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Innovation Catalyst

New Ideas
Fresh Perspectives
More Revenue
Greater Impact

Join our next cohort to:

Build your capacity for innovation,

Assess your best opportunities, and

Make your next big idea into something wonderful!

A limited number of Innovation Grants are available for qualified applicants.


Since 2013, iCat has helped more than 70 organizations
like these grow their revenue and mission:

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Spend nine months with us and we’ll help you change the world.

The iCat program is a nine-month cohort-based venture design process that integrates group training and consultation with peer coaching and individual support, to help participants develop and launch new social ventures, programs, or business models.



Of participants reported that their initiative enhanced their organization's impact.*



Of participants successfully launched the initiatives they developed through iCat.*



Of participants reported that their iCat initiative generated revenue for their organization.*

*"Innovation Catalyst: Retrospective Evaluation Report June 2023" by Elevate Consulting LLC

What can Innovation Catalyst do for you?

Innovation Catalyst - Program Overview
Why Funders Support Innovation Catalyst 
Transform your organization by joining the next  Innovation Catalyst cohort!
Innovation Catalyst empowers your organization to bring your best ideas to life.

Here’s how iCat works:



Through a competitive application process, we select a small cohort of organizations that are ready, willing, and able to commit the time, effort and resources needed to support meaningful innovation.


Explore &


Every cohort benefits from nine months of integrated group training, consultation, and individual support in social venture development. We work at a pace designed for busy nonprofit leaders and their boards.



We guide you through development of a compelling case for your new venture, including multiple practice pitch sessions. We finish with a public pitch event that is open to the community, press, and potential funders.

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"The Frist Foundation Loves to Support the Innovation Catalyst Program because it continues to foster innovation in the nonprofit community, and especially earned revenue, which is extremely important in diversifying the funding base for so many nonprofits in Nashville and making them sustainable in the long term, which we love to see."

Corinne Bergeron, The Frist Foundation

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"There's a whole public mission that's important to the consultants at CauseImpact that complements their work: They are willing to be in the community and engage with people even if there's nothing specific on the table for them. I don't know anyone else who does that."

Emily Savors, The Columbus Foundation

Your Mission Impact will be amazing if you participate.
Here’s why.


Clarify your strategic priorities and gain alignment within your organization.


Develop an effective pitch, business plan, and complete financials projections


Co-learn and collaborate alongside peer organizations in your city.


Engage funders and stakeholders at live pitch events!


Receive technical support for market research, financial modeling, and critical planning needs.


Grow your organization’s impact and diversify your revenue.



How many organizations can participate?

Each cohort may include as many as eight organizations. 

What does it cost?

Total cost for each participating organizations is $17,500.

Our generous donors and sponsors provide an Innovation Grant of $13,125 for each participating organization.

Each participating organization is expected to provide a 1:3 match of $4,375 for this grant.

What cities is iCat offered in?

Innovation Catalyst is currently offered in Columbus, OH and Nashville TN. 

What is the time commitment?

Each organization in the cohort will assemble a team that includes  executive leadership, board members and community stakeholders. That team can expect to spend a combined 3-5 hours per week on their project. Individual contributions may vary from 0-2 hours week for most team members. 

How do I know if I’m a good fit?

Successful applicants must:

  • Submit a completed application.

  • Be able to provide matching funds of $4,375.00.

  • Commit to full participation in the Innovation Catalyst program:

    • Designate this project as a strategic priority.

    • Build an Impact Team (a description of the Impact Team will be provided as part of the application process. Please see below).

    • Assign a project leader from the agency’s leadership team.

    • Participate in group sessions and presentations (schedule TBA).

    • Develop, over the course of the program, a detailed business plan to launch-ready status.

  • Executive leaders and at least one board member from each finalist must be available for an online interview. Interviews will be scheduled as finalists are selected.

  • A launch date will be selected in consultation with the chosen organizations.

Innovation Catalyst is supported by:


Final reminder. Don’t miss out!

Innovation Catalyst happens only one time annually in each of our partner cities. Don't delay your opportunity to make a bigger impact for

your people, your mission, and your community!

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