As vaccines continue to roll out and the world wobbles itself to something closer to normal, this is the perfect year for positivity, optimism, and new beginnings. In that spirit, we’re excited to announce that our 2021 Designing for Good contest is now open!
Designing for Good is the chance to put your creative, development, and/or marketing talent to use for your favorite nonprofit. Come up with a brilliant idea, pitch it to us in 90 seconds, and you could be one of three lucky winners to earn $10K for a nonprofit to make it happen.
This year, we’ve created three themes or frameworks. Your idea needs to be one of these categories:
- Diversity & Inclusion - Celebrating, raising awareness, or helping promote diversity and inclusion
- Environmental Action - Protecting our planet and minimizing human impact
- Lifelong Learning - Promoting opportunities for the pursuit of knowledge for all abilities
Yep, $10K is a big chunk of money. And it can make a big difference. To see just how big, we caught up with last year’s winners. Keep reading and stay inspired!
A Student Film Competition Goes Big and Stays Home
At the height of a global pandemic, filmmaker Chris Lyon used his skills to create three virtual workshops to help Film Prize Junior conduct their annual search for best short films made by Louisiana high school students.
With his help and the grant, the whole program exploded, doubling the number of participants, something the Film Prize Junior team never could have imagined. Even during the pandemic, a record number of scripts were submitted, more than double their highest previous year. Participation included 13 Title I public schools, where 40% of the student population comes from low-income families. And two women-led teams who took home a sackful of awards. The contest was also able to reach far beyond state boundaries. People have been streaming student films from 30 states across the country, and the workshop content is now being used at collegiate levels.
Chris tells us the event was so successful because “many students were stuck at home and looking to communicate outside their bubble. They wanted an outlet to tell their stories and share their lives.”
Good Design + Online = More Readers
Last year, Amanda Robertson entered our contest to help Hill Learning Center reach more students by transforming their in-person teaching workshop into an online learning session. Of course, no one could have imagined just how much COVID-19 would make this change absolutely essential.
Hill Learning Center is dedicated to helping the 20% of students who learn differently, whether it’s dyslexia or ADHD, become literate. Thanks to the help of Amanda and others, two of Hill’s courses are now fully digital and available worldwide. And that means teachers from Salem, Oregon to Seoul, South Korea can help kids learn how to read.
Amanda has two degrees in design, with her graduate degree specific to designing for learning experiences. “I deeply believe good design has a place here. I’m grateful for the Designing for Good program because it will help make this need visible in my career space. We need more good designers designing learning experiences.”
And with the way the world has become in the last 12-14 months, this is truer than ever.
A Say in Their Space for LGBTQ Youth
Ellen Wolf wanted to help Sanctuary Palm Springs, a housing program for LGBTQ 18- to 21-year-olds transitioning out of foster care. Her marketing plan and materials, created with the help of the residents, would be used to attract the vendors, suppliers, volunteers, and donors needed to open a second location.
Along the way, something very exciting happened! Sanctuary Palm Springs became part of the Oak Grove Center family, allowing for an even greater opportunity to help the LGBTQ community. With fewer administrative costs, more money will go directly to Sanctuary’s programs.
And now, instead of fundraising for a single home with six bedrooms for a second location, residents will be designing and fundraising for an entire apartment building. Ellen has been gathering input on the new digs from residents and staff, including questionnaires on color, style, and feel, as well as vision boards. She tells us, “We teach the residents that they should be part of the decision-making about their home. ‘Nothing about me without me,’ is our motto.”
Insert Your Idea Here!
Our winners have likely inspired you and now we need your brilliant ideas! Let us know how you will use your mad skills to help your favorite nonprofit. Do it soon—you have until July 23 to enter!
Learn more at the Designing for Good website.