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.

Angkor Hospital for Children was founded on the belief that every child has the right to a healthy life. Since AHC first opened its doors in 1999, it has provided more than 1.5 million treatments to Cambodia’s poorest children and their families, has been officially recognized as one of Cambodia’s few pediatric teaching hospitals and has created wide-reaching community outreach programs.

Renowned Japanese photographer Kenro Izu first visited Cambodia in 1993 to photograph the magnificent Angkor Temples. Cambodia was struggling to emerge from the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, and Kenro was deeply touched by the resilient children he met during his trip. Kenro realized he could not leave Cambodia without doing something for these impoverished children he had seen and captured from behind the lens. He founded a non-profit organization called Friends Without a Border (FWAB) and with the help of the international art community, health care professionals and more than 6,000 supporters from around the world, Angkor Hospital for Children opened its gates in 1999. Kenro founded Angkor Hospital for Children on the principle of building a hospital for Cambodian children, run by Cambodians. Today, 98% of Angkor Hospital for Children’s 500+ staff are Cambodian.

Impact Catalysts is working with AHC to develop an entry plan for the US fundraising market.


In 2016, the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM) launched the Innovation Fund, an initiative to spur creative, catalytic efforts to improve the quality of life in the Pioneer Valley. In 2017 the Foundation provided seven new initiatives with early-stage funding to:

  • Design and plan for strategies that can be implemented to address a pressing problem;
  • Engage with end-users and incorporate their feedback;
  • Identify barriers and collect relevant data and measures;
  • Test ideas that may lead to a new approach to a community solution

CFWM hired Impact Catalysts as its technical assistance partner to work with seven Innovation Fund planning grant projects on the development of their strategies and evaluation methodologies. In 2018, we are working with the three initiatives selected for full grants by the Innovation Fund to develop final evaluation plans as part of the implementation of their funded projects.


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.


The Fund for Wellesley promotes the common good and benefits all Wellesley residents. The Fund has carried out its mission by focusing on grantmaking that promotes access and reduces barriers to all that Wellesley has to offer. Since 2009, The Fund has distributed over $259,000 for projects focused on youth (40%), community building (39%) and seniors (21%). The Fund’s Community Board sees this as an opportune moment to take a deeper look at community needs and opportunities and determine if there are options for The Fund to pursue grantmaking activities with more intentional impact goals.

Impact Catalysts will partner with The Fund to carry out the assessment, making use of existing data specific to Wellesley, drawn from local and regional sources, along with input from key stakeholders. The purpose of the assessment is to surface opportunities for refinement or significant change and to develop a recommended course of action. After we have completed the assessment phase, we will develop a set of options for The Fund to consider that would form the basis for a revised strategy.


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.

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. We are currently working with the Forum to develop an implementation plan for a foundation grant to support expansion.


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 to engage in a strategic planning process to plan for how it might best continue sustaining and growing its services in MA, serving the Hopi and Navy partner sites, and developing its reputation as a national center of excellence for sexual assault forensic 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.


Focused on all things local, the New England Grassroots Environment Fund is the only organization of its kind dedicated to inspiring, connecting, and supporting community-based environmental projects throughout New England. Grassroots Fund’s niche is to help those on-the-ground, everyday people for whom grassroots work is a passion and whose volunteer time is a priceless contribution to the common good.  The organization employs three forms of capital—financial, social, and intellectual— to find creative and innovative paths to a sustainable future. We are working with the Grassroots Fund to develop a framework for assessing its grantmaking and capacity building programs and using the framework to refine its approach over time.


The Sudbury Foundation’s Children, Youth & Families Capacity Building Grant Program is designed to help young people realize their full potential and become caring, productive citizens. The focus is on underserved youth who face economic and/or personal barriers to success. The program provides proven youth-serving nonprofits in Sudbury and surrounding communities with funds for capacity building projects designed to strengthen the agencies’ core capacities.

As the CY&F Capacity Building Grant Program enters its seventh year, the Foundation wants to take a step back and revisit the community’s youth development needs and the impact of the grants made to date. Impact Catalysts will partner with the Foundation to carry out the assessment, making use of existing data—e.g., demographic trends and youth outcomes—along with input from key stakeholders. The purpose of the assessment is to surface opportunities for refinement or significant change and to develop a recommended course of action.