Skip to content

Catalyst Fund Application & Eligibility

The Catalyst Fund, developed and managed in partnership with the Aspen Institute, recognizes ventures at critical junctures on their path to creating meaningful change.

Annually, $150,000 is awarded across five to seven recipients. In addition to financial support, recipients benefit from non-monetary support depending on their needs. Benefits may include opportunities at and scholarships to the annual Resnick Aspen Action Forum, leadership or organizational development consulting, coaching, and community building, as well as opportunities for storytelling, visibility, and networking.


Eligible applicants for the Catalyst Fund for developing ventures should be at a critical juncture and have critical need. Typically at an earlier stage of development than McNulty Prize candidates, all Catalyst Fund candidates should exhibit high potential to deepen or widen their impact, with significant early momentum. Key criteria include impact, creativity and sustainability. See below for more details.

To qualify, applicants must be Aspen Institute Fellows with a venture or Action Pledge that is poised to continue for the foreseeable future. Submissions must be, or have substantially evolved from, what was designated the Fellow’s leadership venture. They can be non-profit, for-profit or hybrid structures, provided that social benefit is the key priority.

To be considered for the Catalyst Fund, you must be invited to apply by the McNulty Foundation. Please consult your Fellowship Director if you are interested.

Submission Guidelines

Eligible applicants will be requested to respond to the following prompts in our application portal.

Problem & Approach

What need or problem does your venture seek to address? What community or systems does this apply to? What is your venture’s mission and why did it begin? What distinguishes your approach from others?


Describe the impact of your venture on individuals and/or the community, including any key early metrics you track. How do you know the venture is embraced by those it serves? How are you poised to grow or deepen your impact, and how will you know when you are successful?

Critical Juncture

We want to understand the narrative and trajectory of your venture’s journey, and what critical juncture your venture is at now and looking to the future. What milestones have you achieved in the last year, and what milestones do you anticipate in the next year? Critical need is a key criterion for the Catalyst Fund—how would funding and/or recognition make a difference for your venture at this specific stage in its development? How is the venture funded now, and how do you envision it will be sustained? What is your vision for the future?

Success to Significance

The Catalyst Fund, like the McNulty Prize, celebrates the boldness and impact of AGLN and Aspen Global Innovators Group Fellows using their expertise and platforms to address the world’s toughest challenges. What is your title and role in the venture’s achievements? How are you uniquely positioned to address this issue? In what way is the venture an outcome of your fellowship experience?

Additional Materials

Supplementary information and video submission are optional. Candidates who move forward may be asked to provide additional information.

If your venture is more mature, with an effective model for change that’s now focused on scaling, deepening or institutionalizing, you may want to learn more about the McNulty Prize. Follow this link to learn more about the Prize.