Current Work

Our active client engagements span a range of issue areas and disciplines, reflecting our interest in working with direct service organizations, intermediaries and philanthropies focused on building better communities for all.

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s (BARCC) mission embraces a continuum of services ranging from intervention and support at a sexual assault survivor’s most vulnerable moments to cultural and organizational development efforts designed to prevent assault. The organization’s prevention efforts extend to both resource-limited institutions working with vulnerable communities as well as those with resources to invest in prevention work themselves. In either case, BARCC believes that prevention programming is an essential element of its path to impact.

BARCC’s development of its prevention service offerings for higher education institutions and corporations has been largely stand-alone, using engagements that present themselves as an opportunity to learn while doing. Over the past year, the organization has taken steps to capture that learning and lay out a more intentional pilot phase for the development of a framework for prevention services with community partners. Impact Catalysts is facilitating a series of internal planning meetings to explore the risks and rewards of the this programming model. The project will explore how BARCC can strike an appropriate and sustainable balance between mission-related and income-generating work.


The Communications Network (TCN) addresses three issues facing professionals working in communications at foundations, nonprofits, and social sector-focused consultancies: connection, learning, and leadership. The Network is made up of leaders from the world’s most influential and consequential foundations, nonprofits and social sector-focused consultancies. TCN believes that people working in communications for good, and in turn the organizations they serve, will be stronger, smarter and more effective if they have a strong network of colleagues and peers to look to for ideas, advice, collaboration, and honest feedback.

Impact Catalysts is partnering with TCN in 2018 to develop a comprehensive business plan to support the high-level strategy that the organization adopted late in 2018. We will help the TCN develop a detailed implementation plan, financial model, and measurement framework to ensure that the strategic vision becomes a living reality.

The Feinstein International Center is a research and teaching center based at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. The Center’s mission is to promote the use of evidence and learning in operational and policy responses to protect and strengthen the lives, livelihoods, and dignity of people affected by or at risk of humanitarian crises.

The Center aims to take a practical, solution-oriented approach to research and teaching to address current and future global humanitarian challenges. The research is conducted in partnership with international agencies, local communities and a range of research organizations. The goal is to use existing knowledge and develop new evidence to inform and influence those who advocate for and create change, and in so doing, to improve policy and practice in the humanitarian field.

Like many academic centers, Feinstein supports a variety of grant-funded projects, each of which has a solid rationale and focus. The existential question facing Feinstein is, to what do these various projects add up? Impact Catalysts is working with the Center, and its partners across Tufts University, to revisit its purpose and  develop strategies to support its intended impact.


Girlstart aspires to be the national leader in designing and implementing innovative, high quality informal STEM education programs that inspire girls to transform our world.The world’s greatest challenges need new STEM ideas and insights. Yet half of the world’s potential ideamakers—women and girls—are discouraged from developing vital STEM ideas.

Through its comprehensive programming, Girlstart provides a year-round, intensive suite of STEM education programs for K-12 girls. Girlstart’s core programs foster STEM skills development, an understanding of the importance of STEM as a way to solve the world’s major problems, as well as an interest in STEM electives, majors, and careers.

After developing a national growth strategy with our predecessor firm, Root Cause, Girlstart has engaged Impact Catalysts to advise them on their market entry strategy in Boston.


The Institute for Early Education Leadership and Innovation envisions a world in which all young children have access to high quality early care and education (ECE). To achieve this, we develop and support a growing corps of early educators to design, test, and implement innovative ideas and best practices in ECE centers, schools, home-based businesses, and systems.

The Leadership Institute was founded in 2016. It grew out of the entrepreneurial leadership initiatives UMass Boston developed in 2012 starting with our Post-Master’s Certificate in Early Education, Research, Policy, and Practice funded by the Massachusetts Department of Early Care and Education. The Institute provides educators of young children with intensive training in entrepreneurial leadership, education research and policy, and small business growth and innovation. The Institute  builds teams of change agents and connect educators with our growing network of established and emerging ECE leaders, and to our innovation lab and accelerator.

Impact Catalysts is working with The Institute to develop a detailed theory of change and framework for testing its hypotheses and measuring its impact.


