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Design Grants

Design Grants provide pro bono preliminary design services to nonprofit organizations.
Design Grants result in preliminary designs like this one for Southwest Gateway Housing

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. Unfortunately, nonprofits rarely have the resources to pay for preliminary design services. 

The Collaborative's Design Grants give nonprofits access to pro bono preliminary design. Design Grants respond to the unique needs of a nonprofit with a tailored set of preliminary design services and a strategy for engaging their community. The Collaborative's volunteers - architects, landscape architects, preservationists, interior designers, urban planners, engineers, cost estimators, and other experts - work in partnership with nonprofits and provide the professional services.  

Design Grants can be implemented as a project or a charrette.  Projects provide a community-engaged design process that results in a blueprint for a community development project.  Charrettes convene designers and stakeholders to generate new approaches to community challenges and opportunities. Community-based nonprofit organizations in greater Philadelphia are encouraged to apply.  Learn more about Design Grants. 

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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