Written by Melissa Noyes, Cofounder & Purveyor of all things web-related at Catalyst
The idea for Catalyst X-Change, Inc. came from one simple question: If you could do anything (for a job), what would it be?
Kristin and I spent a lot of time discussing this question and came up with many different answers. But we kept coming back to two things: 1. I want to start my own nonprofit, and 2. this nonprofit would help young people and young professionals to change the world.
We’re dreaming big, right? Exactly. We’re Millenials, it’s what we do. And it’s what we do really, really well.
So out of these two big ideas came Catalyst X-Change, Inc. We wanted to offer two things to Generations X, Y, and Z (approximately ages 13-40, stay tuned for more information on generational issues). First, we want to provide an interactive, online space where young people can connect to world change opportunities that match what they are passionate about; and second, we want to encourage nonprofit engagement with young people that includes recruitment, retention, and building strong future leaders.
We feel that Generations X, Y, and Z are connected by a common belief that the world can change and by a strong desire to make the world a better place. Generations X, Y, and Z don’t live to work, instead they work to live and want to fill the space outside of work with meaninful experiences. There’s a lot of buzz about “getting involved”, but this is sometimes easier said than done. We want to provide a place that’s a one-stop shop for information on current events and relevant issues, educational resources/info on trainings we offer, and local events that support world change activities, as well as a place where young people can search for volunteer opportunities that fit their interests and connect what they are passioniate about to tangible activites. Don’t find what you need? We will even provide mentorship and assistance with starting a totally unique project. Our website (www.catalystxchange.org) is currently under construction, and should be up and running by September 1, so keep checking back for updates!
Lots of young professionals are choosing to make a difference through employment at a nonprofit organization. Kristin and I have both taken this path and we know (as do most young professionals in the nonprofit field) that this can be a very rewarding and a very frustrating experience. We want to make sure that nonprofits are helping to foster the needs of the younger generations. This means raising awareness about generational issues in the workplace and how each generation’s strengths and challenges can be utilized to provide a supportive work environment. We aim to “bridge the gap” between the generations so that young people will continue to seek out nonprofit employment, and stick around awhile once they’ve found it.
Stay tuned for more info on Catalyst! We are so excited to be a part of making Indianapolis a better place to live and work!