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(For Volunteers) A Guide to Applying for Projects & Calls
(For Volunteers) A Guide to Applying for Projects & Calls

Learn how to submit a compelling application for a nonprofit project or call.

Lauren avatar
Written by Lauren
Updated over a week ago

This is where your Catchafire journey starts! Take a look at our Find A Project page, browse opportunities, and read below for instructions on how to apply.

Search for Open Projects

On our Find A Project page, you can filter and search all of our open opportunities a few different ways:

Filter by the causes you're passionate about!

Filter by your area(s) of expertise!

Filter by the engagement length - fully scoped projects with a multi-week commitment or 1-hour phone calls.

You can also save these settings so they pre-populate next time you search for a project or call.

💡Tip: To update the automated filters for Skill and Cause area, visit your "Project Preferences" within your Settings.

Want to search for nonprofits near you? Select the "Show Nearby" option. Make sure you're logged in to your account and have completed your profile with the correct location and zip code. If you need to verify or edit your information, you can do so through your Settings.

1- Hour Calls vs. Fully Scoped Projects

Projects are fully scoped and range anywhere from 5 to 50 hours. Projects are great if you're ready to do something for a nonprofit - like design a logo or build a new Salesforce database.

Phone calls require just 1 hour of your time. Calls are great if you're willing to discuss something with a nonprofit - like brainstorming a name for a new program, or choosing the right platform to build their website on. They're a much smaller commitment than working on a full project.

Your Application

Once you've found an opportunity that speaks to you, get started by clicking on the project and selecting the blue "Apply Now" button.

1. Prerequisites

The first step of the application is to select whether or not you meet the prerequisites for the project. We highly recommend that you only apply for projects where you have the requested background. That said, if you're interested in an opportunity where you do not, make sure you elaborate on what else you bring to the table to account for that experience later in your application.

2. Your Profile 

This section will usually be automatically populated from the information you entered in your Personal Profile settings or when you registered for your account. If not, make sure you enter here and include a photo of yourself, short biography, and resume, which you can manually enter or choose to import from LinkedIn.

3. Your Qualifications 

For each project application, you'll need to answer two questions for the Organization:

1) why you’re qualified for the project and 2) why you’re drawn to their cause.

You only have 100 words for each response, so be concise! You can highlight similar projects you’ve completed in the past, current skills that you're utilizing in your day job, as well as connecting your experience to why you'd be a good fit for this particular Organization. Our partners are extremely mission-driven, so they love to hear about how your personal story and/or passion connects to their cause!

You can view examples on what to write by clicking on "Show example".

4. Final Review

Lastly, you'll also have the opportunity to upload or link to samples of relevant past work. Doing so will help provide Organizations with an additional sense of your skills, experience, and accomplishments.  

Before submitting your application you will have a chance to review all of your materials. Please note that language within your application that is inaccurate, defamatory, or abusive will be investigated.

Once everything looks correct, hit apply and your application will be sent to the nonprofit's team for review!

Next Steps

If the Organization is interested in working together after reading through your application, you will receive an email with instructions for either scheduling your 1-hour phone call, or a short interview for projects. You should hear back from the organization either way within about a week of applying!

To make the most out of your Catchafire application experience, we recommend the following:

  • Apply to multiple projects: We encourage you to apply to multiple projects for best chances of a match, but no more than 5 at one time so you have sufficient time to track their progress and schedule interviews.

    • Share relevant work samples if possible: If you've worked on a similar project before, we recommend including work samples as attachments in your project application. You can also send samples after applying to a project using your Catchafire message portal!

  • Retract any applications that no longer fit: If you can’t commit to the project any more, or you have found something that better aligns with your interests, you can always retract your application on your dashboard by clicking "Retract."

  • Monitor your dashboard: You will always receive both an email and dashboard notification when an action has been taken on your application. Make sure you track your progress so you don't miss any important news!

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