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Preliminary design greatly increases the likelihood that your project will succeed. Tap into our pro bono preliminary design services. 


The Collaborative’s Design Grants give nonprofits access to 
pro bono preliminary design services. Nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia may apply for grants.

Preliminary design greatly increases the likelihood that a project will be successfully completed. Preliminary design is the first 10% of the design process. It provides nonprofits with powerful tools to advance their projects - conceptual drawings to share the vision, feasibility studies to prove the project can be done, and preliminary cost estimates to guide fundraising. 

Design Grants offer pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofits. The Collaborative works with each Design Grant recipient to determine the approach and scope of services that will best meet their needs. Design Grants typically provide between $15,000 and $35,000 in preliminary design services - donated by highly skilled volunteers with expertise in architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, cost estimating, historic preservation, interior design, urban design, city planning, lighting design, graphic design, and more.

Design Grant recipients pay a $5,000 administrative fee to offset the Collaborative’s direct costs. Scholarships may be available for organizations receiving Design Grants to: 

  • advance neighborhood economic development in the City of Philadelphia, or
  • support Community Development Block Grant activities in service areas approved by the Philadelphia Division of Housing and Community Development.



News and Happenings
Our 2017 Community Design Award Winner
Frankford CDC and a multi-faceted team of volunteer design professionals received the Collaborative’s Community Design Award. Their objective was to tame the chaotic, five-point...
See Article
Opening Doors for Development in Southwest Philly
In August 2016, The Collaborative wrapped up a Design Grant with the Southwest Community Development Corporation (SWCDC) to support the organization’s first foray into affordable...
See Article
Our 2016 Community Design Award finalists
Every year, the Community Design Collaborative recognizes one of our pro bono projects for excellence in design, collaboration, and community impact with its Community Design...
See Article

Our Design Process

Nonprofit partnership and community engagement are hallmarks of our design process.

Nonprofit proposes an idea

Collaborative matches nonprofit with volunteer design team

Design team, nonprofit and community collaborate

Design team creates conceptual design

Nonprofit and community give feedback

Final conceptual design and recommendations compiled

Nonprofit moves forward with project



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