The California Catalyst Fund

A Strategic Restructuring Fund for Community Clinics

Now more than ever, community health centers need to adapt to the new health care delivery environment created by passage of the Affordable Care Act. In response, the California Catalyst Fund helps clinics partner, collaborate, or even merge.

October 2013

Community health centers face unprecedented pressures under the Affordable Care Act. To flourish, clinics will need to simultaneously collaborate and compete for resources.

The $1.56 million California Catalyst Fund, which receives contributions from the California HealthCare Foundation, the Blue Shield of California Foundation, and the California Wellness Foundation, provides much-needed grants for technical assistance to California community health centers exploring or implementing restructuring projects. Examples of restructuring projects range from administrative consolidation and joint programming to more formal long-term partnerships such as joint ventures, corporate mergers, and the creation of management service organizations. Each of these types of collaborations has the potential to help clinics expand services, achieve operational efficiencies, and stay competitive.

The Nonprofit Finance Fund administers the California Catalyst Fund, which is designed to:

  • Underwrite technical assistance with grants of $10,000 to $50,000, depending on the scope of the proposed project and its position on the planning continuum
  • Support promising strategic restructuring projects at all stages of development, from preplanning and feasibility studies to implementation of a detailed plan
  • Catalyze existing or potential partnerships between two or more organizations

To date, the fund has supported over 20 organizations across California in the areas of financial management, readiness assessment, implementation planning, and negotiation facilitation.

The Catalyst Fund is now accepting applications from health centers that have identified opportunities to improve community wellness. This includes applicants in the early stages of assessing their future viability and sustainability, as well as those determining how they might use strategic collaborations to strengthen their organizations and improve patient outcomes.

Application details are available on the Nonprofit Finance Fund website. The deadline to apply is December 2, 2013. Proposals received after this date will be considered on a rolling basis given remaining fund availability.