Catalyst Fund Purpose

The purpose of the Catalyst Fund is to accelerate the pace and practice of collaborative landscape conservation and stewardship across the United States. The Fund makes strategic investments in strengthening the collaborative capacity of place-based, community-grounded Landscape Partnerships. These investments are intended to better position Partnerships to achieve long-term conservation and stewardship success, building in landscapes across the country the enduring collaborative capacity needed to address systems-level challenges like the interwoven biodiversity, climate, and environmental injustice crises. A portion of the Fund is dedicated to supporting Indigenous leadership in landscape conservation and stewardship.

Landscape conservation and stewardship is an approach that brings people together across geographies, sectors, and cultures to collaborate on conserving and stewarding our important landscapes and the myriad ecological, cultural, and economic benefits they provide. This innately collaborative practice embraces the complexity of working at scale to connect, protect, and care for irreplaceable landscapes—across public and private lands, and from our cities to our wildest places.

The Catalyst Fund emerged from a series of observations:

  • Our 21st Century challenges— biodiversity loss, climate change, systemic environmental injustice, and more—are existential and systems-level, and working at the landscape scale is essential for scaling our response to the match the scale of these challenges;
  • Broad, enduring collaboration is essential to achieving lasting conservation and stewardship success across whole landscapes;
  • Building and sustaining effective collaboration requires dedicated time and resources, and a specific skillset and approach—all of which requires strategic and dedicated investments;
  • Yet funding to directly support and advance collaboration is scarce and difficult to find.

This is the collaboration disconnect: it has become almost universally understood that successful landscape conservation and stewardship is predicated on collaboration, and yet little funding is available to landscape initiatives for strengthening their process of collaboration. The Catalyst Fund is designed to address this critical disconnect directly, providing financial and capacity-building support to allow broad-based, enduring Partnerships to strategically invest in their collaborative capacity. These investments are intended to catalyze growth and better position Partnerships to achieve landscape conservation and stewardship success over the long term.