Criteria for Consideration

We anticipate fine-tuning these criteria over time and value the guidance and active involvement of the Leaders Circle members. All proposals and ideas should be innovative that stimulate creativity. Below is a partial list of criteria for consideration.

  • Does this proposal/idea solve a well-defined problem or opportunity?
  • Does the idea/proposal advance an important objective of the library, archives and/or museum communities?
  • What is the potential for the idea or proposal to serve the broad LYRASIS community? That is, is it a common and/or shared issue for members of the LYRASIS community? Are the outputs scalable beyond a single institution?
  • Will you be collaborating with others in the idea/proposal? Is this idea of interest to others outside of your organization?

For proposals only:

  • Is the plan of work appropriate to the proposal's goal, and is the budget reasonable and justified?


Ideas can come from any member of LYRASIS who are in good standing. In short, an institution can either:

  • Submit a two-page Proposal Form requesting funding to pilot their project. Or,
  • Submit a one-page Idea Form for a project that they believe will benefit the field.

NOTE: The institution submitting an Idea Form is not necessarily obligated to do the work. If it is met with favor, the Leaders Circle and LYRASIS staff will design an implementation plan or solicit a call to action from our members to pilot the project.

Funds Usage Criteria

Ideas/Projects funded will need to vary in some aspect, and must serve the broad interests of the LYRASIS membership.

​More Information

Application period will begin January 9, 2017. More information to come.

Email Jennifer Bielewski for more information.


What is the Catalyst Fund?

The Catalyst Fund is a program administered by LYRASIS and LYRASIS Leaders Circle members. The Fund is designed to identify and foster new ideas to benefit the archives, library and museum communities. LYRASIS has allocated funds from its endowment to put toward worthy projects and ideas from its members that can be shared to help advance the field. Join the Leaders Circle today to be sure you are a part of this exciting new program.

How much is available for projects?

This year, LYRASIS has earmarked $100,000 for disbursement to projects and ideas, and this amount may change year-to-year. We anticipate giving three to four awards ranging from $1,000 to $35,000, depending on project scope. The maximum award is $100,000.

Who is eligible?

All LYRASIS members in good standing can apply to submit an idea or proposal and are eligible to receive awards from the Catalyst Fund.

Can group agents apply for the catalyst fund?

A group agent can apply, as they have all the same rights as an institutional member.

Can affiliates apply for the catalyst fund?

Affiliates or group participants, are not considered members of LYRASIS and in many cases we do not know who those group participants are, therefore could not apply for the Catalyst fund.

How does the community benefit?

Libraries, archives and museums around the country will benefit by seeing, learning and trying out new ideas that might otherwise have never seen the light of day because institutions have barriers to implementation such as limited staff time, budget or expertise. All projects and ideas will be shared with the full LYRASIS membership upon completion. Additionally, technologies and content developed will be open and available to all.

What qualifies as a capital expenditure that would not be covered by the catalyst fund?

Capital expenditures are expenses that result in the acquisition of longer-lived assets, those that have a useful life in excess of one year, such as property, buildings, equipment, furniture and fixtures. Expenses that are capitalized are amortized or depreciated over multiple years based on the expected life of the asset.

What's the timeframe for implementing funded proposals?
You should plan for a six to 12 month timeframe for your project. The Leaders Circle will select projects to fund in April 2017. Projects can begin in late April or early May as soon as funds are disbursed. All funded projects will report on accomplishments at the October 2017 Member Summit. Project activities should be completed no later than April 30, 2018.

Do I have to implement the idea?

No! If you have an idea that you would like to see come to fruition, but do not want to manage the project per se, you can submit an idea and note that you are recommending LYRASIS to further explore the implementation. Simply submit it as an "idea" instead of as a "proposal" on the application form.

Who determines which ideas and projects are funded?

Members of the LYRASIS Leaders Circle will determine which projects and ideas receive Catalyst Fund awards. The Leaders Circle is a new level of LYRASIS membership created to serve libraries, archives and museums that are seeking a more active role in collaboration, innovation and stewardship of open technologies, services and content.

Will the Catalyst Fund cover overhead or indirect expenses?

No. The Catalyst Fund in not intended to cover overhead costs or inderect expenses.

Indirect costs, also called overhead or "facilities and administrative costs," are defined as administrative or other expenses that are cannot be directly tied to or allocated to a specific program, project or activity. Instead, they are related to overall general operations and are shared among projects, programs and/or functions. Examples include expenses for executive oversight, accounting, utilities, shared technology and systems support, and facility maintenance.

How do I apply?

Applications will be accepted January 9 - February 28, 2017. Proposals can be submitted here. Please contact with questions.