September 24, 2020

desigNYC to close after its Celebration of Five Years of Pro Bono Design

For the past five years, desigNYC has made great design accessible to communities in need all across New York City, thanks to the dedication of hundreds of volunteers, designers, and nonprofit leaders. From the beginning, desigNYC has been a connector, matching designers with nonprofits in need of design resources and has matched some fifty nonprofit projects with graphic designers, architects, landscape designers, urban planners, web developers, and more.

desigNYC projects have affected a range of social and environmental issues impacting the city, including affordable housing, sustainable development, social justice, human health, green space, urban farming, local food systems, youth leadership, and more. The programs improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers and engaged millions through our public programs and outreach.

This fall, the organization will host its final exhibit and celebration honoring the work of of the past five years, as the organization winds down its final year of collaborative design projects. The Board of Directors came to the difficult decision after struggling to find a sustainable funding model once the organization transitioned from a volunteer collective to a 501(c)(3) in 2011.

“While we are sad to be closing this chapter, we are incredibly proud of what this community created together,” said Board President Ed Schlossberg.  “More importantly, there is incredible momentum around design for social good and a myriad of ways for designers to continue to use their passion and talent to create transformative design solutions.”

Taproot Foundation, a pioneer of pro bono advocacy, is one of the nonprofits desigNYC is working with to ensure the spirit of the organization will find life in a new context. The desigNYC and Taproot Foundation teams are currently working together to consider how pro bono can be further embedded in the design profession’s ethos, and will be working with a variety of professional associations and university programs to explore these opportunities. Most importantly, the desigNYC board has committed to being an ongoing resource to the broader NYC pro bono community, helping Taproot and others “think differently” about how pro bono and design can impact the nonprofit sector.

Pro Bono Day NYC 2014: Connecting Passion to Purpose
Thursday, October 23, 2014, Various Locations
Sponsored by the Citi Foundation, desigNYC will partner with Taproot Foundation and the NYC pro bono provider community for a day-long event highlighting the thriving energy around doing, leading & capitalizing on pro bono resources (skilled business professionals) in New York City. Pro Bono Day NYC kicks off with thought-provoking words from Deputy Mayor Richard Buery who will offer a keynote address, and Suni Harford, Citi’s Head of North American Markets, named by American Banker one the 25 most powerful women on Wall Street. Events are being built in real-time. desigNYC will host a discussion about the state of pro bono design and the social impact design movement as the lead experts in pro bono for design. Check out for more information.

desigNYC’s 5-Year Celebration
November 6, 2020 at the Centre for Social Innovation.
This fall, our annual exhibition will serve as a retrospective exhibit of the desigNYC community’s work over the last five years. Members of our community along with likeminded design and nonprofit organizations will gather to celebrate the incredible work done and people involved with desigNYC. Attendees will leave the event having connected with more professionals passionate about social impact, pro bono, and finding ways to grow the movement. Save the date and invitation to come.

2014, Announcements, Events, In the News, News