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Information for Applicants



Q: How do I apply?

A: All interested organizations that meet the Catalyst eligibility requirements may respond to the Call for Submissions with an initial Letter of Intent submitted via the Catalyst Portal no later than April 6, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET. The Letter of Intent invites applicants to submit:

  • A brief description of its organization, including its mission and vision for near- and long-term impact.
  • A brief description of the role of wireless technology in achieving the organization’s social and business goals.
  • A brief description (up to one-page) of how the organization would use funds, if awarded, in line with problem and opportunity statements, including the charitable purpose served.
  • The current operating budget and high-level growth projections.
  • An overview of the organization’s geographical coverage.

Q: What Does the Submissions Process Look Like?

A: After receiving the Letters of Intent, CTIA Wireless Foundation will review all letters, evaluate the appropriateness for charitable grant support and invite selected applicants to submit a full proposal in April 2021.

The full proposal will include a narrative description of the scope of the funding request that the Catalyst award funds would support, as well as more detailed financial information.

All semi-finalists that submit a full proposal will receive a $1,000 unrestricted grant in support of their organization’s charitable mission.

After a review of the applications and after the selection by Catalyst Advisors, CTIA Wireless Foundation will invite up to three finalists to showcase their organizations and solutions and will then select, recognize, and celebrate the winners. Due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation may hold these activities virtually.

Q: What Do Catalyst Awardees Receive?

A: Catalyst finalists receive unrestricted grants in the following amounts. Catalyst awardees will be required to attend event(s) during the grant year and to submit short interim and full-year grant reports to the Foundation.

  • First Place: $100,000
  • Second Place: $50,000
  • Third Place: $25,000

Q: What Else Do Catalyst Awardees Receive?

A: In addition to one financial award at an amount outlined above, all awardees will receive several non-financial benefits and incentives, including the following:

  • An organizational profile and video vignette posted on CTIA Wireless Foundation website.
  • Features in CTIA member communications, including newsletters and social media channels, as well as through CTIA Wireless Foundation channels.
  • Opportunities to meet with elected officials and other policymakers.
  • An initiation into the Catalyst alumni network.
  • Networking with CTIA Wireless Foundation board members.

Q: What is the deadline to enter?

A: Applications are open from February 9 through April 6, 2021 at 11:59 pm ET.

Q: Who is eligible to enter?

A: Here are the eligibility requirements for Catalyst.

  • CTIA Wireless Foundation operates in the United States and represents the wireless communications industry nationwide. Therefore, applicants must be registered and operate in the United States.
  • In compliance with the legal obligations of CTIA Wireless Foundation, applicants must assume one of the following legal statuses and be registered in the United States as one of the following: a nonprofit organization; a for-profit enterprise with a demonstrated commitment to social good; or a B-Corporation. The Foundation will not consider organizations without one of these statuses. The Foundation may ask organizations that have the legal status of a for-profit enterprise with a demonstrated commitment to social good or a B-Corporation to submit additional documentation at the appropriate time.
  • To avoid any potential conflicts of interest, applicants cannot be past or current CTIA members during any point in the awards process outlined below.
  • To ensure equity and fairness in the review process, applicants must have completed all requested materials and submit them by April 6, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET. The Foundation will not consider late or incomplete submissions.
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply.

What types of wireless technologies qualify for Catalyst?

Wireless should be an integral part of applicants’ solutions. Applicants will be asked to select from the following list of wireless technology during the application process: SMS/MMS, IoT device, Mobile App, Wearables, Geolocation Services, AR/VR, and NarrowBand-IoT(NB-IoT)/LTE-M.

Q: Who should apply to Catalyst?

A: CTIA Wireless Foundation is committed to the principles of diversity and inclusion in supporting social enterprises that seek to improve how wireless technology applies to health and well-being. Catalyst therefore seeks to support entities, both for-profit and nonprofit, that have the potential and infrastructure in place to make a real impact, but that may face barriers to accessing capital.

Organizations whose leadership primarily comprises Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), women, and/or veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. Catalyst Advisors—an advisory board composed of industry experts who judge the applications—will prioritize the following in the review process:

  • Applicants who have made, or have demonstrable potential to make, noteworthy contributions to impact the field of health and well-being using wireless technology, especially in communities that lack access to quality care.
  • Applicants who have experience working through business incubators, accelerators, or mentorship programs.
  • Applicants who demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in their business practices and in the design and execution of their programs.

Catalyst will also prioritize BIPOC, women, and/or veteran-led applicants using wireless technology solutions to support (or focus on) their communities.

Informational Webinars 

Did you miss our informational webinars? Check out the recording below.

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Catalyst 2021: Informational Webinar

1400 16th St NW #600, Washington, DC 20036(202) 736-3200
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