The Catalyst Fund’s small, one-time investments increase the effectiveness of the service networks that support the most underserved populations in our region. 

United Way of the Columbia-Willamette's Catalyst Fund ($50,000 for Fiscal Year 2017-2018) is designed to initiate or strengthen an effort through one-time investments to strengthen the systems and networks that support the communities in our region.

The second cycle of the Catalyst Fund for the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year will open on October 1, 2018. 

Review our Investment Guidelines & Process.

Requests are accepted in two cycles during the following months for awards up to $5,000 per application:

  • October 1 – November 16, 2018 
  • March 4 – April 19, 2019

Current Grantees of UWCW are not eligible for this grant stream (including Community Transformation, Community Strengthening/Equity in Operations and Safety Net)

Eligible organizations may only submit one request per fiscal year, and;

In the spirit of fairness, the Catalyst Fund will be disbursed equally throughout the year, with requests reviewed and awarded by an internal committee (approximately $25,000 to be awarded per review session):





Oct. 1st – Nov. 16th 2018

Dec. 2018

Jan. 2019

July 31st 2019

Mar. 4th – Apr. 19th 2019

May 2019

June 2019

Dec. 31st 2019


Read our FAQs for more information.

Current Catalyst Recipients include:

Organization Name Project Name Counties Served Project Description
City Club of Portland IP22 Voter Education & Activation Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Provided non-partisan research, civic engagement opportunities, and public forums to educate and activate Oregon voters around IP22 -- an effort to end Oregon's sanctuary status.
Kùkàtònòn African Dance Troupe Kùkàtònòn STEAM Village Multnomah Teaches West African dance and drumming to school children (ages 7-18) who reside primarily in Portland's low-income neighborhoods. The program uses music to develop creativity, cultural identity, diversity, and improve educational outcomes.
Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon Hunger-Free Schools Family Engagement Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Engage families and communities to develop policy recommendations to reduce childhood hunger by increasing access to school breakfasts and supporting more high-poverty schools to feed all students at no charge. 
Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette  Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Coordinated outreach activities about health services available through Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA) and will work closely with community-based organizations and agencies to address overarching social determinants of health. 
Proud Ground Affordable Homeownership for Working Families Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Expand homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income families by lowering purchasing price of homes to make them permanently affordable. Additionally, Proud Ground will develop a multi-tiered partnership with other non-profits to serve as the Community Land Trust for affordable house developed through the new fund.
Washington County Cooperative Library Services Multilingual Storytimes Washington Recruit, contract with, train and pay people to present culturally responsive storytimes in their native language at local libraries. Library staff and presenters will work together to select which books and materials to purchase for storytimes and presenters will implement culturally responsive storytimes in their native language.
HINT/Todos Juntos Middle School Hispanic Youth Leadership Program Clackamas Providing Latino youth the opportunity to study the life, work and philosophy of Cesar Chavez to better learn their own cultural background while incorporating curriculum components developed by the California Department of Education. 
Friends of the Oregon Commission for Women Oregon Report on Status of Women and Girls Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Publishing a report to ensure the equality of opportunity and the equitable distribution of resources for women and children in Oregon.
Healthy Living Collaborative of Southwest Washington Community Health Worker Neighborhood Project Clark  Training community members in the seven core Community Health Worker roles. These Community Health Workers will work across sectors to address health priorities, model health, support individuals and advocate to systems  and organizations that with with populations within the project site for more culturally appropriate care and support. 
Beaverton Education Foundation GOAL/GOL! Program Multnomah and Washington Engages youth across the district to prioritize educational equality for students of color and low-income students through participation in a multicultural soccer program, including after school clubs, middle school tournaments, community events and enrichment activities linked to academic growth and successful school transitions.