5 Lessons Learned From Design for a Difference

Since Design for a Difference started, this movement has changed the lives of many different communities across North America From the east coast to the west coast, designers, local businesses, and local non-profits have all experienced the difference a little kindness can make. As we launch DFAD – Home Is Where the Heart Is, we want to look back at the 5 lessons we have learned over the years.

Wil Mar Neighborhood Center

Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact

Not everyone is blessed with the resources and all the time in the world to accomplish their goals. However, everyone has the ability to do something small to change the life of someone else. We have learned that no donation of time, money or materials is too small. For example, by designing and giving local charities and organizations a small face lift, designers, IDG members and volunteers were able to create more functional and valuable spaces for the communities they serve. You do not have to spend money or dedicate your life to one cause, just give what you can to those who need it, when you can.

Pick a Charity or Cause with a Special Meaning

In order to see real change and the impact you have on your community, choose to help out a cause that has special meaning to you. The closer you are to that organization’s mission means the more you will feel invested in the cause. Not only that, but you will form relationships with the leaders and members of that organization. Lasting relationships can bring a community together and make all the difference.


Engage the Community

Donating your time or money to a cause is not the end all be all. You can give the most to your community by becoming engaged. People want to give but don’t always know where to start. Some simple and easy first steps to becoming more engaged in your community is by going to town meetings, and listening to what others are asking for. You can also reach out and engage your community by attending local charity and fundraiser events, or volunteering at your local homeless shelter.

It’s Not Always Easy But It’s Worth It!

Most people’s reason for not donating their time or money is because they don’t believe they can, or do not have the means. Giving back to your community does not have to be something of tangible value. Simply speaking up and making your community aware of a local organization can make a huge difference with very little effort. Follow that organization on social media and share their posts and recommend your friends to also follow them. Simply spreading the word is enough for most local community groups.

Donate To A Charity

Giving Is Not Only Selfless, It Is Also Fulfilling.

For those of us who can give our time and money, we believe it is well spent on local community initiatives. You can actually see what your investment is going towards. Not only will it make you feel good, but it also may change the life of someone you know or do not know. It is human nature to be selfish, but it takes a special kind of person to go out of their way to make a difference in the life of a total stranger.

Do you know someone who has applied these lessons to their life and community? Nominate them today!