Our Impact - RSA

Catalyst Awards: Past grant winners

RSA Catalyst Awards offers social innovation grants and support to RSA Fellows. Each year we fund initiatives from our community, investing in projects that contribute to the RSA's efforts to enable people, places and planet to flourish.

Read about past Catalyst Award projects Lab_13 and The Offers and Needs Market to find out about the difference Catalyst funding made to their work.

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Learn out about some of the projects that we have supported through Catalyst funding

Impact Story: Lab_13

The Lab_13 project Ignite! is a dynamic science-education charity. Ignite! creates in-school spaces, managed by young people. These are spaces where children learn to be scientists, as well as learn about science.

The RSA’s Catalyst Programme awarded Lab_13 a Scaling Grant to enable the project to provide more significant support to its network. Using the funding, Ignite! created a handbook bringing together key ideas and achievements of the project, raising their public profile, and helping with partnership building.

The RSA grant also created capacity for the project model to be tested in different scenarios – including delivering sessions virtually. The team found online sessions made it much easier for busy researchers and scientists to contribute support to young people’s experiments, allowing for a richer experience for the young participants.

The team has been able to adapt the model to new audiences, including working outside of schools in community groups, and with younger children through the Tots Time Science programme.

Ignite! are already looking ahead to 2030. With the help of their industry, science and funding partners, Ignite! will be continuing their important work building the skills, insights and confidence of young people. The RSA is proud to be supporting their work as they respond to the challenges and opportunities of our rapidly changing world.

Impact story: The Offer and Needs Market

The Offers and Needs Market (OANM) was developed in 2011 by RSA Fellow, Donnie Maclurcan, in response to the growing isolation in his local community. It encourages community members to meet, identify, and exchange their passions, knowledge, skills, resources, opportunities, and needs. This method helps communities uncover their collective wealth by rapidly deepening connections, and regenerating economies.

After 11 years of innovation, the OANM, an initiative of the Post Growth Institute (PGI), offers a meaningful, intimate, and efficient way for participants exchange goods and services and offer participants opportunities to make meaningful connections. As a community-owned and informed process, it is designed inclusively to offer opportunities for participants to make important connections.

In 2021, the project received £10k from the RSA, which the PGI used to develop facilitator training, launch a facilitator network, and increase the evidence base for their approach by hiring an existing volunteer for analysis.

In March 2022, the PGI ran OANM facilitator training with 64 participants over five weeks. Those who took part developed skills in asset-based community facilitation, inclusive design, and impact evaluation, with 88% planning to run their Offer and Needs Marketing in the next year.

The OANM is a true catalyst for action and change:

  • On average, each event participant has 5 offers and/or needs matched
  • 14% plan on expanding their existing business
  • 21% plan on volunteering more
  • 25% of participants plan on sourcing more goods locally as a result

Quotes from some of our winners

The grant has given us credibility and authority that we might have lacked without RSA support. 12 months on we have had over 180 students take part in our Creators Program, which we couldn’t have done without a Catalyst grant.

CEO of SwopItUp , Scaling Award winner Zaqiya Cajee

The Catalyst team have gone above and beyond to flex to the changing landscape of the pandemic and help us deliver value and impact as we adapted to digital delivery, and worked to connect employers with four schools and almost 200 children.

Director of Epic Steps, Seed Award winner Alison Edmonds

What do we fund?

Find out more about the types of projects the RSA funds.

Catalyst FAQs

One-stop-shop for any questions, including about eligibility, the assessment process and more.

Catalyst Awards

Catalyst Awards offer social innovation grants and support to our Fellows