Someone reading a recipe

We introduce you to some new partners working on our Service Recipes

Early in the autumn, we published some invitations to tender for the Beta of Service Recipes - one of the resources we offer here at Catalyst.

To refresh your memory, a Service Recipe is a piece of content describing a service, who it’s for and what it does, in addition to giving step-by-step instructions on how to create a similar service yourself. 

We worked with agencies Snook and FutureGov to complete a successful Alpha stage, where our earliest risky assumptions were tested, such as “will charities share their work?” We wanted to move forward into a Beta version where we could expand on the work and try to answer next risky assumptions (for example “how can we measure reuse?”).

We invited tenders for three briefs.

Editorial and publishing

The first was to continue the Editorial and Publishing work from the Alpha and to grow the collection of recipes. This tender was won by Charity Digital. They will be accepting and soliciting suggestions for new recipes, and if you have a service you’d like to donate a recipe for, please get in touch with Chris Hall at

An underlying taxonomy

The second is for work on the underlying taxonomy of Recipes. A taxonomy is a structured way of describing a system and the taxonomy we’re talking about here has three parts. 

  1. The type of service user or beneficiary being supported
  2. The life event(s) which result in them needing support 
  3. The service patterns involved

This piece of work will be delivered by Reply. We want to build a taxonomy that charities choose to use to describe their work and so we’d love to get you involved. You can offer your support to

Support to help the charities we support to create recipes

The final brief is slightly different as it relates directly to the organisations who are going through our Development programme. This is a programme in which charities are working with digital partners to develop new digital products and services, and is part of the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response fund.

All outputs from the programme - whether that’s code, content, insights or anything else - will be available for all to use under an open license. 

However we know that publishing things openly and with permission for use is not enough to drive reuse on its own. The work delivered under this brief will help organisations and digital partners have the confidence to work in the open, publish what they create and learn openly and have all of this supported by a recipe which explains the work and why it may be useful for others to reuse. This piece of work is being delivered by our OWL team (Open Working Lineup) which comprises Third Sector Lab, Crocstar, Working with Joe and Matt McStravick.

We’ll keep you updated as we go, working openly and sharing openly where we can. Please do help us to deliver the content you need with Service Recipes. If you have a suggestion on an area you need a recipe for, or if you have a recipe to share and especially if you’ve used a recipe, please do get in touch at

Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

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.

colorful ice-cream sticks composition

What’s on our radar #18?

Ellie Hale
Ellie Hale