For the past several months, Catalyst has been up in the air. What I mean by that is we’ve been going through a lot of reflection, evaluation, and strategizing about how we can best carry out our mission of helping you to connect, collaborate, and share resources.
We’ve had to come to terms with some hard realities: (1) we haven’t been financially sustainable; and (2) we haven’t seen the kind of engagement from our community that would indicate we’re having meaningful impact.
Don’t get me wrong – over the past eight years, we’ve literally reached tens of thousands of people through our numerous projects and programs with hundreds of volunteers. But the reality remains the same.
The month of April marks Catalyst’s birthday . . .
. . . completing our 8th year of service to our communities. In our first 3 years (2006-09), we built a lot of connections in the community and served as a hub of information to many of our partners, friends, and fellow change-makers. That was kind of like “Catalyst 1.0” – our first generation of work to help connect our community. In the 5 years that followed (2009-14), our second generation of work, “Catalyst 2.0,” was marked with our support of grassroots emerging leaders. During that time, we adopted (aka "fiscally sponsored") 41 groups to operate as Catalyst programs, in addition to creating dozens of our own collaborative projects, events, trainings, and activities. It’s been an exciting time! We hope that we’ve had a lasting positive impression.
Now we begin our 9th year of service. “Catalyst 3.0” . . .
. . . a new generation of our work in the community to create programs that inspire empathy and understanding between people. There is no shortage of opportunities to get involved through so many of our friends and fellow change-makers in the community who operate nonprofit programs.
But how do we motivate people to get involved?
How do we motivate people to care?
How do we motivate people to respond?
This is a key need that addresses a root cause of the disconnectedness and apathy we see. This is the challenge that we want to undertake in this new generation of work. Empathy and understanding leads to familiarity and trust, and that will help us all to connect, collaborate, and share resources!
With this new focus, we decided to scale back our operations . . .
. . . by discontinuing our fiscal sponsorship program so that we can focus on becoming organizationally and financially sustainable. We are creating new infrastructure called “Team Catalyst” who will facilitate just a handful of projects while engaging with people in a new way.
We’ve also upgraded the way we communicate and engage with you.
For starters, we have this brand new web site! Please be sure to browse around and share it.
We are also switching away from our current email service (Vertical Response) over to a new email communications platform called ExactTarget. Rather than exporting all of our email contacts that we’ve collected over the years, we prefer you to have the choice of staying connected with us instead of you receiving emails you may not want.
This means that if you would like to follow us, you’ll need to migrate over with us. You can do that by clicking the link below to fill out our new email subscriber form. By doing this, in addition to receiving general Catalyst emails, you will also have the opportunity to opt-in to some specific lists so that you can get shorter, timely, and more relevant messages from us.
It’s been an honor to serve you over these past 8 years. I hope that you will stick with us during this Catalyst 3.0 phase so that we can journey together towards seeing our cities experience a greater sense of community, collaboration, and citizenship through meaningful relationships!
Catalyst Network of Communities