“Service is the rent we pay for living.” – Marian Wright Edelman
This quote was shared with us by Jayme Knight (MBA
’09), who just completed a Membership Strategy project for Meals on Wheels of Durham
using the skills-based matching site Catchafire
. With the help of Catchafire, Jayme is using her business skills and her passion for giving back to make a real impact in the community.
Catchafire matches skilled professionals with nonprofits on short-term projects
aimed to assist with capacity building in areas such as Accounting & Finance, Design, Fundraising, Human Resources, Marketing, Multimedia, PR & Communications, Social Media, Strategy and Technology. They are working with a number of local organizations (Campus Y
) and have 2,500 organizations registered on their site nationwide. For Catchafire’s Founder and CEO, Rachael Chong
, the Triangle also has a soft spot in her heart – it was at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy
where she wrote the Catchafire business plan as her Master’s thesis.
Since their official North Carolina launch in May 2012 they’ve been embraced by the remarkable social good community in the Triangle region, facilitated the matches of talented professionals with remarkable organizations, signed on for a Battle of the Bands
, and been introduced to the delights of homemade pimento cheese.
They have already drawn local professional Jayme Knight to give back pro bono to the Triangle community. Here is what she shared when asked about her experience doing a Membership Strategy project for Meals on Wheels of Durham
Why did you choose to do the Membership Strategy project for Meals on Wheels of Durham?
It was the perfect opportunity for me to contribute my analytic and strategic planning skills to a cause I care about — food insecurity. I have donated money and time to various organizations tackling hunger issues, but I had never contributed my professional skills to these causes nor had I been able to make a far reaching contribution in a way that helped organizations scale their efforts. I believed this project would allow me to do that, while also allowing me to learn about how food insecurity issues specifically impact seniors in my community.
How is your project making an impact for Meals on Wheels of Durham?
I was able to research the issues, trends, and disparities regarding senior hunger; gather demographic data for senior community; and quantify the number of seniors impacted by food insecurity in Durham. This knowledge, combined with psychographic data from current members, allowed me to recommend a short term strategic plan for growing the Meals on Wheels of Durham member base 30% by the end of 2013.
Besides being a pro bono superstar, what else do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I visit art galleries, festivals, and performances. At times, I tend to look for sources of creative and artistic inspiration online and through digital media.
What’s a quote that sums up your experience with Catchafire?
I believe it was Marian Wright Edelman who first said, “Service is the rent we pay for living.” This has always inspired my attitude and motivation to serve. Catchafire’s matching platform has broken down many barriers to serving and has included an element of productivity that benefits professional volunteers and social good organizations. I believe this will attract more professionals to volunteerism and ultimately make “paying rent” a bit more innovative and impactful.
You can join Jayme and the ranks of other Catchafire pro bono professionals by giving pro bono on Catchafire:
(1) Register on www.catchafire.org
(2) Apply to a project once it’s emailed to you, or visit the listing of open projects.
Examples of local projects you can apply to today:
KidZNotes – Corporate Donor Relations Strategy
KidZNotes transforms the lives of underserved children through classical, orchestra music training beginning in early childhood to combat poverty, strengthen inner-city education, and foster positive decision-making to unlock the world.
Ronald McDonald House of Durham – Promotional Video
The Ronald McDonald House of Durham allows families to focus on the health and well being of their critically ill children by keeping families together who are in need of a community of hope, comfort and empathy.
ChallengeWave – Press Kit & Distribution
ChallengeWave helps reduce obesity through improvement in personal habits. ChallengeWave breaks down the lifelong topic of health into short term, fun elements that can be worked on today.
El Centro Hispano – Market Analysis
El Centro Hispano is dedicated to strengthening the Hispanic / Latino community and improving the quality of life of Hispanic / Latino residents in Durham, Carrboro, Chapel Hill and surrounding areas.
is the largest online pro bono provider in the United States with 2,500 registered nonprofits and more than 10,000 professionals from companies such as Google, McKinsey, American Express, MTV and other great companies who find out about Catchafire through their press in New York Times, Fast Company, NPR, The Economist and other features. Learn more: www.catchafire.org