Deadline: Ongoing Opportunity
The Roddenberry Foundation is offering small grants to early-stage, innovative, and unconventional ideas that address pressing global challenges.
- Early Stage: The Catalyst Fund is geared towards small and/or early-stage ideas and projects that need a capital infusion to launch or prove viability. Catalyst awardees are typically piloting a program, venturing into new territory, on the cusp of launching, or pivoting in a new direction.
- Big Ideas: The Catalyst Fund supports big ideas or projects that depart from the status quo and require us to look at a problem and its solution in a new light. These big ideas have a high potential for impact across an entire community, city, or country. They tend to leverage existing infrastructure, build on partnerships (public and private), and improve on what’s already out there. Big ideas push boundaries and challenge convention.
- Bold Vision: The Catalyst Fund supports individuals whose vision for change is audacious. Catalyst awardees seek significant, long-term impact and have a vision for how to get there and what needs to get done. They are able to articulate how they plan to make the world better and why. Their vision inspires others and offers a glimpse of a better future.
The Catalyst Fund makes grants between $2,500–$15,000 to anyone, anywhere in the world. You can have 25 years of experience or be just starting out. You can be working alone, with a team, as part of a non-profit organization, a social enterprise, or a for-profit corporation.
To be eligible, all applicants must:
- Be 18 years of age or older. You should be 18 years old at the time of submitting your application. If you will turn 18 in the estimated window for receiving a response to your application—just wait a little bit longer. They are happy to read your application when you turn 18.
- Submit an application in English. While they welcome proposals from all over the globe, they ask that you submit your application in English. This gives us the best capability to understand your work and the nuances of your proposal.
- Include completed responses to all required application questions. Every required question in our application is crucial to helping us understand your plans and ultimate goals. They try not to ask too much—or too little—so please answer all the questions with as much detail as possible.
- Agree to all legal terms and conditions of the Catalyst Fund grant program. First and foremost: your proposal must be for an initiative that is for charitable purposes. Additionally, they ask that you complete a final grant report. They may also ask for additional paperwork as part of the initial due diligence process. They’ve collected all the legal terms and conditions of the Catalyst Fund in this very nifty rules document. Make sure you understand what you are signing up for!
- Be able to legally receive grant funding. The Catalyst Fund makes grants to many different types of entities, but here are some that they cannot fund: government agencies; lobbying groups; or entities in countries that are prohibited by law, regulation, treaty or administrative act from entering into trade relations with the United States.
- Applicants can be individuals, for-profits, B-corps, or non-profits operating outside the US.
They know you are applying with an early-stage idea. However, they’re looking for a well-thought-out plan with clear goals, specific metrics, and measurable impact. They’re also looking for:
- Innovative: Approaches or strategies that innovate on existing models — What are you building on? What other solutions already exist?
- Community-based: You have a deep understanding of the communities you work on behalf of — What are their needs? How are they engaged in the process? How will they be able to maintain the solution over time?
- High potential for impact: A recognized issue that affects a significant percentage of people — this is relative, but we’re looking for solutions to problems that have outsized impact.
- Sustainable: Experienced team and a smart strategy for driving change — Who and what are driving the change? Why is this the right team? What makes this the right strategic bet right now?
For more information, visit https://roddenberryfoundation.org/our-work/catalyst-fund/