In summer 2019 we launched Catalyst, a network of like-minded organisations and individuals motivated to improve best practice, and create tools and services to support the digital capability of charities and other civil society organisations. You can read more about our history and rationale here.
Right now our focus is on helping this sector respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our priorities are:
Identifying and collecting data from across our network, in order to understand the needs of civil society organisations and groups.
Mapping and engaging 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.
Click on the link to have a look at our strategy. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Catalyst is not a legal entity. It is a collaborative with an organised infrastructure underpinning it. It is incubated at CAST, a charity. Where it's necessary to sign contracts and employ staff to run Catalyst, CAST is the legal entity which does so.
Key elements in the network include:
Catalyst collaborators - That's the name we give to the wide range of individuals and organisations providing activities that align with the overall Catalyst vision (eg.: charities, PLCs and other orgs that have relevant experience that could support charities with their digital, design and data challenges).
Catalyst partners - These are a part of the collaborator group who have a legal contract to deliver services on behalf of the Catalyst network. Contracts will be tendered through the Open Projects process.
Catalyst core team - This is a lean team of dedicated staff, legally employed by CAST, coordinating the network. The core team deliver some services, but also offer a focal point for activity, and ensure legal governance and accountability in line with charity law, state aid rules, and the funding requirements of the founding funders.
The Catalyst network puts sharing and openness at the heart of its work. What we learn, we share freely with all members. Where data and information is being exchanged, we will take all necessary steps to ensure sharing is both responsible and ethical.
The processes for this will evolve over time. We’re balancing the need for pace with equitable and collective approaches, and we're developing a governance model which fits.