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Catalyst Fund

Don’t re-invent the wheel. There are many services and programs for individuals and communities that work—and work well. These approaches are critically important, but they are not for the Catalyst Fund. Instead, the Catalyst Fund is intended to support ideas and initiatives in their early stages of development. We recognize the need to provide financial […]

Welcome New Staff!

We are delighted to announce our two new staff members: Linda Rich, Senior Program Officer, Learning and Network Stephanie Lerner, Program Officer, Catalyst Fund Linda and Stephanie bring deep knowledge and experience working with nonprofit organizations and in philanthropy.  Linda Rich will manage the Barra Awards process and portfolio as well as learning across the Barra […]

Convening: Innovation High Schools

The Barra Foundation’s Catalyst Fund supported four innovative high schools in Philadelphia – Big Picture Vaux, Building 21, Science Leadership Academy and the Workshop School. During the 2017-2018 year, ImpactED, in partnership with the Foundation, engaged in an intensive year of learning about these school models. There’s no single definition of what is meant by an […]

Striking a Balance

By the time visitors to the Barnes Foundation reached the third or fourth gallery of priceless art, they seemed to have grown weary of the audio headset that guided them through the collection. They took one earpiece off, then both.  They started chatting with their companions. Most importantly, an evaluation showed, they stayed in the […]

Sharing the Story of Impact: Philadelphia Innovation High Schools

The Barra Foundation’s Catalyst Fund supported four innovative high schools in Philadelphia – Building 21, Science Leadership Academy, The Workshop School and Vaux Big Picture. Given Barra’s desire to share learning as part of the innovation process, the Foundation decided to embark on its first “thematic review” to look back across these models to capture […]

Sharing the Story of Impact: Innovation High Schools

Given Barra’s desire to share learning as part of the innovation process, the Foundation decided to embark on its first “thematic review” to look back across four Catalyst Fund-supported education models: Building 21, Science Leadership Academy, The Workshop School and Vaux Big Picture. During the 2017-2018 school year, ImpactED, in partnership with the Foundation, engaged […]

First Step acquires staffing business to serve homeless & returning citizens

First Step Staffing, a nonprofit social enterprise based in Atlanta, today announced its expansion into Philadelphia. Founded in 2007, First Step’s mission is to secure sustainable income for individuals transitioning out of homelessness, including veterans, re-entering citizens, and others with significant barriers to employment. In the first 12 months of operation in Philadelphia, First Step […]

Location, Location…Iteration

Habitat for Humanity Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia’s second-hand shop, called ReStore, seemed to have everything going for it. It sold donated building supplies and home goods to the public at affordable prices. It had a large, affordable location. And it had a noble purpose: to provide revenue for Habitat for Humanity’s mission to build and […]

ACCESS Cards Connect Philadelphians to Art

Generocity caught up with Art-Reach’s Melissa Roderman to learn how their innovative program makes art more accessible. “ACCESS Admission is Art-Reach’s latest initiative. It’s a way for us to more deeply engage individuals in the community who are facing financial adversity. The program is tailored to meet the needs of ACCESS Card holders,” said Melissa Roderman, […]

Philadelphia Furniture Bank Opens Its Doors

Christine Simiriglia, Executive Director of Pathways to Housing PA, was recently interviewed by Generocity for an article about Philadelphia Furniture Bank. “In Philadelphia, it is the first designated space to distribute furniture, a critical need and the cause of long delays for families transitioning from shelters to independent housing. Agencies across the city have been struggling with […]

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