Catalyze aims to drive innovations in career-connected learning through agile grantmaking, next-generation learning, and transformative storytelling.
The organization invites applications for round three of the Catalyze Challenge, which aims to reimagine the connections between K-12 education, higher education, and careers for learners ages 11 to 22, helping them to build their identities, self-efficacy, and career readiness. In round three, Catalyze Challenge seeks proposals for exploratory work to develop and pilot innovations that propose a new or experimental approach to solve a problem faced by learners, employers, or others involved with career-connected learning. Career-connected learning (CCL) is a learning style and methodology that introduces learners to career paths and opportunities through various channels, such as earn-to-learn strategies, skill development, connections to industry professionals, and more.
Grants will be awarded to novel approaches and exploratory work aligned with one of two themes to advance career-connected learning:
Career exploration for young adolescents: Innovations that build awareness of and exposure to career paths and develop self-efficacy towards educational and career goals. Proposals should share innovations that scale direct reach to youth independently from school and/or allow guided exploration within or adjacent to schools.
Activating employer partnerships: Innovations that enable employers to engage in learning experiences to support students as they attain practical skills, credentials, and improved employment outcomes. Proposals should activate employer partnerships and change the behaviors of key actors to connect youth with the world of work.
Catalyst will award up to 25 pilot grants between $100,000 and $250,000 each over six to 12 months of exploratory implementation in this round.
Catalyze is particularly interested in supporting innovations that serve historically underserved groups and seeks to fund innovations that serve young people disconnected from school and work. Many youth are involved in the juvenile justice, criminal justice, or foster care systems. This includes incarcerated youth in foster care, unhoused, or youth exiting or exiting these systems.
Grants are available to tax-exempt organizations and for-profit entities in the United States. All applicants must demonstrate that their proposal has a charitable purpose and must have the ability to accept grant funding. Catalyze encourages proposals led by for-profit entities, particularly those at an early stage of development. To receive philanthropic grant funding, for-profit entities must demonstrate that the primary purpose of the proposed work is charitable and that the work is not intended to result in a private benefit.