Process for open projects
Digital partners are invited to apply in response to open briefs published by Catalyst.

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 (called briefs) from across the Catalyst network, from both the core Catalyst team and on behalf of charities funded by Catalyst.

How does it work?

  1. 1.
    Catalyst briefs will be published on the Open Projects 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. 2.
    You browse the briefs and can ask any questions by emailing the respective point person for each brief who will then add answers in the 'Bidders Questions' (or equivalent Q&A google doc) section of the brief.
  3. 3.
    If you have a question about a specific Programme, please check the Q&A slide decks linked in the introductory text of each different Programme below. If you can't find the information you're looking for, you can email the Catalyst Team at [email protected] who will respond within 2 working days.
  4. 4.
    You will need to apply through our online application portal, the Catalyst Grants and Support Hub. Before you start completing the application form, you will be asked to complete an eligibility quiz. Please take note of the brief number and title before you start completing the online application. Please note: you will not be asked to submit a pitch deck.
  5. 5.
    Our assessment team then selects the best placed team for the work and notifies both successful and unsuccessful applicants.
  6. 6.
    Contracts are signed and the work begins!
  7. 7.
    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.

There are 2 main types of open briefs that will be published:

1. A brief which has been led by a charity/nonprofit or a group of charities facing a particular challenge

Catalyst is awarding grants to civil society organisations so that they can address a key challenge. As well as receiving a grant to cover their own time, charities/nonprofits will also be provided with expert support in the form of a digital partner.
These challenges will be posted openly online over the next few months in the form of a 'brief'. If a digital agency wants to have the opportunity to work as a digital partner on a challenge, then they can apply through an open tender process. Here's how it all works:

If you are responding to a brief for a charity/nonprofit, this is the overall process:

2. A brief which has been led by Catalyst in response to a high priority sector need

If you are responding to a brief for Catalyst, this is the overall process:

These are the key links you'll need from these processes:

  1. 1.
    Open projects page on the Catalyst website:
  2. 2.
    Online applications through the Catalyst Grants and Contracts hub here:
  3. 3.
    Project Initiation Document template here
  4. 4.
    Reporting platform Ochre here:
  5. 5.
    Playback template here