What Being Part of the Catalogue Network Looks Like
Building local relationships. Learning with and from peer organizations. Feeling supported wherever you are in your journey to help better our Greater Washington region together.
The Catalogue for Philanthropy knows that so much of our ability to drive change is based on the strength of our connections. From empowering residents to organize for their rights to giving young people the tools and platform they need to shape our futures, the community-led grassroots organizations in our network show us how much ground we can gain when we trust and support each other.
At the Catalogue, we aim to grow this sense of community in three different and interrelated ways:
- By gathering our nonprofit partners and residents looking to give back in the same spaces, we help facilitate meaningful conversations about, and deeper involvements with, local issues.
- By convening small nonprofit professionals across various roles and industry topics, we provide room for our nonprofit partners to share knowledge and resources with each other.
- By creating educational opportunities specifically designed to be useful and relevant for nonprofits working in small teams and with small budgets, we invest in the people who work to strengthen our region every day.
Visibility is critical for small, community-based organizations. Their impact can only be as powerful as the commitment of their volunteers, advocates, and supporters. At the same time, while many residents are interested in engaging more actively with such organizations, it can also feel intimidating to know where to begin – especially in a city like DC where so many nonprofits are located.
As Donald Graham, Chairman & CEO of Graham Holdings Company, shared, “It’s impossible for anyone to know all of the smaller nonprofits who do important work in our region.” Between considering the causes that matter most to you and researching nonprofits that make a critical difference in those areas, discovering ways to get involved can include a decent amount of legwork. That’s why we collate nonprofits that have been reviewed by a team of 170+ community advocates for their local impact.
Our community advocates are volunteers who live or work in the region — we train them on how to evaluate nonprofit applications and they help to determine which nonprofits to include in the Catalogue network, with their comments forming part of the feedback we provide to unsuccessful applicants. This democratic decision-making process simultaneously introduces local nonprofits to our volunteer professionals and engenders trust in the nonprofits we choose to support and amplify.
For these nonprofits, the visibility of becoming a Catalogue partner can prove invaluable. As Tara Libert, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop, said, “It has connected us to people who would otherwise never have been able to find out about our work.” Moreover, we continually listen to the needs of our nonprofit partners to develop resources and opportunities that can help them increase their impact.
“Since being part of the Catalogue, all of your support and capacity-building opportunities have helped us grow significantly!” shared Lucy von Fahnestock, Director of Development at Together We Bake, a nonprofit partner whose annual budget, staff, and number of women who graduate from their programs each year have doubled since they have been with us in 2018.
The Catalogue for Philanthropy is excited to continue leveraging the region’s knowledge for the benefit of the entire community. If you are a nonprofit operating primarily in the Greater Washington region with a budget between $100,000 and $4 million annually, we strongly encourage you to apply for the Catalogue’s 2023-24 class! View more information and start your application on our website.
Interested in volunteering as part of our community advocate team? We are also currently recruiting volunteers for the 2023-24 cycle! Find more information here.