By Sydney Hulebak, Georgia Social Impact Collaborative
Many investors are beginning to consider social outcomes as they weigh needs for financial return, which is driving a transformational shift in how we invest and address social challenges in our communities.
But while many regions have a robust impact ecosystem, Georgia lags behind. In 2016, a group of local leaders founded Georgia Social Impact Collaborative (GSIC) to seed an impact investing ecosystem. GSIC seeks to support and grow the impact investing ecosystem across Georgia and make our state a leader in socially-minded finance. However, we lack capacity. GSIC is an organization without a formal staff. In order to build out an effective and functioning ecosystem, we have needed and have been looking for ways to add support.
Enter Catchafire. Catchafire exists to equip nonprofits with the expertise they need to not only maintain their operations, but also to grow and scale for greater impact. Through the generosity of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, GSIC was one of 350 nonprofits in metro Atlanta to access a Catchafire account in July 2019.
Catchafire acts as a liaison between nonprofits and experts willing to donate their time to help nonprofits address their needs. Catchafire’s virtual volunteers are experts in fields ranging from finance to marketing to information technology.
For a collaborative like GSIC that focuses on education and storytelling, brand and reach are two key components of our mission that need more definition. We decided to leverage Catchafire to help us refine our messaging and growth objectives. We began by seeking guidance on marketing strategy through a one-hour phone call with a California-based marketing professional.
We were matched with an expert who gave us wonderful advice and offered to help develop a marketing strategy through follow-up actions. Those actions have included developing a social media strategy, a storytelling and content strategy and an event strategy.
Since then, we have engaged with a local marketing professional to help us develop brand guidelines and we’re scheduling time to speak with a website developer to discuss how to improve our website.
Each of the Catchafire volunteers we have worked with have been professional, interested in our work and most importantly prompt in meeting deadlines.
As a low-budget, volunteer-led collaborative, we rely on the generosity of other volunteers to accomplish daily tasks that other groups have full-time staff employed to achieve. Catchafire has helped professionalize our volunteer-based organization and increase capacity. Not to mention that services rendered through Catchafire have so far saved us a total of $5,761 — funding that can now go towards further building out an impact investing ecosystem across Georgia.
Learn more about the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta’s partnership with Catchafire here.
Learn more about GSIC here.