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 lived and worked in the Western Balkans for the past 22 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.

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.

Jelena Bekčić

Data Quality Manager

Jelena joined Catalyst in early 2015 to become part of the team working on collecting and analysis of philanthropic data in the Western Balkans region. Long-year experience in the Serbian civil society sector on various projects supported by international donors equipped her with in-depth knowledge in provision of capacity development assistance to civil society organizations throughout Serbia and familiarity with the situation on the field. Jelena leads the team of analysts and researches dedicated to tracking philanthropy and is responsible for the data gathering and annual reporting process.

Vanja Širbegović

Finance and Administration Manager

Vanja joined Catalyst team in April 2017 where she is obtaining the position as Financial and Administration Manager. Long year of experience in civil society sector in Serbia and working on more then fifty projects funded by variety of donors made her competent in the field of Financial Management for non profits.

Marko Galjak

Chief Data Scientist

Marko runs Data Products and Services team at Catalyst Balkans working on a wide array of projects including: AI, Research, CRM integration, all with the goal of strengthening the capacity of CSOs through application of IT, data science and philanthropy intelligence. Marko holds two Master's degrees, one in Demography the other in Computing in Social Sciences. He is an activist at heart, and has been part of civil society beginning from his high school days. Marko is also affiliated with Institute of Social Sciences in Belgrade where he is pursing his PhD. 

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.

Zorana Brozović

Philanthropy Data Analyst

Zorana is active in civil society since 2004. She was researcher in Belgrade Center for Security Policy engaged on policy research analysis, advocacy, capacity development and networking of civil society projects. Zorana joined Catalyst Balkans in 2016 at the position of the Philanthropy Data Analyst. Tracking philanthropy is her major task.

Nikola Mladenović

System Administrator

My name is Nikola and I’m a working as System and Web administrator in Catalyst Balkans. Technology has held my interest since I was a kid and I always found my way around computers, from video games to understanding the functions of the internet. My parents were very supportive about my interest and encouraged me to pursue education in IT field. My goal primarily, was to be a programmer, however, that interest didn’t last long when I found myself in another profession. That is to strive to be a successful administrator that can handle any problem in the system and the network itself.
 

Marko Kragović

Junior Data Scientist

My work experience includes 4 years in web development and 2 years in the field of data science with the main focus on R and JavaScript languages. I joined Catalyst in July of 2018 and ever since I'm working on the development and maintenance of Catalyst's IT products and on the development of data-based web applications for the non-profit sector. I have a degree in statistics from the Faculty of Economy at Belgrade University. My professional interests evolve around the predictive analysis and web technology.  In my spare time, I enjoy running, reading and traveling.

Sanja Lazić

Crowdfunding Campaign Coordinator

Graduated journalist with two MA degrees: cultural policy and management, and development of international artistic and cultural projects. Over the years, Sanja was working on diverse positions in content management, marketing and communications. These experiences include Belgrade Youth Center, Belgrade Jazz Festival, Widewalls, Krokodil and others. After years of freelancing, Sanja joined Catalyst in 2019, excited to work on crowdfunding campaigns, which has since expanded to mentoring nonprofit organizations and media outlets in their process of community building and online fundraising.

 

Nevena Đurić

Philanthropy Data Analysis and Verification Assistant

Nevena is holding the position of the Philanthropy Analysis and Verification Assistant at the Catalyst Foundation since August 2019. Nevena graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Department of Pedagogy. Through her previous professional experience she had opportunity to work in profit, as well as non-profit sector, and to volunteer. She deeply believes that philanthropy can make the world a better place, and through her every day work she strives to create a content that helps people to recognize the importance of giving and helping others.

Milica Antić

Nonprofit CRM Implementation Coordinator

I've finished the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade, and since high school, I have been involved in activism and volunteer work. I worked on human rights projects at the Youth Initiative for Human Rights, assisted on reconciliation and regional cooperation projects at the No Borders Orchestra and coordinated projects for the development of civil society and social entrepreneurship in Civic Initiatives. At the Catalyst Foundation, I work as a CRM Coordinator and help civil society representatives to build their community so we all can make a better impact on our society.

Milan Tešić

Nonprofit CRM Implementation Coordinator

Milan graduated from the University of Belgrade majoring in Serbian language and literature.
While he was a graduate student, he worked in the non-profit sector as a trainer on different projects and within Debate club Open communication. After graduation, he went to teach. In 2017 he joined the team of the Belgrade Center for Digital Humanities working on projects of Digitalization Vuk Karadžić's and Gliša Elezović's dictionaries. He joined Catalyst in February 2020 on a position of CRM coordinator to help non-profits to create change through the use of digital tools.

Nela Mojsoska

Philanthropy Data Researcher (External Associate)

Nela Mojsoska has joined our Catalyst Balkans family, shortly after she become Bachelor of Psychology. She has more than 9 years of experience in the CSO sector in Macedonia, working in different organizations, on various projects, trainings and workshops.

Adelina Ajdari

Philanthropy Data Analyst (External Associate)

Youth activist and social entrepreneur, always seeking challenging tasks that build up knowledge and experience. Experienced in project management-full cycle, event organizing, data collecting and analyzing, peer-to-peer mentoring, undertaking leadership roles, confident communicator and advocate for youth and knowledgeable in economic principles – as demonstrated throughout my projects and university degree. Self-motivated, polyglot and enthusiastic with a proven ability to deliver results, resolve problems and inspire team members.

Our Board

Catalyst’s current board members include:

  • Andrea Brbaklić – Chair and Board Member, CEO at FromA Consulting Ltd
  • Vesna Bajšanski-Agić – Board Member, Executive Director at Mozaik Foundation
  • Chris Worman – Vice President, Alliances and Program Development at Tech Soup
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