At Desgn.it 2016, 15+ volunteers formed teams to work with Black Girls Code (BGC) and Rubicon Programs. You can watch videos and read a show-and-tell of that experience here.
We followed up with BGC and Rubicon nine months later, to see what came of the materials created, and to get their advice for future nonprofits applying for Desgn.it 2016:
For Black Girls Code, the team created a lot of materials–a brand book, infographic, motiongraphic, executive deck, marketing materials, and starter pages for a new website. (There’s only so much you can do in two days, right?) The brand book helped with on-boarding new team members, and the guidelines on colors and patterns came in handy as BGC continued to create new materials. Most impactful for the BGC team have been the marketing materials and presentation deck. As Kimberly, the founder, made her way around the country sharing the organization’s story and garnering support, the visuals made it easier to communicate and connect with her varying audiences.
The design team for Rubicon developed a campaign concept called “The Simple Things” that was soft-launched at their gala in April 2015. Posters integrated han-drawn illustrations and were included as part of the silent auction. The Rubicon team found that, compared to the other items that were up for sale, The Simple Things posters generated the most thought-provoking and relevant conversations among gala attendees. The message of The Simple Things truly captured the spirit and nature of the organization’s work and the community they serve, preparing Rubicon’s communication strategy well into the future.
While the pieces developed at Desgn.it turned out successfully, BGC and Rubicon have a few lessons learned and words of advice for nonprofit applicants interested in joining in on future Desgn.it events.
BGC’s advice is “if you’re embarking on projects that aren’t going to be completed by the end of Desgn.it, make sure that you allot time and dedicated staff resources to oversee the completion. After all the work that is put in over the weekend, it’s kind of a bummer if you can’t use the artifacts because of a few things that could be tweaked by an in-house team or freelancer. The designers are all volunteers and after the weekend will go back to their day jobs. It requires dedication on the part of the organization to see the projects to completion.”
And Rubicon’s advise is to come prepared. More specifically, “come to Desgn.it with a framework for what it is that you want to achieve, and want to communicate. Come with an idea about your audience. Come with a growth mindset. And trust the people in the room.”
On that note, we’d like to invite you to learn more and if you’re a good cause, apply for the next Desgn.it here. Designers and strategists, if you’d like to volunteer, apply here. If you have any questions, drop a line to info (at) elefintdesigns (dot) com. We look forward to putting together another spectacular event with you!