The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation supports the work of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, whose core function is to collect, preserve, and make available for research the documents, audiovisual material and memorabilia of President Kennedy, his family, and his contemporaries.

The Board of Directors appointed a Strategic Planning Committee in 2017 to develop five key themes for a new strategic plan, built around the core ideas and legacy of the Kennedy presidency—Service, Inclusion, Innovation & Bold Leadership, The Arts, and Global Citizenship & Diplomacy. Impact Catalysts is partnering with The JFK Library Foundation to build a concrete business plan to support the themes, one that engages the global community at the library in Boston and in the public square.


National Immigration Forum advocates for the value of immigrants and immigration to our nation. In service to this mission, the Forum promotes responsible federal immigration policies, addressing today’s economic and national security needs while honoring the ideals of our Founding Fathers, who created America as a land of opportunity. For 30 years, the Forum has worked to advance sound federal immigration solutions through its policy expertise, communications outreach and coalition building work, which forges powerful alliances of diverse constituencies across the country to build consensus on the important role of immigrants in America. Impact Catalysts worked with the Forum to develop a business plan to scale an initiative called Skills & Opportunities for a New American Workforce (SONAW). SONAW delivers contextualized English language instruction to frontline workers in partnership with businesses. In its pilot phase, SONAW has partnered with Kroger, Publix and Whole Foods. In 2017, we worked with the Forum to develop a business plan to support expansion of the SONAW model. We also developed a comprehensive marketing plan for the Forum as a whole. In 2018-19, we are supporting the development of a new strategic plan for the Forum.


In 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health received a $3.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (VOC), to establish a national telemedicine center to serve victims of sexual assault. Over the past three years, the National TeleNursing Center (NTC) has evolved from a vision to a functioning Center, with a team of expert SANEs providing 24/7 consultation to licensed providers across the country as they care for adults and adolescents who have recently experienced a sexual assault. The NTC currently provides 24/7 services to six pilot sites in Arizona, California, and Massachusetts.

The NTC’s VOC funding comes to a close at the end of December 2018, and the organization is applying for Massachusetts state Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding to support its state-level services. The NTC has also fielded multiple requests from hospitals in MA and beyond to provide its telenursing services or trainings on trauma-informed care. In light of the change in the NTC’s funding and its success in developing its services over the past three years, the NTC is partnering with Impact Catalysts in a strategic planning process to explore how it can continue and grow its services in Massachusetts, while continuing to serve as a national center of excellence for sexual assault nursing.


Laura Slatkin and Ilene Lainer founded New York Collaborates for Autism in 2003 to improve the lives of individuals and families living with autism in the New York City region. The organization helped launch several ground-breaking initiatives, including the NYC Autism Charter School, the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain, and a teacher training program at Hunter College.

The success of the programs it incubated and its special events, particularly Night of Too Many Stars, positioned the organization as a national pacesetter in the field, and in 2016, the organization rebranded as NEXT for AUTISM. The new name came with an expanded focus on national reach and impact. As the organization considers how to achieve its expanded goals, it has engaged Impact Catalysts to guide an exploration of its opportunities and the development of a focused strategy for the next phase of its development.

The Tennessee Justice Center (TJC) was founded in 1995 to use the law, education, and advocacy to ensure vulnerable Tennesseans can meet their most basic needs and have a pathway to opportunity. TJC believes that everyone has dignity and that our laws and public policy should reflect this shared value. Those with disability or illness should have access to care and services they need to live a full life. Those facing hard times or unimaginable obstacles should be able to access necessary support to rebuild their lives. TJC helps Tennesseans one-by-one and then takes what it learns from their stories to advocate for large-scale changes that help others in the same boat. In addition to helping individuals, TJC uses the law and advocacy to ensure that Tennesseans can meet their most basic needs and have a pathway to opportunity.

After a period of rapid growth and organizational transition, TJC is seeking guidance and expertise to develop a business plan to execute on its strategic plan, sustain its growth, and maximize its impact. Impact Catalysts will be partnering with TJC from 2018-19 to develop that plan and advise the organization on implementation.