the goal of being a volunteer aligned with your schedule? Consider your work and personal life commitments, remembering that volunteering can be fulfilling in both aspects - by growing in-demand skills and offering an opportunity to center meaningful projects in your day-to-day life.

3. Create a plan 

If it’s helpful, build on your community service goals by creating a monthly or quarterly plan on how you will allocate your time. Block off time in your schedule and, if it’s available through your employer, tap into paid time off allotted for volunteering.

Volunteer highlight: Meet Brian

Driving $1 million in impact with skills-based volunteering - 1-min

If you need more inspiration on where your community service can lead, meet Brian, one of our biggest skills-based volunteering advocates. Since joining Catchafire in 2017, Brian has worked on over 160 projects and is quickly approaching $1 million in nonprofit impact! 


"Since 2017, my experience as a pro bono consultant with Catchafire has been nothing short of transformative. Engaging in over 3,200 hours of consulting across 166 projects, I have not only generated an impact valued at over $933,000 but also vastly enhanced my professional skills.

Catchafire has provided me with the unique opportunity to connect with diverse nonprofits worldwide, enriching my consulting portfolio and broadening my industry expertise. I am enthusiastic about surpassing the $1,000,000 impact milestone and continuing to contribute meaningfully to organizations in need.”

Brian, Catchafire volunteer


In a few sentences, tell us more about yourself and your background.

I am a retired Navy Officer and current nonprofit impact consultant. Over the past ten years, I have supported nearly 200 paid and pro bono nonprofit clients. I focus on boosting the performance of boards of directors in advocacy, governance, and strategy.

Why and how did you begin volunteering on Catchafire?

After a lifetime of service, I wanted to continue serving and giving back to my community and beyond. Catchafire offered the perfect opportunity to have an immediate impact on small nonprofits in areas of my expertise. One of the best decisions ever!


Driving $1 million in impact with skills-based volunteering - 2-min


What has been your most impactful or memorable experience on Catchafire?

There have been many, though most are related to successful board assessment projects. Those projects make an incredible difference in board member awareness and their ability to address areas needing improvement, as well as conduct meaningful strategic planning.

What has been your biggest takeaway from your experience on Catchafire? How has this impacted/influenced your life and career goals?

Catchafire participation has been a wonderful complement to my paid consulting business. I definitely learn something valuable through every pro bono client, which I believe makes me a more effective consultant overall.

How do you feel your volunteer work has made a difference for nonprofits or for those they serve?

It is incredibly satisfying to complete projects and hear from the clients about the impact these projects have! Also, I often follow up several months after project completion and almost always hear that the project recommendations have been adopted and proven beneficial!

What advice would you give to volunteers about starting their first Catchafire project? 

Listen to your client, ask great questions, understand their objectives, then deliver a wonderful product! 

Volunteer on Catchafire

Take advantage of Catchafire’s skills-based volunteer software by signing up to lend your talent and expertise. We offer a variety of virtual and in-person projects that can fit your schedule, interests, and skills. Signing up and applying to a project takes five minutes – get started today.


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