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Engage communities and make an impact on neighborhoods throughout greater Philadelphia.  
Volunteers get feedback on pro bono work in progress.
Serve on a Design Grant team

Work directly with nonprofits and community members to provide preliminary design services. Volunteers are Philadelphia area architects, planners, landscape architects, engineers, cost estimators, and others, and range from industry veterans to those new to their field. If you're a firm, you can put together a team drawn from your staff. If you're an individual, we'll place you on a team with other professionals. 

After completing a volunteer application, you'll receive quarterly emails with upcoming volunteer opportunities and you may respond to express your interest in a specific opportunity. Once on a Design Grant team, a Collaborative staff member will introduce you to the project. Then you will visit the site and meet with the nonprofit client. While the process varies based on the unique needs of each nonprofit, you’ll likely be participating in team meetings, facilitating community meetings, presenting at peer review meetings, and developing drawings to communicate conceptual designs. Learn more about Design Grants.

Join us for Design Grant review meetings

Most projects have a peer review component, where one or two in-progress Design Grant teams informally present their work to Collaborative volunteer reviewers. As a reviewer, you'll have the opportunity to provide feedback, learn about current projects, and meet other volunteers. We host these meetings twice a month – every first and third Tuesday at noon. Once you complete a volunteer application, you’ll receive information about all of our volunteer opportunities, including Design Grant review meetings. Being a reviewer does not require an official or minimum commitment; participate whenever you're available. 

Discover more ways to volunteer

The Collaborative offers other opportunities to volunteer like serving on a committee or assisting us with special events. If you’d like to find out more about ways to get involved, contact Heidi Segall Levy, Director of Design Services, at or 215-587-9290. 


News and Happenings
Getting People Excited About Their Spaces
Abby Sandherr is a cost estimator with TORCON, which provides construction management and general contracting services to leading corporations and institutions. She recently sat...
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Putting Architecture and Preservation into Practice
This year, Sacred Places/Civic Spaces brought congregations, communities, and designers together to re-imagine religious properties as venues for both worship and community...
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Remembering Paul Sehnert
The Community Design Collaborative has renamed its longstanding community design award to honor the late Paul Sehnert, former Director of Real Estate Development for the...
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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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