Catalyst Communities

Catalyst Communities

Activate Your Street!

catalyst communities
Are you passionate about creating solutions to social and environmental issues within your local community? Our Catalyst Communities program is currently growing throughout neighborhoods and campuses!  We’d love to know how we can help you manifest your dreams for a better community.




The NICE works to support neighborhood-focused teams in cities of the Northwest and beyond.
These teams, called Catalyst Communities, help empower community members to recognize their vision for improvement or change in their neighborhood. We foster a vibrant community through connections online and in person. By participating, Catalyst Communities contribute to the NICE Learning Community and inform the development of best practices in collaborative organizing. 

NICE Catalyst Communities:

  • Are supported as they launch and implement their program
  • Are coached through their launch and development of their team
  • Are assisted with developing partnership and funding strategies
  • Are mentored while teams adapt and improve their program

Current Catalyst Communities 

Green Lents

Green Lents is a non-profit founded in 2009 and supported by neighbors, who are working to promote a culture of sharing and environmental sustainability in and around the Lents neighborhood in Portland, Oregon.


Walnut City Homestead

A cooperative household providing community space to intentionally learn, reflect, adapt, and grow towards living our highest vision of community.


Energize Corvallis Communities Take Charge

Energize Corvallis is dedicated to helping Corvallis become one of the most energy efficient communities in the nation.


View Catalyst Communities in a larger map


Frequently Asked Questions 

How can I get started?

The easiest way to get stated is to contact someone from the NICE and have your first free consultation. Some great ways to get things started at home are to identify a couple groups you would like to partner with and attend their meeting or meet with a group member to interview them about their work. Look for ways to support them, the best connections are built on mutual benefit. You could also schedule a meeting with some potential team members and talk about what all of you are excited to do together, check out our GamePlans for some ideas on how to facilitate this meeting. You can also fill out this form to create your team.

How many people should be in a team?

Never doubt the power of your team of one! That being said, a team of 3-5 people is a great place to start. Look for people with shared values and interests, and a diversity of skill sets and styles of working. Similarities allow us to connect, differences allow us to share something unique. Try to establish clear roles and communication once you have an idea about who is on your team, their time and capacity, and the work you are doing. The GamePlan LaunchPad should help you get stated on creating team norms.

Is there any fee?

Participating in Catalyst Communities is totally FREE. There may be a fee for optional events and activities, but as a Catalyst Community you will always get the best deal. The NICE also provides consulting for community groups, and being a Catalyst Community qualifies you for a discounted rate.

Why we need a team?

Our communities are better when we build them together! Starting a Catalyst Community is an amazing adventure that will transform your life and improve the world, one neighbor, one block, one neighborhood at a time. Authentic community-driven change can’t happen without you. Catalysts like you have already started enriching communities across the Pacific Northwest. Check out the work that they are doing by clicking on the images above. Feel free to reach out to them via their websites, and to join in the discussion by liking the NICE on FB.