The Community Sponsorship Catalyst Fund

Communities benefit when neighbors engage directly in welcoming refugees.

We believe that community sponsorship of refugees begins in local communities, and we are eager to provide further support to organizations facilitating these community-led initiatives.

Catalyst Fund Impact

The Community Sponsorship Catalyst Fund (Catalyst Fund) is guided by the belief that when neighbors engage meaningfully in the welcoming of newcomers, the entire community benefits. After launching the first call for proposals in the Fall of 2020, more funders have contributed to this effort and the Fund continues to grow.


Rounds of

Including one round of emergency response in support of newly arrived Afghans.


At the local, regional, and national level are supported by the Catalyst Fund.


The Catalyst Fund is expanding community sponsorship opportunities in communities across the United States.

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About the Catalyst Fund

Why Community Sponsorship Matters

At its heart, community sponsorship creates opportunities for people to play a key role in supporting refugees as they settle into their new communities.

Community sponsorship is a significant commitment, but it also has proven to be an extremely rewarding one that often builds powerful bonds between sponsor groups and the refugees they welcome. The current moment presents a critical opportunity to reimagine resettlement and lay the groundwork for a future, reinvigorated system built on community participation.


Meet the Founders

In support of this community-driven effort, a coalition of funders including the Open Society Foundations, The Shapiro Foundation, and philanthropists G. Barrie Landry and Laurie T. Franz, came together in late 2019 to establish a new fund to help organizations across the United States develop, implement, and enhance community sponsorship programs. After launching the first call for proposals in the Fall of 2020, more funders have contributed to this effort and the Catalyst Fund has continued to grow.

On Campus

Campus Catalyst Grants

The Welcome Corps on Campus Catalyst Grants provide funding to higher education institutions, enabling their campus sponsor groups to welcome refugee students through the Welcome Corps on Campus. These grants expand the number of campuses who can participate, creating more opportunities for refugees to obtain an education, and diversifying and enriching life on campus. By equipping campus sponsors with the resources and supports needed to welcome refugee students, the Catalyst Fund is laying the groundwork for a campus sponsorship infrastructure, strengthening systems of welcome across the U.S.

The deadline for Campus Catalyst Grants applications has been extended! Apply by Wednesday, July 31, 2024.

Community Sponsorship Hub is pleased to announce a second round of funding through the Campus Catalyst Grant. Campuses planning to welcome refugee students at their institutions through the Welcome Corps on Campus for the academic year 2025-2026 can now apply to support their institution’s participation in the Welcome Corps on Campus. Campuses can apply for up to $15,000 per refugee student, which can be used over a 2-year grant period.

Campus Catalyst Grant Application

Download the Campus Catalyst Grant Application Guide

Please note, Campus Catalyst Grants are awarded to campuses applying to the Welcome Corps on Campus to be matched with a refugee student abroad who is identified as an academic fit for their institution. Grants are not available to institutions to cover participation for specific refugee students they referred to the program at this time.