Sparking Change

Investments by philanthropists and impact investors spark change, test and prove promising practices, and fill gaps. And when those sparks combine with government funds, we can accomplish deep, wide, and long-lasting change. But someone has to navigate the relationships and logistics that make such change possible. That’s why at Catalyst, we are diving into the in-between spaces to find new opportunities to secure funds, highlight programs, and build our region’s nonprofit capacity to work with local, state, and federal government funders. Here’s one example.

Stop the Hate

The California Department of Social Services, in partnership with the Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs, initiated the Stop the Hate Program to distribute $20 million to nonprofits across California. This program funds organizations to provide support and services to victims and survivors of hate incidents and hate crimes and their families and facilitate hate incident or hate crime prevention measures.

Fueled by an award of $831,525, San Diego and Imperial Counties will benefit from programs that address anti-Asian, anti-LGBTQ, and other anti-hate needs through youth development, mental health services, cultural experiences, and more. For the next 12 months, this grant will support six local organizations to address hate incidents and the physical and mental trauma that results. Catalyst was awarded the role as the regional lead and we will interact closely with both the community organizations and the State of California to ensure success. Check out our partners:

Keep an eye out for stories of impact as these organizations ramp up their activities.

Public funds, nonprofit burden

Government funds like this are critical to sustain long-term change and solidify community members’ rights. However, those funds can be difficult to work with and leave troubling gaps. The burden to manage a government grant can be overwhelming — and recipients are nearly always underfunded due to caps on expenditures for administrative tasks like accounting and reporting. By excluding some expenses like travel or food, governments leave nonprofits scrambling to build programs that are accessible to community members. And sometimes, there is just not enough to go around. Among our region’s Stop the Hate grantees, only one was fully funded and one received only 25% of the budget needed to complete its plans. Catalyst is working hard as regional lead to reduce the burden of tracking and reporting for our partners, but the fact remains that — although this grant will go a long way to addressing the region’s needs — they received only about 60% of funds requested to build full and robust programs. In this way, nonprofits are often trapped in a vicious cycle of receiving significant government funds that cost them more to manage than the grant provides. But the programming is critical, so they find a way to make it work.

Action opportunity: If you would like to learn more about the Stop the Hate grantees and how our region might leverage this $800K state grant by helping fully fund these programs, please contact us.

Growing change

As part of growing our role in active partnerships like this, Catalyst is seeking three new team members – so if you know of a great candidate in Imperial or San Diego Counties, please share this message!

  • Stop the Hate program manager (part time) will support our six community partners to manage data collection and reporting and act as our primary liaison to the State
  • Communications lead (full time) will share news about this grant and more as they highlight the needs, opportunities, and impact of Catalyst and our members and partners
  • Administrative coordinator (full time) will fill out our dynamic team by supporting the CEO, membership, and organization as we continue to grow

As a proactive collaborator, Catalyst connects the dots between government, philanthropy, community, and nonprofits and becomes even more deeply engaged with the people and institutions that your generosity and strategic investment activates every day. We take our role as your connector, convener, and collaborative hub seriously and are always looking for ways to do more. While we continue to provide the networking and educational opportunities you are used to, this exciting role offers new opportunities for our region. Expect to hear more about these types of projects and how we can help you leverage them for greater impact!