Posted your project? Now it's time to review your volunteer applications rolling in! Our guide below shares tips and tricks for how to make sure you get the perfect match.

Accessing Applications

Every time a Volunteer applies to one of your projects or 1-hour consultation calls, you'll receive an email notification from Applications will remain on your Catchafire dashboard until you've taken action on them.

Tip: If you're not getting email notifications, make sure emails coming from aren't going to your Spam folder!

To get started, first visit your dashboard and select Projects to access your listings.

Catchafire Project Dashboard

Then, find the project/application you'd like to view, and select Review Application to learn more about the Volunteer and read everything they've submitted for consideration.

Example of a Catchafire Project Application from Volunteer Marissa F.

Evaluating Applications 

You should review volunteer applications carefully to ensure you're selecting the best possible Volunteer for your needs. Here's what to look out for:

1. Prerequisites

Example of volunteer meeting application prerequisites

When applying for projects, Volunteers must indicate whether or not they meet any required prerequisites. If they don't meet the prerequisites, examine other parts of their application to see how they'd make up for a potential gap in experience.

2. Application Questions

Example of Volunteer Answers to application questions

For every project application, Volunteers must answer two questions:

  • How are you qualified to help this organization?

  • Why is this opportunity exciting?

The best Volunteers will have well-crafted, thoughtful answers which indicate they're passionate about your cause, and are equipped to complete the job.

3. Sample Work

Example of Link to Volunteer Portfolio Site

If applicable, Volunteers can attach samples of past work for your review. These are especially important for projects involving graphic design, writing, and web development. If your Volunteer hasn't provided a work sample, but you'd like to see one, feel free to message them using the Messages feature!

4. Bio & Professional Experience

Example of Volunteer Bio and Experience

Just like a resume, scan through the Volunteer's biography and experience to understand their professional background, and how it aligns with your needs.

5. Testimonials

Example of Volunteer Testimonial

If the Volunteer has worked on Catchafire projects before, you'll see that indicated at the bottom of the application, as well as be able to view any testimonials that fellow nonprofits have submitted about them. While you shouldn't consider prior Catchafire experience a necessary requirement, it's certainly a plus!

Responding to Applications

Schedule Interview vs. Pass on Marissa F.

Okay, you might have found the one - now what? If you're excited and want to learn more about a Volunteer after browsing their application, select "Schedule Interview" to find a time for a call.

On the other hand, if you've reviewed their application and don't think they're the right fit, select "Pass", and they'll be alerted with a friendly notice from our team to keep looking for other volunteer opportunities.

Tip: For projects, you can interview more than one Volunteer before making a final decision. For 1-hour phone consultations, you can also choose to speak with multiple Volunteers by selecting the "Yes, Connect More" button after sending times to one Volunteer. Otherwise, select "No, I'm Good."

Tip: We recommend responding to your volunteer applications within 2 business days if possible. Failure to respond to applications within a timely manner may result in your project being canceled.

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