Funders cohort to provide professional services to build capacity for nonprofits as they face the pandemic and mounting economic challenges
SAN ANTONIO — Social Venture Partners San Antonio and a team of funders have launched an online skills-based volunteer tool, Catchafire that addresses urgent needs in area nonprofits. They announced October 6th that 101 San Antonio organizations have received one year sponsorships to use the virtual consulting and capacity building tool.
Catchafire strengthens nonprofits by matching professionals who want to donate their time with organizations that need their skills. These are professionals in marketing, IT, HR, strategic planning, management, fundraising and finance. This kind of help, which is provided at no cost to the nonprofit, can fill critical skills gaps or add bandwidth amid staff reductions and the operations changes created by the pandemic.
Social Venture Partners is able to provide this resource thanks to the vision and support of donors to SVP, plus five funders including the San Antonio Area Foundation, LISC San Antonio, H.E. Butt Foundation, DOCUmation and Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.
“We understand that together, we need to reinforce San Antonio nonprofits through capacity-building support during this difficult time,” said SVPSA Executive Director Becky Bridges Dinnin.
“Today, nonprofits face higher demand for services, barriers to service delivery and tight budgets due to the pandemic,” Dinnin added. “SVPSA already invests in nonprofits with donations and skilled volunteers. Teaming up with Catchafire gives us an additional tool for nonprofits to access professional services, so their dollars can be spent on programs.”
“We are excited to offer this platform to the organizations participating in our Capacity Building Program. These nonprofits have spent a year building a robust capacity building plan. Access to Catchafire volunteers will allow them stay the course with their plans at a time when budgets are taking a major hit, ” said Perri Rosheger, Vice President of Community Engagement & Communications at H.E.Butt Foundation.
What nonprofits are saying
“This is perfectly timed as we are stuck on how to get our library and resources working on an online platform using an app,” said Jill Culinan, Executive Director, ProjectBrave, a nonprofit sponsored by SVPSA. “This gives us access to someone who can help; what a generous offer!”
“DOCUmation truly understands the need nonprofits have for project based volunteers. Catchafire is the support we need during this stressful economic time. Thank you, DOCUmation, for supporting SA Youth,” said Asia Ciaravino, Executive Director.
“We’re excited to work with San Antonio nonprofits to help them fulfill unmet needs,” said Catchafire Founder and CEO Rachael Chong. “Our innovative platform allows nonprofits to save time, money and resources by connecting them with professionally skilled volunteers. We’ve helped nonprofits across the country access professional service to work on more than 20,000 projects — saving them millions of dollars.”
“The Area Foundation is invested in the success of Catch a Fire, its volunteers and the nonprofits they will serve,” said Marjie French, CEO of the San Antonio Area Foundation. “Catchafire is an exciting volunteer platform that will serve as a game-changer for hundreds of nonprofits in the region.”
“Giving nonprofits access to an innovative tool that prioritizes equitable access to talent such as Catchafire provides them with needed relief and allows them to focus on their programs and services that help support resilient families and build thriving communities,” said Jaime Wesolowski, President & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. “We are proud to join alongside such wonderful partners to make this resource available and deliver a positive impact for communities across South Texas.”
Catchafire volunteers offer assistance on a virtual platform on a wide variety of projects, including fundraising, data management, business systems development, technical writing and graphic design. All of the volunteers are skilled professionals that are matched with area nonprofits.
“San Antonio is facing difficult challenges and our community nonprofits are struggling to meet growing demand for service and, in some cases, fighting to survive,” said Dinnin. “Catchafire’s virtual volunteers have the professional skills to help nonprofits not only survive but also to build capacity so they can better serve their communities.”
Dinnin speaks from experience. She is a Catchafire volunteer herself. After volunteering and seeing how well the platform works, she worked to make Catchafire available to San Antonio nonprofits. SVPSA joins Catchafire’s “One Texas” collaboration of 250 organizations across central and rural Texas that have been working with Catchafire since January 2020.
SVPSA is a network of local partners, including C-suite leaders, retirees, parents, community leaders and philanthropists, who are donating and engaging with nonprofits so their impact grows.