Catalyst: Community Finance Initiative

Collaboratively scaling the place-based community finance ecosystem
About usStewards
The Catalyst: Community Finance Initiative is a multi-year initiative to develop enhanced ecosystem and policy infrastructure to support the start-up and scale up place-based community finance organizations in urban, rural and Northern communities in Ontario and across the country.

Our Mission

We are seeking to:

  • Collectively design relevant ecosystem and provincial public policy infrastructure to ensure that community finance institutions can successfully and sustainably start-up and scale their impact;
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing amongst place-based finance and capacity organizations; and
  • Engage existing and new community finance organizations that can serve organizations, projects, and enterprises in selected urban, rural and Northern communities, alongside mainstream leaders in philanthropy, public policy, and financial institutions.


  • Learning Community of current and interested place-based community capital stakeholders;
  • Community Capital Research Report including case studies, map, data, and comparative analysis of Canadian (federal and provincial), US and UK policies that support community capital institutions
  • Action Plan including potential policy interventions to scale up community capital institutions in Ontario as well as potential ecosystem infrastructure interventions with an appropriately phased plan to scale up community capital institutions in Ontario and across Canada
  • Tools and templates for community capital leaders. 

Catalyst Capacity Building Program: Seeking Advisors and Fund Candidates

The Catalyst Capacity Building Program is community finance intermediary education program pilot to build capacity for at least ten (10) start-up/emergent and scale-up/existing place-based community finance intermediaries, including integrating an equity lens into their investment approach through tailored education.

Catalyst: Community Finance Initiative is seeking Advisors to provide 1-1 and group coaching and guidance to upcoming place-based community finance intermediaries on a variety of topics.

Catalyst is also looking for both new and existing Place-based Community Finance Intermediaries to participate in its Capacity Building Program. Please see below for more details and the application process.

Stewardship Group

Catalyst: Community Finance Initiative is a collaborative with a growing, wide range of networks, intermediaries and funders. The collaborative is stewarded by a number of key partners:


Catalyst Action Plan

After our first year of engagement with community stakeholders, Catalyst has prepared a comprehensive Action Plan including overall objectives, goals, and next steps.

Catalyst Community Finance Initiative Ecosystem Convening Summary

Report summarizing the Ecosystem Convening with various ecosystem stakeholders in March 2022

Catalyst Community Finance Initiative Stakeholder Engagement Report

Report detailing the findings of interviews from 35 community finance ecosystem stakeholders

Five must read resources on place-based impact investing

A curated collection of articles on place-based investing from recognized and respected sources.

Place-Based Impact Investing: Catalyzing women-led enterprises in Ontario’s COVID recovery

This article highlights the need to support women-led and women-serving businesses with place-based impact investment solutions.

Five Ways to Catalyze Community Capital in Ontario

This article summarizes five (5) key actions for the community capital movement to consider in supporting organizations and enterprises that can lead at a local level.

Why Community Capital Institutions Could be the Key to Recovery

How Canada can leverage community capital institutions to help lead recovery and regeneration efforts that can support local communities.

Place-Based Impact Investing: Three Briefs for Practitioners

Three practitioner briefs designed to focus on building strong ecosystems, mapping opportunities and capacities, and deploying capital.

Beyond Donations: How Two Canadian Organizations are Rebuilding Community Wealth Post-COVID

How 10C and VERGE Capital are leveraging innovative ways to mobilize social finance for community resilience.

Get in touch with us

11 + 8 =