Friday, November 25, 2005

What Patrick said...

Patrick Donohue, founder of BRINQ (, sent out the following message to his network in support of the CatComm Pledge...

To see his original message, click here:

Here is the full text of Patrick's message:

Dear Kady,

I want to share with you an opportunity to support an organization I really believe in and one that I think you would find worth supporting as well.

Over the last year-and-half my work has taken me deep into low-income communities in Kenya and Brazil, developing business models to combat poverty while enabling huge new markets and opportunities. One key lesson we’ve experienced is that often it’s the small and passionate organizations that are creating the greatest results. Catalytic Communities (CatComm), in Rio de Janeiro, is one such organization, employing an innovative model to combat the problems of poverty in the developing world.

Catalytic Communities is organized around the belief that for every problem a community faces there exist other communities throughout the world experiencing similar challenges, many who have come up with solutions to such problems on their own. CatComm therefore focuses on creating a new type of community: a global network of community leaders generating and exchanging local solutions, both via CatComm’s physical spaces in Brazil and its virtual spaces (,,

I discovered Catalytic Communities after a chance encounter last year with their founder, Theresa Williamson. I was so inspired by what CatComm was doing in Brazil that I convinced the World Resources Institute to fund a teaching study of the organization, which will be taught at business schools to demonstrate the power and challenges of locally grown solutions. Catalytic Communities just celebrated its 5th birthday and is now seeking to be replicated throughout Latin America and around the world. Support from people like you and I can enable it to grow its world-changing network and enable thousands of communities to become self-sustaining partners in the world. If we and 399 others make this commitment, CatComm’s annual budget will be met in 2006, and that’s giving as little $10 a month.

"I will set up a $10 monthly donation to CatComm (or $120 annually) but only if 399 other people will too, and only if one philanthropist will match our joint donations dollar for dollar."
— Patrick Donohue
Deadline to sign up by: 31st December 2005Join us in empowering a global network ofcommunity solutions!

At the same time, by joining this pledge, you will help launch in the USA. PledgeBank was launched earlier this year in the UK, and much like Catalytic Communities, PledgeBank leverages the power of networks to create change, revolutionizing the ability of civil society to organize itself around common goals You can learn more about PledgeBank at

Please pass this message on to your friends, sharing with them what gets you excited about Catalytic Communities. Also if you are ever in Rio de Janeiro, I highly recommend visiting Catalytic Communities community hub in downtown Rio. Through CatComm I've experienced some incredible parts of Brazil I never would have seen otherwise.

All the best,

“Everybody knows the proverb about how it’s better to teach a man to fish than just to give him a fish, but there’s a step beyond that: it’s better that a man’s neighbor is the one teaching him to fish, his peer. If some expert swoops in from afar you miss half the value of the interaction because of the inequality in that relationship. But if it’s his peer teaching him? Then the man is much more likely to offer something in return. You are much more likely to create a real sustainable relationship rather than just a new dependency.” – Theresa Williamson, Founder, Catalytic Communities

To read two articles we've written about Catalytic Communities see:
Side Effects - A Day in the Community
Learning to Swim - Back in Brazil



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