Funder ecology and collaboration



Why the work is being done

Funders play a critical role in setting conditions for how civil society organisations operate, evolve and respond to a changing context.  They play an influential role in the sector and within Catalyst and require support to develop their own practices individually, with peers and collectively across Catalyst.
This work focuses on supporting funders to share, align and develop their work towards the collective objectives.

Problem to solve

Funding practices can challenge or reinforce many of the practices supported across Catalyst: reuse, open working, relational practice etc. This initiative aims to reinforce other work across Catalyst and to act as one route to ensure funders remain as key collaborators within the Catalyst network 

Work consists of 4 areas:
For existing Catalyst Founding Funders:
  1. Maintaining existing reporting relationships (meet every quarter, review how strategy/objectives fit with Catalyst, collective and interactive progress updates e.g. around Google docs/Ochre)
  2. Developing the funder ecology through individual work with funders to develop their practices (e.g. around the application stage, directing to resources)

For new/prospective funders joining the Catalyst ecology:
3. Growing the funder ecology through proactive relationship building and digital support offers, e.g. generic capacity building initiatives like Design Hops for funders; refine entry points to Catalyst for funders and their grantees, e.g. intro to Catalyst presentations, clear website navigation etc

For both groups:
4. Inviting funders to specific working groups on important themes within Catalyst (e.g. working on open IP - particular practices around the role of re-use; impact measurement learning network sub-group)

Who are the users and what do they need to do

As a funder I need ways/forums to engage with other funders to collaborate/align to maximise our collective value

As a funder I need to be confident in assessing 'digital proposals' to make good funding decisions
As a funder I need to be able to find the best support for applicants and grantees around digital, data and design

As a Catalyst initiative owner I need funders to reinforce the behaviours/patterns that support my work
As a Catalyst member, I need funding practices to align and encourage the practices across Catalyst
Open IP for funders
Open projects and procurement
Reuse infrastructure