Design tips and insights for nonprofits and social enterprises.

top 12 nonprofit resources everyone needs to know

Creativity
07.26.17
top 12 nonprofit resources everyone needs to know

One of the things I love about what I do is that I always keep learning. It’s important to stay up to date on happenings in your industry when trying to get better and do more. Which means that I read a lot about the design and nonprofit worlds. I check a few sites regularly, but I was wondering what else should I be reading. So, I asked the Facebook group Nonprofit Happy Hour for some recommendations. Below is a list from a few members of the group:

Prefer to listen instead of read? Check out these podcasts:

  • The Nonprofit Happy Hour
  • Nonprofit Hub Radio
  • Nonprofit Leaders Network Podcast
  • SproutCast
  • Tony Martignetti Nonprofit Radio

If you’re not a member of the group Nonprofit Happy Hour, I suggest you request to join. They are a great resource for advice, feedback, and support when you’re deep in the trenches of nonprofit work.

Did I miss one of your favs? Add your go-to resource in the comments.

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Can your nonprofit benefit from design thinking?

Creativity
10.19.16
Can your nonprofit benefit from design thinking?

Over the past few years, businesses and nonprofits have been talking a lot about design thinking. It’s a way to solve complicated problems using empathy, creativity, and rationality. It also involves quickly testing ideas to learn and improve.

What’s so great about design thinking is that it can lead to ideas that resonate and innovate. I’ve been learning about and using design thinking since 2007. I can’t believe that was almost 10 years ago. But my passion and interest have only grown since then.

I love tackling complex problems with design thinking and teaching it others. It allows anyone to find creative solutions and approach a topic from a different perspective. I recently lead a workshop for PreKindergarten and Kindergarten teachers at a local public charter school. They were looking for solutions to combining the students’ academic and developmental needs. After I guided them through the process, they were able to approach the problem from a new perspective and find creative solutions. The teachers quickly created the prototypes with supplies on hand and tested them immediately. They put several ideas in place the following week and refined them further.

If you’re struggling with coming up with new ideas to problems try design thinking. It’s fun and great way for teams to collaborate.

Want to learn more about design thinking?
Check out these resources from IDEO and Stanford’s D.School

Have you tried using design thinking? How was the experience?

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Practicing failure through experiments

Creativity
04.26.16
Practicing failure through experiments

Trying to embrace your weaknesses can be scary, especially if you make it public, and I’m feeling scared right now. I don’t draw type very well and I’ve always been envious of people that can do it. I know everyone has different skills, and that doesn’t make one person better then another, blah, blah, blah. But sometimes I can’t help but feel a bit jealous. So, I’m practicing. I’m working on drawing type and going to post my “not very good” experiments on Instagram for #the100dayproject.

It’s a known fact that the more you practice, the better you get. So, hopefully, I’ll get better. Something else I’m doing for this project is highlighting some of the social issues faced by women and children. Why? Its really what I hope to focus my design business, Studio Civico, on. I spent a few days thinking about how I can merge type and women’s issues into a visual project. My first experiment was this:

It didn’t quite feel right. I didn’t like that the focus was on something ugly and negative. I wanted it be something with a bit more narrative, that could have a positive POV and invoke empathy, not despair. After reading a few stories, and watching a few videos on human trafficking I came up with this:

It feels better. More experiments are coming.

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