What is Catalyst?
Catalyst is a charitable initiative to increase the resilience and responsiveness of UK civil society, through digital, design and data. We’re an alliance of civil society organisations, funders, and digital agencies.
To ensure public benefit and good governance, Catalyst is incubated by CAST, a registered charity.
Before the COVID-19 crisis hit, we were involved in building collaborative networks, improving best practice, and creating tools and services to support the sector’s digital capability.
What are you doing now?
In the last couple of weeks, we’ve been helping charities understand how to use digital technology to keep serving their beneficiaries in a time of crisis. We're now collectively responding to the scale of the crisis through coordinated action, including providing direct support, creating tools and resources, and offering practical advice.
Our priorities right now are:
- Identifying and collating multiple sources of data from a diverse network to create a deeper understanding of the greatest needs of civil society organisations and groups.
- Openly mapping the capacity of the digital sector in order to match it to the priority needs.
- Mobilising a collective response to needs identified, including informing how funding, technology and support can be rapidly made available
How are you funded?
We’re grant funded by a collective of major funders: City Bridge Trust, Comic Relief, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Esmée Fairbairn foundation, the National Lottery Community Fund, and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
How are decisions made?
Decisions at Catalyst are made in collaboration with the members of the collective, and we prioritise openness, honesty, and fairness in our approach.
The processes for this will evolve over time - we’re balancing the need for pace, with equitable and collective approaches. The governance model will also go through a consequence scanning process.
We’re ultimately governed by CAST’s Governing Documents [registered charity number 1161998] which ensures we act in the public interest. As part of charity commission rules all of the spend will be documented in charity accounts and available for public view, and all grants will be published to 360 Giving.