WHO WE ARE AND HOW WE WORK

We work to better understand and leverage domestic philanthropy for the social transformation of the countries of the Western Balkans

Our Goal

To support the development and expansion of locally-sourced philanthropy and to increase knowledge exchange within the philanthropy community in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.

Our Strategic Directions

Catalyst believes it can best expand the philanthropy ecosystem in the Western Balkans by concentrating its efforts in 6 key areas:

  • Gather and Analyze Data
  • Disseminate Data and Promote Philanthropy
  • Facilitate Networking and Events
  • Develop New Tools and Approaches
  • Deliver Consulting and Advisory Services

Our Products

Catalyst’s current knowledge products include:

  • Annual Reports on Philanthropy – country level and regional analysis of information and data on domestic philanthropy drawn from the media and public domain, providing both quantitative and qualitative insights into the growth and structure of the philanthropy sector.
  • Philanthropy Sector News Feed – a daily feed of stories on corporate, individual and foundation giving – available through the Catalyst website, Facebook page and through a weekly news digest (Subscribe Now)
  • PhilanthropyBalkans – a blog and online publication that engages nonprofit and corporate philanthropy experts in an open dialogue about topical issues of concern to the sector (Check It Out Here)
  • GivingBalkans – a first-of-its-kind database of giving in the region pulled from public domain sources and available for use in resource development or allocation planning (check out Beta version of the database by clicking on Database link)

Nathan Koeshall

Director and Co-Founder

Nathan has made the Western Balkans both his home and office for the past 17 years, developing an ever-increasing interest in engaged citizenship, social change, and catalyzing and advising local-sourced philanthropy.  He has worked within/led international development programs focused on community engagement and civil society capacity building and grantmaking in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.  He loves listening to and telling stories about the creative and innovative ways that individuals and companies serve their fellow man.

Aleksandra Vesić

Senior Adviser and Co-Founder

Aleksandra has over 15 years of professional experience in civil society development and non-profit management in Western Balkans and CEE region, both as a CSO leader/manager as well as professional consultant/facilitator. From 2003 to 2009, Aleksandra was Executive Director of the Balkan Community Initiatives Fund (BCIF), now known as Trag Foundation. Her specific expertise includes assessments, strategy development, organizational development and sustainability, grantmaking, and impact evaluation.

Đorđe Kolaković

Communications and Outreach Manager

With an education in classical and computer animation, Đorđe’s attention to the minute details aids him in his work verifying and cleaning the data collected on philanthropy in the region.  Philanthropy is now one of his favorites on a long and eclectic list of interests and activities.

Jelena Bekčić

Philanthropy Data Program Manager

Jelena joined Catalyst in February 2015 to become part of the team working on collecting and analysis of philanthropic data in the Western Balkans region. 15 year-long experience in the Serbian civil society sector on various projects supported by international donors equipped her with in-depth knowledge in provision of technical capacity development assistance to civil society organizations throughout Serbia and familiarity with the situation on the field. Philanthropy definitely brings it to the new level.

Ana Zorbić

Finance Manager

Ana joined the Catalyst team in June 2016, bringing two decades of experience in working with non-governmental organizations that specifically dealt with disenfranchised groups. She previously served as finance and administration coordinator in Women Space, a Niš-based organization that coordinates the work of the Roma Women Network. Since 2003 Ana has assisted in the development of LGBT youth initiatives in southern Serbia and has been an active leader and facilitator to various groups and informal associations. She currently sits on the steering committee of Labris – Lesbian Human Rights Organization in Belgrade. Ana strongly believes that developing solidarity and creating connections among different social groups is the key to creating a more just and inclusive society and that one of the available strategies is to promote and support philanthropic initiatives and create new ones.

Marinela Panić

Communications and Outreach Assistant

Marinela is a student of Arabic language and literature at the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. During the floods in May 2014, Marinela joined the Catalyst Balkans team as a volunteer gathering and entering data about flood donations. She eventually joined the Catalyst as a member of the data team. She was recently employed by Catalyst and leads efforts in social media and in continuing to build Catalyst’s contact database. Besides philanthropy, Marinela loves animals and nature.

Danijela Ranković

Finance and Administration Assistant

Danijela Ranković is a feminist and human rights activist with a Masters' degree in Gender studies from the University in Belgrade (Serbia). Her research focuses on Violence against Women (WaV), Transitional Justice and Python programming language. She has been working on different projects with the Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Belgrade), Humanitarian Law Center (Belgrade), Women’s Studies and Gender Research Centre (Belgrade) and Gender Equality Directorate (Government of Serbia). 

Zorka Kovačević

Philanthropy Researcher

Zorka has over 15 years of professional experience in civil sector in Serbia and the region, in areas of project management, analytics, research, advocacy and fundraising, as well as over 5 years of working experience in business sector in areas of media monitoring, sales, marketing and market research. She has excellent communication and presentation skills, and believes in power of individual - that someone’s little can contribute a lot to improve quality of life and progress of society. Philanthropy represents for her conjunction of everything she believes and aims to both on individual and global levels, synthesis and essence of any action – contribution to the benefit and welfare of vulnerable individuals and groups, along as to human society as whole. Zorka loves poetry, literature, theatre, Internet and social media, nature and traveling.

Branko Dokuzovski

Philantropy Data Analyst

Branko Dokuzovski, CEO of HORUS Skopje and member of the Steering Committee of the SIGN Regional Network has over 18-years of professional experience in strategic and project management, policy development and advocacy efforts, research and provision of various forms of capacity building interventions to CSOs, public institutions and companies.

Mr. Dokuzovski, from May 2011 till December 2015 served as Development Manager of the Center for Institutional Development–CIRa Skopje and was actively involved in the development and implementation of various project focused on philanthropy and CSR, social entrepreneurship, organizational sustainability and institutional development of CSOs, public and private institutions and organizations. From September 2009 till April 2011 Mr. Dokuzovski was engaged as Project Grants Coordinator within the CIRa’s CIVICA Mobilitas grant programme funded by the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency (SDC).

From March 2002 to August 2005 Mr. Dokuzovski was executive Director of Healthy Options Project Skopje (HOPS), CSO which activities are focused on reduction of drug related harm, prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne diseases, as well as programs for social reintegration and re-socialization targeting young people and vulnerable groups (drug users and their families and sex workers and their families).

Goran Bekić

Philantropy Data Analyst

Goran is holding the position of the Philanthropy Data Analyst at the Catalyst Foundation since January 2015, when he found his new passion for philanthropy and research in this field. He is currently a student at he Faculty of Security Studies in Belgrade. Besides being interested in philanthropy, Goran likes basketball, history and IT.

Pavle Veselinović

Philantropy Data Analyst

Experienced, goal oriented person with over 25 years of progressive background in sales and logistics services. In the last five years participated in several projects on improving conditions for small and medium enterprises in Serbia. Since the April 2015 he has been trying to learn about philanthropy by tracking philanthropic activities in the region, and placing the records about them in the Catalyst database.

Alex Cooper

Copywriter

Alex comes to Catalyst with several years of experience with nonprofit organizations in the United States and LGBTI rights organizations in the Balkans. He earned his M.A. in Critical Gender Studies from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and his B.A. in Government and Community Studies from The College of William and Mary in the U.S. Alex enjoys being a shipbuilder: building relationships between people and communities. He is a passionate supporter of community engagement and active citizenship. He firmly believes that you don’t have to be the change you want to see in the world, but be part of it.

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