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As nonprofits start up, grow, and evolve, they must improve their facilities and neighborhoods. Our pro bono preliminary design services can help you engage the community, gain support, and get your project built. 

Preliminary design for project success

Preliminary design is the first 10% of the overall design process for a project. It gives you essential tools to move ahead: conceptual drawings to communicate your vision, studies to prove your project is feasible, and preliminary cost estimates to guide fundraising. Preliminary design helps you make important early decisions. It increases the chances that your project will be successfully completed. 

Apply for a Design Grant

The Collaborative’s Design Grants offer pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia. 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.

“You have given us an invaluable road map to guide us in this admittedly daunting project.  This plan gives all of us, including board and prospective donors, something very tangible and inspiring to stoke our excitement for what is possible.”

Heidi Warren, Executive Director
Starfinder Foundation

Designers work with a community task force on a proposal for redeveloping a key site in West Philadelphia.
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

We tailor our design services to meet the unique needs of nonprofits—but we always offer a collaborative design process in which designers work side by side with communities to put their visions down on paper in order to move forward.

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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