Expressions of interest in Catalyst funding calls?

Hey all, I’m posting this on behalf of Outlandish, who are interested in collaborating with people on both current and upcoming funding calls from Catalyst Open Projects. If you’re interested in collaborating, please reply below!

Catalyst Open Projects

Sector Challenge briefs

These are available now and focused on systems-level issues. The outputs are prototypes* in four areas affected by COVID-19: early years, financial wellbeing, mental health and wellbeing, and sexual abuse & domestic violence.

*According to Catalyst, “A prototype here might be a product, service, experience, document or a comparison of existing tools.”

Deadline: 7 December 2020
Budget: Up to £35k (incl. VAT)

Length: 11 weeks
Work begins: 11 January 2021
Work ends: 26 March 2021

Development briefs

These will be made available from 30 November and will focus on development as well as discovery and definition in a wide range of areas. I should imagine that most of the organisations behind these projects will have been one of the 103 orgs that took part in a Catalyst-funded discovery phase last month.

Deadline: 16 December 2020
Budget: Up to £28k (incl. VAT)

Length: 10 weeks
Work begins: 18 January 2021
Work ends: 26 March 2021

If any of this sounds of interest, then please do reply below. A few people in the network have already been in touch, and if there’s enough to warrant a call, we’ll organise one ASAP! :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Doug / Outlandish,

I’ve been keeping an eye on Catalyst projects but many seemed a little out of reach given our current size. We’d love to collaborate with Outlandish on a few of these. I think lots of Outlanders are familiar with us, but happy to explain who we are / our capabilities. Chris

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Roy from Sofi Coop here, we’ll be happy to participate in such a call!

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Thanks @droom and @roygolan. Sofi is based in Israel, right? We’ll have to double-check that you’re eligible for this funding, as they state:

Catalyst is a collective of digital agencies, funders and charities based in the UK, which works to improve the digital, data and design capabilities of charities and civil society organisations

Someone may know more than me about this, for example if Outlandish is the lead organisation, for example? Otherwise, I can ask Catalyst for clarification :+1:

Alan from Creative Coop here. We’d be interested in collaborating!

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Hey Doug - Chris from Go Free Range here. We’d certainly be interested in learning more and potentially collaborating. The budgets are fairly small for 10 week projects (10 weeks at 5 days a week for a single person would be £560/day including VAT which is somewhat under our standard day rate and lower than we’ve historically charged even for charitable projects). Do you know if these projects are likely to involve custom software development, or are they further discovery/research type ones?

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Hi @chrislowis thanks for the expression of interest and you raise a good point about day rates. Let’s talk about that when we meet, and I can go through where we ended up at with recent Catalyst projects I’ve led :slight_smile:

:wave: Two updates:

  1. I’ve had confirmation from Catalyst that non-UK based individuals and orgs are fine as subcontractors so long as they’re named in the bid. (@roygolan)
  2. We’re meeting at 14:00 this Friday, 20th November. Want to join us? Reply here to say you’re interested (to encourage others!) and DM me your email address :+1:
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Hey Doug,

I’ll (try and) come along at 2pm on Friday – ian at agile dot coop.



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Thanks @ian have sent you a calendar invite!

Great, looking forward to it. Thanks for organising @dajbelshaw

Yep, 2pm Friday works for me.

Thanks all! Some extra info in the form of an FAQ deck (with links to videos!) that Catalyst has just shared:

Hey all,

If the timelines were different, we’d certainly be up for a direct collaboration.

But as they are what they are, feel we’d love to help out but in a more limited capacity, rather than shaping the approach in the lead.

If there is space, therefore, for an “indirect” collaboration, we’d be up for that. For example, if after conversing on Friday there is felt a need for more user research shaped people on the project, please do reach out as we can plausibly make this work.

The one on volunteering looked particularly interesting to us and something we’ve observed in our own work - high volunteer demand, low supply of volunteers work.


Thanks @alex! I’m going to DM you to discuss Friday’s meeting :+1:

Hope this isn’t too late @dajbelshaw, I’d like to be in the call

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Thanks to everyone who joined the call today. I’ve created a thread in the Lounge (members area): :slight_smile:

Hi @dajbelshaw, Pedro from Studio Oto here, we’d be interested in collaborating. Hope it’s not too late!

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Hi Pedro, please join the private thread!

Update: thanks to @chris for pointing out how to move the private thread from the Lounge to, well, a private thread :wink:

(the link hasn’t changed)

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