The RSA uses cookies on this website. By using this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more read our cookie policy and privacy policy. More Info

Catalyst Awards application criteria

The Catalyst scheme awards seed grants of £2,000 and scaling grants of £10,000. To be eligible for either award -

  • You must be an RSA Fellow
  • Your project should align with a key theme of the RSA

Specific criteria for each grant are outlined below.


Seed grants (£2,000)

Seed Awards are for projects that are in their early stages, and in need of a financial boost to help them develop into a sustainable project with the potential to deliver measurable social impact.

The £2,000 grant is intended to provide applicants with an opportunity to trial or test a new or innovative idea for positive social change, with a view to evaluating their project and actively collecting evidence of proof of concept.

Criteria

  • Grants can be paid to individual Fellows, but where an organisation will receive funds directly, it must be structured as one of our fundable organisations.
  • The project must be in need of a financial boost to help it develop into a sustainable project.
  • The project must have the potential to achieve measurable social impact, even if this has not yet been tested and the grant is to help gather evidence for its positive impact.
  • A clearly apportioned budget breakdown should be provided.

Scaling grants (£10,000)

Scaling Awards help projects that have clearly demonstrated their proof of concept to scale and grow, moving them on to the next level. The £10,000 grant is intended to be the next step in helping projects truly catalyse, become sustainable and/or replicate.

Applicants should aim to increase their positive social impact and to have plans in place to measure impact and evaluate the work of the project. We prioritise applications where RSA funding is integral to the aim of the application.

Criteria

  • Grants can only be paid to fundable organisations aligned with the RSA’s charitable objectives.
  • The project must be established and have proof of concept (idea should have been tested and there should be documented evidence that its potential product or service can be successful).
  • The application must demonstrate a wider strategy for project growth. A strategy for growth should include a clearly identified market, reasons why this audience will purchase a service or product, and an understanding of the activities required to take the project to the next stage.
  • There should already be evidence that the project has been tested and should have a positive social impact. For £10k projects, the project should aim to increase its positive social impact.
  • A clearly apportioned budget breakdown should be provided.

Catalyst FAQs

One-stop shop for any questions about the grants process.

Become an RSA Fellow

The RSA has been at the forefront of significant social impact for over 250 years. We invite you to be part of this change.

Things to consider when making your application

  • Travel expenses - applications should demonstrate that these are integral to the success of the project rather than ongoing business costs.
  • Website developmentapplications should demonstrate that this is critical to the success of the project. 
  • Equipment - applications should demonstrate that the requested equipment is integral to the social change the project is aiming to achieve. 
  • Films or books - applications should demonstrate that these have a public reach beyond the duration of the grant and that there is a life to the project beyond the production of the film or book. 
  • Ongoing business costs - rent, wages, ongoing venue hire and business subscriptions are generally not fundable.
  • Salaries - these must be fully justified, directly relevant to the project or the testing of the idea, and must not constitute ongoing business costs. Applications where more than 50% of the total grant is dedicated to salaries are rarely successful.
  • Marketing campaigns and associated printing costs - these must be fully justified, directly relevant to the project or the scaling of the idea, and must not constitute ongoing business costs. Applications where more than 50% of the total grant is dedicated to marketing are rarely successful, particularly in the context of £10K Scaling grant.

Contact the Catalyst team

Any questions? Call us on +44 (0)20 7451 6928