An image of Catalyst's services page with 4 people standing carrying gardening tools for digital flowers.

Our services are always growing. Here’s an up-to-date and easy reference guide to what they are, organised according to your needs. There might be something useful here that you didn’t know about.

We talk a lot about user needs and user-centred design at Catalyst. Our services page is organised according to what you might want to do e.g. 'Find a digital expert for your project' and what the service does e.g. 'Research from the network'.

This blog attempts to organise it by 'user need' - and offers additional resources that might also meet that need.

And it includes updates where there is something new and worth knowing about a service.

We've also numbered the needs to make the page easier to scroll around. Because many of the needs start with the same word: 'help'.

1. Help with any digital problem or challenge

🤩 You want: Digital Candle - 1 hour of free advice from a digital expert matched to your needs. Possibility of further advice if your expert is willing.

⏰ Update: Candle has more experts (499) available than charities asking for help. So it's about to launch a new marketing campaign.

You might also consider:

2. Help to learn about digital things that interest you

🤩 You want DigiShift or The Curve - free 90 minute Zoom calls on different topics (DigiShift), and workshops (The Curve) - book on those that interest you, or replay from DigiShift’s back catalogue.

⏰ Update: The Curve’s next event is on how to record video and audio using only your smartphone. DigiShift now has 54 recordings on nearly every digital subject charities need to know about. 

You might also consider Catalyst’s resource library: 100s of resources, organised by topic.

3. Inspiration for what is possible

🤩 You want: Shared Digital Guides - to get an insight into what others have done. You can copy any recipe. Searchable.

⏰ Update: Guides have a new format that's faster to use. And search function has been upgraded. Try it and see what you find.

You might also consider:

4. Help to kick start a project or learn digital service design skills

🤩 You want: Design Hops - an online, experiential course taking you through the first few weeks of a digital project while teaching you basic concepts and practices. 

⏰ Update: Design Hops run periodically so it’s good to fill in the sign up form to let the team know you’re interested and need a Hop!

You might also consider Catalyst resource library’s digital service design basics and next steps sections - to read about service design theory and practice. And you may like to register for the free Design Thinking course - a five-part email course providing an introduction to mindset and methods of design thinking.

5. Guidance on how to do digital service things yourself

🤩 You want: Shared Digital Guides - dozens of step-by-step Guides to doing useful things with digital tools, developed by nonprofits. Ready for you to copy. Searchable.

You might also consider Catalyst’s resource library - because it has over 100 practical resources.

6. Technical help with a digital project

🤩 You want: Dovetail - a directory of digital agencies, organisations and freelancers experienced in working with charities and available to hire.

⏰ Update: Dovetail now lets you compare and contrast agencies, helps you build a shortlist and write a clear brief. More new features will be here in July.

7. Help with data challenges

🤩 You want: Data Collective - a place for data people to gather and support each other.

⏰ Update: alive and kicking, with a new guide to decolonisation in evaluation.

You might also consider:

  • Dovetail - to find organisations and freelancers to work with on data challenges
  • Digital Candle - for 1 hour of free advice - ask for a data expert
  • There's a session on Data coming up with The Curve; register or listen to the recording after the event.

8. Help with finding a digital trustee

🤩 You want: Digital Trustees - an experimental project that tries to connect you with digital experts who want to become charity trustees.

⏰ Update:  they’ve just run their second matchmaking event. Big experiment. Good attendance. More digital folk than charities at the last one!

9. Help with thinking about digital safeguarding

🤩 You want DigiSafe: a step-by-step digital safeguarding guide, designed just for charities and other non-profits.

⏰ Update: DigiSafe is a static product so there’s not much to report. It’s all still very relevant and there’s nothing better than it for learning how to implement safeguarding best practice into your digital engagement with your users.

You might also consider:

10. Help to stay in the know about digital things

🤩 You want the Catalyst newsletter. Fortnightly news, resources and events from within the network and outside. Always at least six items, with summaries to help you decide whether to find out more or not. 

⏰ Update: not much changes with the newsletter - though look out for a repeat of last summer's survey this July, so we can ensure it's delivering everything you need!

You might also consider taking a look at the Research section of the Catalyst website - and the new Charity Digital Skills Report when it is released in July 2023.

11. Insight into what happens backstage at Catalyst

🤩 You want Catalyst’s Medium publication. Reflections, updates and weeknotes from the team. 

⏰ Update: we’ve started a small project to help staff to write smaller weeknotes, more often.

You might also consider the Catalyst website’s News section.

12. Help to connect with digital people working with charities, when you are one yourself

🤩 You want Agencies for Good: a community space for agencies, freelancers and other tech folk working with charities.

⏰ Update: There are now regular community events and discussion. And briefs and jobs shared daily.

You might also consider the Data Collective and the Tech for Good Organisers network.

Need a different type of help than what’s listed here?

Let us know about it and we’ll see who we can connect you to.

Our Catalyst network - what we do

Support & services

Our free services help you make the right decisions and find the right support to make digital happen.

Learn what other non-profits are doing

39+ organisations share 50+ Guides to how they use digital tools to run their services. Visit Shared Digital Guides.

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What’s on our radar #18?

Ellie Hale
Ellie Hale