General FAQs

Q: Why are you doing this series?

The community has expressed the desire to help support immigrants and refugees coming to the area and creative professionals want to volunteer and use their talents to tackle local social problems. The design tools and sustainable frameworks that we use in our daily creative practice can have a large impact when put to use towards aiding important social challenges. There are interesting design, process and communication challenges to be tackled when english is not a first language for clients, when organizations serve diverse populations and when resources may be limited.

Q: How long does this program last?

The Changemaker Series begins by announcing the theme in February, accepting applications for organizations and team members in the spring, forming project teams and learning new tools at the Workshop Weekend in early June, conducting project work and check-ins during the summer and concluding with the Showcase to celebrate project results in September.

Q: How do I sign up to participate in this?

We request that nonprofits and social change organizations submit applications by March 20th. Volunteer creative team members should sign up by April 10.

Application for Creative Team Participants →
Application for Nonprofit and Change Organization Partners →

Q: What is the time commitment to be involved in the Changemaker Series?

We ask that project team members and social change organization clients be available from May through September. Attendance at the Workshop Weekend will be mandatory for the teams and organization clients to go through the workshop together. We will host check-ins between June and September.

Time commitment will depend on the size, scope, complexity and components of each project as well as your project role. After the weekend workshop, ongoing project work each week may vary. Project team members should expect project weekly meetings and at least 2-3 hours of work each week with an average of 6-8 hours a week. Clients from social change organizations should expect at least 1-2 hours of work each week with an average of 2-4 hours a week.

Q: What tools do project teams use to communicate and stay on track?

We send major announcements through email, use Slack for messaging and updates and Google Drive to post and share documents. Project teams are free to choose other platforms and tools they wish in addition to these tools.

Q: I can’t volunteer or attend but I know someone who is interested. What can I do?

Have your friend apply to be a project team member and use their talents to support organizations serving immigrants and refugees.

Spread the word about this initiative, attend our Schmooze events to find out more about the Changemaker Series or other initiatives and come to the Changemaker Showcase to celebrate and see what other project teams have done. Feel free to invite friends and colleagues who might want to get involved.

Get involved in other AIGA Seattle events and initiatives such as Women Lead, Design for Democracy, Diversity & Inclusion and more.

Q: How do you come up with your causes?

The Changemaker Committee selects the next Changemaker Series topic following the Changemaker Showcase. AIGA members, Changemaker participants and Changemaker Showcase attendees provide feedback and ideas on possible causes. The committee narrows down topics and ultimately selects one from the list that is timely, relevant, and scoped enough to be able to tell stories and raise awareness to the topic and to the local organizations supporting it. The committee also picks a topic that has a wide range of organizations supporting it so there are enough organizations to partner with, rather than too narrow a topic that might only have a couple of organizations or only a couple of governmental entities supporting the cause.

There are other AIGA Seattle initiatives so the group selects causes that aren’t being served by other initiatives like WomenLead or Design for Democracy. The 2016 cause was housing and homelessness.

If you are passionate about another cause, please stay involved. Join the committee, be a participant or attend the Changemaker Showcase, advocate for it and nominate it for next year.

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Potential Creative Team Member FAQs

Want to volunteer to be a team member? Have questions?

Q: I don’t consider myself a creative or designer. What skills are you looking for?

We encourage people with all kinds of skills to apply to join a team. This includes, but is not limited to: designers, researchers, project managers, marketers, strategists, content writers and developers. Identify your skills and abilities in the Superpower Survey so we can match you to the best team and project.

Q: What level of experience are you looking for? Is it okay if I’m a student?

We are looking for project team members from a variety of backgrounds. Everyone from advanced students to professionals with decades of experience are welcome to share their talents. You will be able to indicate your experience level on the Superpower Survey so we can create balanced teams.

Q: Is this purely volunteer based or is there compensation involved?

We ask that team members volunteer their time to give back to the local community. As such, please be candid in sharing your availability. This is more than pro bono work; it is like a long-term hackathon that provides real deliverables to organizations serving local immigrants and refugees. This is more than building your portfolio or adding to a resume; it is an opportunity for networking and community-building across disciplines and with nonprofits and social change organizations. It’s also a great way to meet new people, give back and form friendships.

Q: How much will this program cost?

If accepted into the program, participation in the series is only $80 for AIGA members and $120 for potential AIGA members. The costs includes but is not limited to workshops and events such as:

The Workshop Weekend / Two full days of an intensive human-centered design bootcamp with inspirational speakers and educators, facilitated exercises, supporting materials and workbooks, meals, beverages, networking and more.

Ongoing support and check-in events / Get access to tools, expertise and networking events during the series as well as mini training sessions and opportunities for formal and informal feedback from local industry leaders and peers.

