At 99designs by Vista, we’re always looking for ways to champion creativity and create everyday opportunities for purposeful work.
It’s something we know our community cares about too: creative freelancers are putting purpose over profit more than ever, with 85% saying it’s important for them to work for clients who share their values.
Likewise, purpose-driven organizations know the value of talented creatives, with our global 2022 Design For Good survey showing that five in six nonprofits have worked with professional designers to elevate their brand. Our research further shows that nonprofits who’ve invested in professional design over the past two years are also more likely to have experienced an increase in fundraising revenue. Over 90% agree that a strong brand identity has an impact on donor engagement.
The bottom line? Professional design delivered for meaningful causes can help create a better future for us all. And that’s something worth cheering about!
This year, we’re proud to bring our community together to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our global design grant program, 99nonprofits. For over a decade, 99nonprofits has connected designers with high-impact organizations each month, to bring their logos, websites, brand identities and other essential creative work to life.
So far, we’ve already contributed USD$300,000 in fully-funded design projects, across 135 countries—and we’re not done yet!
From logos to infographics, websites to branded merchandise, here are three wonderful and socially conscious organizations from around the world who’ve increased their impact and reach thanks to our talented community of freelance designers.
Designing a new logo with SHINE
Drive more than 400km north of Perth—the most isolated city in the world—and you’ll find the regional city of Geraldton in Western Australia. This is where you’ll meet SHINE, a heart-forward nonprofit bringing holistic support to girls and young women.
You can be so busy and heads-down in doing your passion, purpose, project, that you forget that sharing and communicating that with other people could bring more energy, more resources, and more support to your cause
On receiving their grant from 99designs by Vista, SHINE launched a logo contest that inspired over 170 creative submissions from across Europe, Asia and North America.
“The design process with 99designs by Vista has actually been an important journey for us. It’s helped us realize that creativity, logic and the briefing process can help clarify why you’re doing what you’re doing and how you want to present yourself to the world. For us, we want to see young women feeling safe in their relationships and in their communities. We want to see change.”
Veteran graphic designer of 11 years, Tara of Karma Design Studios, was selected as the winner of SHINE’s logo contest.
“When we were writing our brief, we really had to think deeply about where we’ve come from, where we’re going, and how we wanted that to be represented visually,” Rebecca tells us. “Our designer really nailed the brief.”
Element by element, Tara of Karma Design Studios took SHINE’s ambitious brief and worked with the team to lead it towards its final iteration.
“There’s a sense of forward momentum from the stable base in the center of the sun,” says Program Manager, Paula Alsop, “and this sense of a ‘safe haven’ is fundamental to what we want to provide for girls at SHINE. The rays of sunlight and their clean directional lines demonstrate our commitment to keeping pace and meeting the needs of the girls today and into the future.”
From drink bottles and banners, to journals and t-shirts (and more!), SHINE brought their logo design to life with a range of branded merchandise, incorporating their colorful new rebrand inspired by the coastal landscape of Geraldton.
Designing a new website with FlowerTalk
Maggie Sade Coker, Founder of FlowerTalk, is based in the bustling capital city of Ghana. “It’s so important that we stay close to nature for our mental and physical wellbeing,” she tells us.
“FlowerTalk is about community, and service to community. As I get older, I think more and more about how I can live purposefully. I’ve relocated from Europe [to Ghana], because I want to be part of the change in how mental health is viewed by the community I feel closest to—the African community, my community.”
With the grant from 99designs by Vista, Maggie worked with Sequoia of DailyMode Studio for FlowerTalk’s website design and development.
“I needed the website to be able to communicate what FlowerTalk stands for,” says Maggie. “Branding needed to be incorporated in a way that represented both my personality as well as the therapists and multiple disciplines that make FlowerTalk platform an alternative to traditional mental health. I love my new website. Thank you Sequoia for your vision and creativity.”
More recently, FlowerTalk worked with creative, QPR, on a professionally designed notebook cover. Maggie wants to use the notebooks to encourage clients to journal alongside their self-reflection and therapy.
“When you find your audience —your tribe—it’s well worth it,” Maggie tells us.
