Rachael Chong

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Rachael Chong CatchafireBlog.org
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Passion, determination, and a selfless desire to serve mankind summarize the life and career of Rachael Chong, a young professional who gave up her chance to rise up the corporate ladder so she could help others and make a greater impact in the world. As the founder of “Catchafire,” one of today’s most successful volunteering sites, Rachael is a powerful inspiration to a young generation of professionals who are looking to make their mark in history.


Why Rachael Chong is Extraordinary

Rachael Chong is a young philanthropist and entrepreneur who is best known as the founder of “Catchafire,” a non-profit organization which connects young professionals to various organizations and causes so they can volunteer their skills. Rachael has been active in philanthropy throughout her career, and also significant in the development of several non-profit organizations such as BRAC USA, the Duke Microfinance Club and FINCA International.

As a genuine philanthropist, Rachael has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work. She is a recipient of the “Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award,” the “Changing the Game, No Apologies Award” by the AWNY, and the “Duke University Start-Up Challenge Social Enterprise Track Award.” She has also been included in the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company.

Ever since she started her career, Rachael has been “radical” in her view of helping people, which is why she entered the world of microfinance and volunteering. For her, there is something about volunteering that brings great fulfilment; perhaps that she is able to use her skills for the betterment of the community. She said, when asked why volunteering is good:

“Because everyone wins! For the social good organizations we serve, it opens up a whole world of access to services they could never afford ordinarily or know where to find. Organizations can spend a lot of time and resources trying to figure out how to do something themselves when they don’t have the staffing or money for. When you bring in a pro bono professional, you’re guaranteeing that the job will be done efficiently, and it frees up the organization’s time and resources to devote to other important tasks. It’s also great for the professional. Pro bono looks great on a resume. And of course, giving back to a cause you really care about feels great, too!”

Like all young professionals, Rachael has experienced the difficulty of having to bootstrap in order to grow her organization. But, unlike others who were weary of the concept, Rachael saw it as an opportunity to become better at managing philanthropic activities:

“Bootstrapping is completely to your advantage. Operating under limited resources forces you to be laser focused simply because you can’t afford to make careless mistakes. You don’t have enough cash to be stupid. This is a great exercise. If you can bootstrap your way to the next phase of your business, you will build a confidence that will allow you to believe that you can take on anything. You’ll need this irrational level of confidence to take it all the way, so don’t be shy – build your confidence.”

Rachael Chong is an amazing inspiration for young people who want to do something good and significant, but are unsure where to start. She is the epitomy of someone who truly wants to help people, and she uses her skills and talents to encourage others to follow her:

“Prioritize your options and then build fast and iterate. You want to test, learn, fail and iterate as fast as possible. Start-ups are highly resource constrained, but they also have the ability to be extremely nimble. Use this nimbleness to your advantage to constantly innovate, but also keep your eye on the prize and be guided by your mission.”

Top Reasons why Rachael Chong is Extraordinary

  1. Rachael Chong is the founder and leader of “Catchafire,” one of the largest volunteering services in the world.
  2. She was significant in the establishment and development of numerous non-profit organizations, including BRAC USA, Duke Microfinance Club and FINCA International.
  3. She has been named as one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company.
  4. She is a recipient of the prestigious “Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award.”
  5. She is a fellow of well-known institutions such as the NYC Venture Fellows and West Coast Village Capital.
  6. She served as a Judge at the Global Social Venture Competition in 2011 and 2012.
  7. She gave up a promising career in the world of banking to focus on microfinance, in which she believed she could be of better service to people.
  8. She was a recipient of AWNY’s “Changing the Game, No Apologies Award” in 2013.
  9. She won the “Summer 2010 Huffington Post’s Innovators Series.”
  10. She won the “Duke University Start-Up Challenge Social Enterprise Track” in 2009.

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