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Catalyst for Good program builds nonprofit capacity and impact

Karen Chassin



The St. Petersburg Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the for-profit St. Petersburg Group, is launching a fundraising appeal to secure $10,000 sponsorships for its Catalyst for Good program. Catalyst for Good supports nonprofits with customized, hands-on consulting, coaching and capacity building designed to increase their effectiveness and impact.

Each Catalyst for Good engagement begins with a deep dive into the organization’s mission, goals and plans. The highest priority projects are identified, and the Catalyst for Good team works alongside the nonprofit leader and staff to build and execute. Whether it’s a website, a CRM system, a technology solution or a development or strategic plan, organizations obtain deliverables of lasting value. The typical Catalyst for Good engagement takes about three months.

A unique feature of the program is access to a deep bench of top talent who have made contributions in their fields and want to give back to the community. These “Impact Advisors” have professional backgrounds in nearly every area of business operations, including technology, governance, fundraising and communications. Depending on the needs of the project, the right coach is on call to support the Catalyst for Good consultants and the nonprofit leader in solving problems and developing staff skills to a higher level.

Catalyst for Good fills a need for high quality, hands-on coaching and consulting in the nonprofit sector. The program was inspired by the services commonly provided to entrepreneurs at business incubators and accelerators in the startup phase. The idea was to give social sector innovators a boost via high-quality, hands-on support from an expert team of consultants at a reasonable cost.

The Tampa Bay Symphony is an example of a successful Catalyst for Good client. The community orchestra, which is composed of more than 80 volunteer musicians who perform orchestral music in Tampa and St. Petersburg, executed a multi-faced plan to strengthen their governance, financial operations and marketing strategy.

Though work was temporarily disrupted by Covid, the team launched a new website and an email marketing program, both of which helped the group stay connected to each other and to their audience until ticket sales and performances could resume. They are emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever, poised to increase their reach and impact.

“The C4G program was completely tailored to meet the needs of our organization,” said symphony board chair Susan Rhien. “We received expertise and guidance in social media and fundraising and the project provided us with an infrastructure that we can manage and maintain within the constraints of our limited budget.”

A Catalyst for Good engagement costs $20,000. Half the amount is provided via a donor match and the remaining $10,000 is invested by the nonprofit itself to ensure commitment and engagement. Donors can support a specific organization or a cause they care about, or sponsor a nonprofit that has already been accepted into the program and is ready to begin work.

Nonprofits interested in applying for Catalyst for Good – and donors interested in supporting a nonprofit in the Catalyst for Good program – can email Karen Chassin, executive director of the St. Petersburg Foundation, at Karen@stpete.foundation for more information.

Help a nonprofit grow its capacity

Your contribution is tax deductible and will go towards a matching grant for the C4G program. 

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