Open Projects

Welcome to Catalyst Open Projects - the space where digital agencies and experts can find, apply for and follow projects helping civil society tackle urgent challenges.

What is Catalyst Open Projects? ▼

An open process managed by CAST to find the best data, design and digital experts to work on projects that matter. We post tenders from across the Catalyst network, from both the core Catalyst team and on behalf of charities funded by Catalyst. 

How does it work? ▼

  1. Catalyst project tenders will be published on this page. Each project card shows the client, the work, the budget, skills needed and deadline for applications. Full details including reporting requirements and the assessment criteria and team are in the brief, linked on each card
  2. Agencies browse project tenders, explore any relevant briefs and bring questions and comments to one of our weekly partner Q&A sessions, or by emailing the Catalyst point person named in the brief
  3. Apply through our application portal, the Catalyst Grants and Support Hub
  4. The assessment team selects the best placed team for the work and notifies both successful and unsuccessful applicants
  5. Contracts are signed and the work begins!
  6. The Catalyst team will be on hand to support partners and clients to overcome challenges, work together effectively and deliver impact. We’ll also support with the reporting requirements on our system, Ochre.

Who can apply? ▼

We are currently inviting agencies to support the delivery of the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response. See more details about this fund below. 

For this, we are looking for digital partners that meet the following criteria:

  • Are aligned with the values in the Catalyst Charter
  • Are incorporated
  • Have worked with at least two nonprofits
  • Have up to date accounts and be financially viable long term
  • Are insured (Professional Indemnity)
  • Have the skills and experience necessary
  • Have the capacity/availability to engage.

For more detail on our assessment and requirements, please read our Handbook.

About the Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response ▼

Catalyst and The National Lottery Community Fund COVID-19 Digital Response is one of eight expert partnerships, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, to ensure almost £59m of National Lottery funding reaches those communities most vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19. The move is part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s COVID-19 emergency response and the partnerships’ collective expertise and networks will ensure funding is distributed to even more communities. The partnerships will focus on supporting organisations that work with those communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

On behalf of the Catalyst network, CAST is receiving £4.95 million from The National Lottery Community Fund, which will be used to support the digital, data and design needs of civil society organisations as they respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

This includes around £3.2 million of expert support, plus around £1.75 million in direct grants that will enable charities to make best use of the support available. The expert support will help organisations to build their digital, data and design capabilities, and help them deliver essential services via digital channels so they can continue to address urgent issues and serve the most vulnerable.

Missed our Q&A webinars? ▼

If you were not able to join the Q&A webinars we ran for digital partners looking to deliver support to charities through the Open Projects process, you can now find the presentation slides and recordings here:

  • Discovery Learning Programme  - delivering your own programme Q&A - slides and recording
  • Discovery Learning Programme - adding value to a Design Hop Q&A - slides and recording. 
  • Network Learning Partner Q&A - recording

Development of a Service Pattern Library to support civil society

CAST (on behalf of the Catalyst network)


Build on existing preliminary work from the Service Recipes Alpha to yield a navigable and well documented Service Pattern Library for civic society organisations to use strategically and operationally.


£20,000 inclusive of VAT
View briefApply

Service Recipes and Service Patterns (Digital Teams Support)

CAST (on behalf of the Catalyst network)


Work with Catalyst projects to define and publish Service Patterns used within those projects and ensure that, where possible, solutions are developed with reuse in mind.


£60,000 inclusive of VAT
View briefApply

Service Recipes (Editorial and Publishing)

CAST (on behalf of the Catalyst network)


Liaise with charities, the communications team and other organisations to collate, edit, publish and promote service recipes from charities that will encourage to reuse documented services and approaches.


£60,000 inclusive of VAT
View briefApply

Watch this space for more briefs very soon, or sign up for updates.

We will be looking for partner organisations to deliver a Beta of our Service Recipes product.

In particular:

  • how we scale the number of organisations providing and using recipes;
  • developing the taxonomy of service patterns which underpin the recipes;
  • and working with digital partners and charities to ensure recipes and reuse are a core part of the open outputs.

In October and November we will also be publishing tens of Development briefs from charities that have a validated problem area to explore.