New collaboration

Helping hand for not-for-profits

Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) is the network of Jewish donors inspiring effective philanthropy and strengthening community.
Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) is the network of Jewish donors inspiring effective philanthropy and strengthening community.

The Australian Jewish Funders (AJF) recently gifted 100 Jewish not-for-profits across the country access to a full year of professional services from a worldwide network of skilled volunteers and advisers.

An organisation whose ultimate goal is to help members focus their philanthropic interests into real impact, AJF has announced a new partnership with Catchafire, a capacity building platform that works to match professionals looking to donate their time with not-for-profits who require their skills.

The volunteers offer assistance on a variety of projects, including fundraising, data management, business systems development, technical writing and graphic design.

Flying Fox, a Jewish organisation that provides social opportunities for young people living with special needs, was quick to register and even quicker to find a volunteer with the skills they required. CEO Dean Cohen, who was on the lookout for an expert public speaker to coach his team, told The AJN, “We have been given the opportunity to connect with diverse skilled volunteers, including individuals with a disability, who will shape the future of our organisation.”

CEO of JCA in NSW Alain Hasson, who has also embraced the opportunity, said, “I am very excited by the extraordinary ­value-add this will bring us through the ability to coordinate and implement projects we previously never had resourcing for.”

Since August 2020, 24 projects to the value of more than $120,000 in pro bono services have been provided to AJF through Catchafire’s virtual platform, attracting volunteers from across the globe.

Emma Holyfield, a video editor from the US who is now volunteering for AJF, said, “This particular cause speaks to me because I’m currently working towards converting to Judaism. I figure it’s not too early to participate in strengthening the Jewish community through volunteerism.”

AJF CEO Tracie Olcha, who saw not-for-profits “operating with decreased volunteer support … and dealing with event and fundraiser cancellations”, said the partnership “will allow our Jewish for-purpose sector to access much-needed professional services … allowing them to build capacity, continue to recover from this challenging year and thrive into the future”.

Catchafire CEO Rachael Chong, added, “With the support of AJF, we’re thrilled to help more Australian changemakers save time and money so they can focus on serving their communities.”

AJF spearheaded the partnership with Catchafire by forming a donor collaborative with the Besen Family Foundation, Erdi Foundation, Loti & Victor Smorgon Family Foundation, Spotlight Foundation, Hermann Golan Foundation, Stanley & Charmaine Roth Family Foundation and the Orah Fund. Shalom is a program partner.

Looking to the future, AJF will be launching the opportunity for Australians to pay it forward by volunteering their time and talents on Catcahfire.

For further information, contact Rebecca Adler at

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