“There was one day every year when all the bankers would pile into a bus, and we’d go build a house,” Chong laughs. “But I’m 5’2”, 100lbs — building a house doesn’t exactly feel like my forte.”
The point being: What can a group of studious bankers bring to a construction site? (Other than an optimized budget for the snacks table, of course.) Wouldn’t it be more impactful if they could volunteer their skills — financial modeling, pitch decks — instead?
“It just seemed like there was this incredible opportunity lost,” she remembers. “That charities would be better served if people could donate not only their time, but also what they’re good at.”
Think of Catchafire, which Chong founded in 2010, like online dating for nonprofits. Charities post projects on which they’re seeking companionship — or help — and volunteers are matched wherever most impactful. Sample pairings mights include a marketing expert donating social media strategy, a graphic designer gifting a new website or an accountant lending a pro bono hand with yearend taxes. Simple, yes. But powerful.