“Stay true to who you are. Stick to your vision. And, most importantly, don’t try to do everything by yourself, because it’s not possible. Mental health practitioners and therapists need community support and help just as much as we give it. There are people out there seeking and looking for what we have to offer—you just need to find them.”
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Designing a campaign with PERIOD.
The atmosphere at PERIOD.’s ‘packing party’ in Portland is brimming with energy. Young people—volunteers, mostly—are hustling to pack period products, as well as banners, t-shirts, stickers, and tote bags in bright red text that reads, “menstrual health is a matter of human rights.”
“We’re so excited to get these in the hands of our chapters around the world,” says Michela Bedard, PERIOD,’s Executive Director.
PERIOD. initially used their grant from 99designs by Vista to launch an infographic design contest. Oregon-based designer and brand strategist, Stephanie Medeiros of stephaniemadeit, submitted a design that quickly caught PERIOD.’s attention.
A lot of people didn’t understand what it meant to donate money to us. And so we wanted this infographic to show them that when you give, say, five dollars to PERIOD., this is what it means.
Ahead of Menstrual Hygiene Day this year, the PERIOD. team has hosted a Virtual Road Trip where they’ve ‘stopped in’ on social media at dozens of their school-based chapters to highlight volunteer efforts on the ground. Once again, they engaged with Stephanie to develop templates and iconography they could use on social media. PERIOD. also launched a contest where CLCreative’s tote bag and t-shirt design was awarded as the winner.
“We love the tote bags, stickers, and t-shirts!” says Michela, “We’re packing these so that when our volunteers are walking around wearing them, they can talk about how they know that menstrual health is a matter of human rights.”
“If PERIOD. succeeds, what we’re going to see is people who menstruate not having to lose out on life because of a natural function,” says Michela. “We’re going to have period products everywhere that they need to be. We’re going to take away the stigma and taboo from this topic.”
Design for good
Everyone knows how hard the charitable sector was hit during the pandemic years. Communities were asking more from charities, even as many were struggling with fewer resources and funding than ever before. What we wanted to learn was this:
Can design help make the world a better place?
The answer is, almost certainly, yes.
With insights and opinions from hundreds of not-for-profit, social enterprise and community groups around the world, our 2022 Design For Good survey deep-dived into the possibilities, opportunities and roles that creative talent can play in the charitable sector.
We learned that over the past two years, nearly two-thirds of nonprofits wished they had invested more in branding and design. Those who did invest in professional design were 50% more likely to have experienced an increase in fundraising revenue than their peers who had not. What’s more, nearly 70% of all organizations surveyed agreed they’re more likely to be successful when they invest in branding.
However, when asked if they’ll be spending more on branding and design this year as compared to last year, 68% said they weren’t—or that they were unsure.
So, why do nonprofits acknowledge the value of design, while declining to increase their investments in it? The answer probably lies in what we already know about limited resources and funding within the charitable sector.
I think for most socially-conscious organizations, the biggest challenge is finance. Finance, and having enough money to support your concept and idea in a sustainable way. Most of us start out as self-funded, which can take its toll. It can be very stressful. The rest of it is really a beautiful journey.
When there are resources and finances available, nonprofits know that professional design can make a difference. Over 90% agree that a strong brand identity has an impact on donor engagement, and a further 64% agree that it helps generate trust. Over two-thirds agree that a strong brand identity can increase recurring donations, online engagement, and volunteer interest.
Design is about showcasing a problem and solution in a way that it will make the viewer do something about it. It’s about distributing that message to the right people and creating a need for change within individuals to make a difference in the world.
Design with 99nonprofits
How do you move forward when funding is the biggest hurdle? Enter, 99nonprofits!
We’ve been helping address this problem for over a decade by funding design on a rolling monthly basis to organizations that are making a positive change in the world. Behind every design brief waits a creative community brimming with passion, purpose, and a desire to make a difference. And with 97% of freelance designers believing they can make a real social impact through their work, we like to think we’ve made a difference through design.
A teacher of mine used to say that all design is political, which is true. We are the bridge between a message and the public. We can make the world change and improve.
As we celebrate our tenth anniversary of 99nonprofits, we encourage you to share the program with your favorite nonprofits, social enterprises and community groups, and encourage them to apply. You can learn more about the amazing work of our featured organizations on YouTube!