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Nonprofits

Design Grants give nonprofits access to pro bono preliminary design services. 
Collaborating on a redevelopment proposal for a key site in West Philadelphia.
Preliminary design for project success

Preliminary design greatly increases the likelihood that a project will be successfully completed. Preliminary design is the first 10% of the design process. It can provide 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. 

Apply for a Design Grant

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

Design Grants are responsive; they offer a package of preliminary design services tailored to the specific needs of each nonprofit. Design Grants typically provide between $15,000 and $35,000 in preliminary design services donated by 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 Grants may be implemented as a project or a charrette. When a nonprofit organization applies for a Design Grant, the Collaborative determines which approach will best meet their needs. 

  • Projects provide a community-engaged design process that results in a blueprint for a community development project.  The services provided will be tailored to the specific needs of the nonprofit. Our services can provide compelling visions, conceptual designs, and renderings as well as practical information such as project feasibility, existing conditions, and space needs.  An interdisciplinary team of volunteer design professionals works directly with the nonprofit and the community it serves, facilitating community input and collaboration.

    Projects take up to 6 months and typically provide between $15,000 and $35,000 in donated services. Nonprofits may receive conceptual drawings, preliminary cost estimates, and written findings and recommendations.
     
  • Charrettes convene designers and stakeholders to generate new approaches to community challenges and opportunities. A Collaborative charrette is a daylong program in which participants brainstorm design solutions and present their ideas to the public. Charrettes harness the skills and imaginations of a large gathering of design professionals and stakeholders. Prior to the charrette, an interdisciplinary team of volunteer design professionals works directly with the nonprofit and facilitates a community meeting to gather input. Following the charrette, the volunteer team compiles and refines ideas and designs from the charrette.

    Charrettes take 6 to 9 months to complete and typically provide between $75,000 and $100,000 in donated services. Nonprofits may receive conceptual drawings, preliminary cost estimates, and written findings and recommendations.
News and Happenings
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
W. B. Saul Honored at White House
In August, W. B. Saul High School, The Nature Conservancy, and the CH2M Foundation were honored with the US2020 STEM Mentoring Award for Excellence in Public-Private Partnerships...
See Article
Play It Up
Check out Daniel Jost's column in the July 2016 issue Landscape Architecture Magazine, where he writes about our yearlong campaign to promote the value of recreation in...
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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