Pour Back: Three Years of Empowering Designers That Give Back


by Randy Resig

“What goes around comes around.” The Pour Back mantra comes from the belief that a pay-it-forward way of life will inspire young generations of designers to give back to their communities. And it’s working.

A few short months ago I moved to the PNW. As a young designer I was eager to join the design community here and looked for ways to get involved. My first thought was to look to AIGA. Like many recent graduates I was first introduced to AIGA and the Design For Good initiative in school. I saw how excited designers were to have a positive impact on their communities and as a young impressionable designer, I was inspired.

Fast-forward to September and the Changemaker Showcase. This event was the culmination of hundreds of hours of work by volunteer teams of designers and creatives working together to help solve social problems. I could not have asked for a better introduction to the “give back” mentality of the PNW design community. It was obvious from the breadth and quality of the projects that these teams were passionate about design as a tool for social change. I knew I was in the right place.

At the event there was a representative of the Pour Back Fund. “Great name,” I thought, sipping on a Hilliard’s beer. Pour Back, I learned, is an initiative that has been helping designers give back for going on three years. “With the help of local businesses, breweries, wineries, and distilleries, Pour Back is able to raise money for great causes. All the money that is raised is put into the Pour Back Fund and then given to talented designers with big ideas and good intentions to help their fellow neighbor.” This is exactly what I was looking for and knew immediately I wanted to get involved somehow. Sure it was a bit selfish. I like volunteering, but I love design. So if I can do both at the same time, even better!

Throughout the year, Pour Back hosts fundraisers for the creative community with the generous support of local businesses. All proceeds raised from the event are "poured back" to the community in the form of a grant, which is awarded at a live judging event to some of the area's best and brightest designers with an idea to change their community for the better.

With the support of AIGA, Pour Back has been able to give designers with big ideas a jump start to help their communities in big ways. Why? Because what goes around comes around. And we believe in creating a community of giving back so the next generation is inspired to do the same. Together, we can create a better community for all.

On Friday December 4th AIGA Seattle and CreativeLive are hosting a holiday party that directly benefits the Pour Back Fund. Come out and be merry and help support a great cause.

If you have a big idea consider getting involved or applying for the Pour Back Fund at http://pourback.com.


By Randy Resig
Published December 4, 2015