The Catalyst Fund

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Operating Year:

2010 - present
The Boston Foundation, The Hyams Foundation, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, Nonprofit Finance Fund
Building Community Capacity, Leading Community Development

The Catalyst Fund is a source of financial and technical advisory support as a catalyst for promising voluntary collaborative ventures and mergers among nonprofit organizations. It is a regional and national model, initially focused on support to Boston area nonprofits, with the goal of developing a permanent resource infrastructure to support nonprofit collaborations—rooted in best practices and data-based outcomes. 


The Catalyst Fund welcomes additional local, regional, and national funding partners. For additional information, funding inquiries, or interest in supporting the Catalyst Fund, please contact the Catalyst Fund Manager at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or 617-204-9772.   


Boston LISC & The Catalyst Fund
Boston LISC is committed to building the capacity of CDCs in Greater Boston and recognizes the need for collaborative ventures and strategic alliances in the nonprofit sector. In 2009, Boston LISC launched a Strategic Challenge Fund which funded CDCs’ efforts to build organizational capacity and engage in deep strategic planning. The merge of Salem Harbor CDC and Beverly Affordable Housing Coalition into the North Shore CDC was in part funded by that fund. Boston LISC supports CDCs’ efforts to reevaluate their organizations and is proud to be participating in The Catalyst Fund

Overview of The Catalyst Fund for Nonprofits
The Catalyst Fund for Nonprofits is a unique five-year fund established to support collaborations and mergers in the Boston area through technical assistance. Launched in September 2010, the Fund is a partnership of The Boston Foundation, Boston LISC, The Hyams Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, and is managed by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF).

The Fund supports technical assistance for voluntary strategic collaborations that will meaningfully change the way that participating organizations do business and address the needs of their constituents for the long-term.  Such ventures may range from shared back-office resources, to programmatic or operational joint ventures, to mergers.  Collaboration technical assistance provided by the Fund’s pool of approved providers includes advisory services on issues of collaboration structure, governance, finance, legal implications, program design, and more.

Boston-area collaborations in the following mission areas are eligible to apply: arts and culture, community development, human services, and youth development.

For application guidelines and to learn more, please visit the Catalyst Fund website. 

Beyond supporting technical assistance for collaborations and mergers, the Catalyst Fund is committed to building a community of learning around nonprofit collaborations by sharing best practices and lessons learned and promoting collaboration as a viable strategic tool to advance mission.  Over its five-year life, the Fund seeks to enhance the resource infrastructure which supports nonprofit organizations as they explore, plan, and execute strategic collaborations.

See what we're learning

The Catalyst Fund for Nonprofits Interim Assessment Merging for Greater Impact: a Case Study of Pine Street Inn and hopeFound



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