The Showcase / An exhibition and party for the project teams to celebrate the work accomplished with the larger community and explore the experiences of teams and social change organizations.

Project team members may incur minor incidental costs outside of official Changemaker Series events associated with transportation, meals and snacks during project meetings or other materials at the discretion of teams.

Q: I can’t commit to a project. Is there another way I can give back?

Of course! Spread the word about this initiative and attend our Schmooze and Showcase events to learn more and celebrate the Changemaker Series. You can also contact us about volunteering for an event and get involved in other ways AIGA Seattle is using design for good.

Feel free to invite friends and colleagues who might want to get involved.

Get involved in other AIGA Seattle events and initiatives such as Women Lead, Design for Democracy, Diversity & Inclusion and more.

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Nonprofit & Change Organizations FAQs

Does your nonprofit or organization need help? Have questions?

Q: What are the criteria for the nonprofit or organization?

This year’s program is for nonprofits and social change organizations that serve or support immigrants and/or refugees in Seattle, King County and/or the greater Puget Sound region. Examples of causes might be, but are not limited to: sheltering or housing immigrants and/or refugees; refugee resettlement services; empowering immigrant families, women and children; legal services or advocacy; education, language, business and skills training for immigrants and/or refugees; providing health or wellness services to immigrants and/or refugees; and civic engagement supporting immigrants and/or refugees.

We ask that organizations be committed to putting in the same amount of time, effort and resources to this project as if your organization hired an agency to provide the same level of services.

Q: What sort of problems or challenges should I bring?

Bring a challenge your organization is facing that needs good design planning and may result in deliverables or milestones that are achievable within four months of work. Please note that a key milestone or stepping stone to your organization’s ongoing work may be considered a deliverable. Examples may be, but are not limited to: aligning brand perception; improving the ways you communicate with the community; raising awareness to programs and resources; and better understanding your user experience journey. We want you to be successful so we’ll be looking for real challenges you are facing that design thinking can solve. Don’t worry if you don’t know what design thinking is; we will define and demonstrate all applicable processes and tools throughout the series.

Here were the initial challenges posed as questions for last year’s series:

Real Change / How might we correct misperceptions of content and increase readership?

Northwest Youth Services / How might we increase our community’s investment in innovative programming that supports vulnerable youth?

Sea Mar Community Health Centers / How might we reach more of our underserved homeless patients to increase their health outcomes?

Peace for the Streets / How might we effectively, consistently and efficiently share the message and mission of PSKS with multiple external stakeholders?

Downtown Emergency Service Center / How might we more rapidly engage and connect donors to our most pressing need: developing our Move In Kits?

All Home / How might we create an aware and supportive community where all people have access to a safe and stable home?

Q: What is the time commitment from me?

We ask that representative(s) from each organization attend the full Workshop Weekend and the Showcase. Representatives are welcome to attend an additional networking and informational event in March or other AIGA Seattle events, but those are not mandatory. In addition, support your project team as a client; be available to answer questions, provide research, insights, limitations, guidance and requirements for your challenge, share additional information, facilitate required introductions and help educate the team on your cause.

Q: How should I prepare?

Prior to the Workshop Weekend, please prepare a slide and 2 minute elevator pitch presentation to inform participants of your organization’s mission and challenge. Detailed information will be provided to you in advance to help your organization prepare.

Any additional insights you would like to share with your team on the organization’s mission, clients, services, highlights and challenges would be appreciated to bring with you to the Workshop Weekend.

Q: How much will this program cost?

If accepted into the program, participation in the series is only $80 for up to two people from each nonprofit or social change organization to participate; additional costs may apply if more than two organization attendees attend the events. The costs includes but is not limited to workshops and events such as:

The Workshop Weekend / Two full days of an intensive human-centered design bootcamp with inspirational speakers and educators, facilitated exercises, supporting materials and workbooks, meals, beverages, networking and more.

Ongoing support and check-in events / Get access to tools, expertise and networking events during the series as well as mini training sessions and opportunities for formal and informal feedback from local industry leaders and peers.

The Showcase / An exhibition and party for the project teams to celebrate the work accomplished with the larger community and explore the experiences of teams and social change organizations.

Project team members and organization representatives may incur minor incidental costs outside of official Changemaker Series events associated with transportation, meals and snacks during project meetings or other materials at the discretion of teams.

There may be costs for the organization associated with the implementation or continuation of project work results including but not limited to: printing of materials, web or server hosting, additional resources, recommended tools or applications, development work, etc. Budget will be discussed and understood prior to project work and all budget requests must be approved by representatives of the organizations.

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