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Design Grants

Preliminary design services to help nonprofits succeed in the challenging arena of community and economic development
Design Grants result in preliminary designs like this one for Southwest Gateway Housing

Preliminary design is the first 10% of the design and development process. Access to preliminary design is critical to the successful outcome of development projects envisioned by nonprofit organizations. Unfortunately, nonprofits rarely have the resources to pay for preliminary design. 

The Collaborative’s Design Grant Program provides preliminary design services to help nonprofits succeed in the challenging arena of community and economic development. Every design grant offers a unique scope of services and team of volunteer design professionals to meet the needs of the nonprofit and its community.

The Collaborative matches nonprofits with skilled volunteers such as architects, landscape architects, preservationists, interior designers, urban planners, engineers, cost estimators, and other experts. Our volunteers work alongside the nonprofit to engage the community and other stakeholders through the design process, identify program and space needs, evaluate options, estimate project costs, and illustrate the vision with renderings and plans. Design Grants prepare nonprofits for the next stage of community development: gaining support, raising funds, and building projects.

Design grants may 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 brainstorm and generate new solutions to community challenges and opportunities.

See our recent work and find out how nonprofits can apply for a design grant

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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