In 2014, the George Family Foundation began a multi-year integrative health initiative, Catalyst, to help communities realize their capacity to support health and wellbeing using mind-body approaches that are culturally meaningful.

Catalyst grew out of Penny and Bill George’s desire to make an impact on people’s health and wellbeing throughout Minnesota. With the addition of Catalyst, the Foundation is working at both a systemic and strategic level across the continuum, from institutions to grassroots initiatives, to foster greater health and wellbeing. Catalyst represents a new effort to work at the grassroots level – to reach more individuals and communities than ever before.  Recognizing that people support what they help to create, Catalyst is intentionally building a culture of wellbeing from the ground up.

Catalyst operates in partnership with the George Family Foundation’s regular grantmaking operations. Catalyst will provide training and technical assistance, host convening events, connect for impact, and provide small, short-term seed grants to reach our goal of making Minnesota the healthiest state in the nation.

Our Strategies

  1. Act as network connector: Bring existing and emergent networks together for catalytic conversations.
  2. Host strategic convening events to ignite new energy: Coordinate focused, purposeful gatherings.
  3. Stimulate emergence of grassroots change agents: Provide skill building opportunities to community leaders.
  4. Prioritize Active Hope strategies: Support initiatives with a strong foundation for success and sustainability. 
  5. Exploit opportunities for connectivity: Recognize and be nimble to act when openings appear.
  6. Create meaningful entry points to the work:  Understand cultural context and receptivity for best outcomes.
  7. Promote learning loops to accelerate change: Analyze knowledge gaps and share lessons learned.

Desired Outcomes

  • Newly enhanced networks foster expanded integrative healing practices.
  • A cohort of community change agents is shifting the social norm of health.
  • Media messaging consistently promotes self-care as primary care.
  • Health systems become promoters and practitioners of truly healthy ways of living.
  • The business model supports prevention as primary care.
  • Awareness, access, and utilization of integrative health and healing practices are standard and affordable.
  • Curricula and policy are driven by the human and cost benefits of integrative health.
  • Ample practice based evidence supports the efficacy of integrative modalities. 
  • Communities most impacted by health disparities demonstrate greater levels of overall health and wellbeing.