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Catchafire.org

Non-Profit Organization Project Network


Tiny
Published 03/27/2012 and rated Ratingstars4 4 out of 5 stars
by Shel Gatto
What can you use the app for?

Catchafire.org is a platform that brings together skilled professionals and the non-profit organizations that need their help. Non-profits and social enterprises can sign up for an account to gain access to a large community of professionals willing to donate their time and skills. Professionals can explore project listings to see which fit their abilities and available time. A list of organizations is also offered on the site so users can search by name rather than project. Each project listing includes detailed information. A description is included along with the total savings for the organization (how much they would have to pay someone to do the job) and Pro Bono time (the amount of time the project should take to complete).

Catchafire.org screenshot
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What is the history and popularity of the app?

Catchafire.org is based in New York City. The website was intended to improve the volunteer experience and encourage more professionals to offer up their skills. The application offers many benefits, although some reviewers felt it didn’t offer anything new and innovative. It is very similar to other volunteer-focused websites, which have not been terribly successful. The website appears on a number of other online resources, primarily as a suggestion for those interested in offering their time and skills to an organization.

What are the differences to other apps?

Catchafire.org brings volunteers and organizations together. This isn’t a new concept and there aren’t really any completely innovative tools utilized by the application. There are a few smaller details that are helpful, such as the organization savings and estimated hours listed with each project. The site also charges organizations to access its pool of professionals. This may seem counterproductive at first, but it does ensure that each organization is serious about the projects it posts so volunteers are not wasting their time.

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How does the web app look and feel to use?

The Catchafire.org website has a rather plain, simple design that is complemented by the colorful spiral logo. The visual elements work harmoniously by adding hints of color against an otherwise pale setting. Images of people appear on the homepage along with sleek counters and images for popular projects. The project pages are also well-organized and contain no clutter. The user can easily explore projects, learn what’s involved and make a decision in minimal time.

How does the registration process work?

New users can volunteer their time by signing up for a Catchafire.org account. To get started, the user can click the blue “Sign Up” link in the upper, right hand corner of the homepage. The form on the following page can be found under a narrow blue “Login with Facebook” button. Users who choose the form are asked to supply an email address, first and last name, password, zip code and who they are (either a volunteer or a nonprofit or social enterprise). After completing the Captcha code at the bottom of the form, the user is asked to provide information about their skills and the causes they feel strongly about.

What does it cost to use the application?

Volunteers can sign up for an account for free. Catchafire.org does not charge for individuals to volunteer their skills and time, of course. The organizations that are looking for assistance are charged a fee. The site’s FAQ page explains that fees are charged based on the size of the organization. There are no further details regarding where fees start or how high they go. Organizations who are interested in learning more can sign up for an account. A Catchafire.org representative will contact them to discuss he cost of using the website.

Who would you recommend the application to?

Catchafire.org is a helpful resource for individuals who have skills they want to use to help a cause or group. Non-profit organizations and social enterprises can sign up and start reaching out to professionals who can complete their projects. Cost is most likely a concern for many organizations and may make or break the application for many. It is hard to say if the price is ideal for the level of service received until an organization receives an individual quote.

  • Volunteers can list their services for free
  • Available projects are presented on the site
  • Organization lists help users find causes they like
  • Access is free for all volunteers
  • Detailed project pages help volunteers choose opportunities


Catchafire.org video

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