Charting Our Path: Catalyst:Ed and the Next Five Years

by Leona Christy, CEO at Catalyst:Ed

Over the last year, our team at Catalyst:Ed has been deeply engaged in developing a strategic plan. Like many other education organizations, our work has organically evolved and grown over the course of the last two years as we adapted our model to best support schools, systems, and education nonprofits through a period of unprecedented change. The strategic planning process offered us the opportunity to pause and reflect on how far we had come and appreciate what we had built, even as we grappled with big questions about the change we wanted to see in the world, the role that we envisioned for ourselves in bringing about that change, and the pathway through which we would get there. After twelve months of speaking with folks across the sector, looking at data, brainstorming ideas, reflecting on our priorities and values, and mapping out possible pathways, we finally have a new strategic plan that we are truly inspired by. I share a brief overview of our model, the five principles guiding our work, as well as our strategic priorities moving forward in this 8-min video

Here are three things that I’m especially excited about as we look forward to the next five years:

  • Expanding to serve more than 1,000 organizations a year: The need for equity-oriented capacity building has never been more urgent or important as leaders and teams seek support to address needs that have intensified during the pandemic, increase access and improve outcomes for historically marginalized students, and adapt to a rapidly changing world. In response, we will expand our current model offering targeted support to schools, systems, state agencies, nonprofits and postsecondary institutions through discrete, time-bound projects. We will also launch an externally facing, “self-serve” version of our matching platform, so that many more organizations can access vital capacity quickly and easily.
  • Investing in proximate organizations and providers: Additionally, we will intentionally invest resources in organizations and providers that are equity-oriented and proximate to historically marginalized communities within our broader work, so they can make significant organizational leaps in their growth, impact, and sustainability and better serve their communities. These entities will be the focus of our Tier 3 model offering intense and integrated capacity building supports aimed at bringing about deep organizational shifts. 
  • Driving awareness and action through thought leadership and partnerships: We see a need for a sector-wide conversation on organizational capacity and a reimagining of capacity building so that it is equity-oriented, organization-driven, and reduces rather than widens disparities. We are looking forward to bringing together a broad coalition of researchers, practitioners, educators, community leaders, policymakers, and funders and developing frameworks and tools to stimulate and guide the work moving forward. 

This strategic plan has been a collective labor of love for our team, but we cannot do this alone, and we hope you will join us in partnership and community. Please email me if you have any thoughts or reactions after watching the video. I look forward to growing in partnership with you in our next chapter!

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