The Catalist network was created to support the creation, development and expansion of women’s collective giving. The collective giving movement encompasses a wide variety of organizations in which individuals pool their donations and make collective decisions about how to grant the money to nonprofits in their local community. The Catalist affiliates that make up the 67 member organizations of the network, share the following attributes:

  • Engage in collective giving
  • Employ a democratic grant allocation process
  • Practice informed grantmaking
  • Focus on making local impact with dollars granted
  • Apply democratic principles for decision-making

As the Catalist network approaches its 10th year, it was determined that Catalist needed to understand how their affiliates were impacting the members of their organizations and the communities they serve. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington was engaged to research the collective giving groups that make up the Catalist network and survey the state of collective giving today.

This Evans report allowed Catalist to have a deeper understanding of the impact of this relatively young method of philanthropy, less than 10 years old for most organizations that have organized around the concept.

The 36-page report documents some notable outcomes resulting from participating in collective giving as experienced by the members of the Catalist affiliates:

  • Women learned and then practiced how to be informed philanthropists and educated donors
  • The members created real tangible social and community connections
  • Grantmaking in the local communities resulted in strengthened and more resilient nonprofits
  • The “model” of collective giving was adapted to serve the needs of the local community and this flexibility made for richer experiences for all involved

"The findings remind us how important it is for Catalist to provide our affiliates with platforms (conferences, webinars and shared insights) where the leaders of these organizations can access shared knowledge, hone leadership skills and discover ways to elevate their organizations to grow membership, streamline grantmaking and expand the impact on local communities," said Celia Canfield, Catalist communications committee co-chair.

Download Collective Grantmaking in the Catalist Network: A Research Report from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance below.