Orange Tree Project Gives A Boost to Nonprofits Who Need Strategic Creative Design Services

Orange Tree Project Gives A Boost to Nonprofits Who Need Strategic Creative Design Services
May, 2016 Client News

SAN DIEGOMAY 24, 2016 –The application process is now open for nonprofit organizations to apply for design grants from Orange Tree Project, a 501c3 nonprofit formed by design industry leaders who want to give back to the community and support other nonprofits by enhancing their awareness and outreach efforts. Grant recipients are paired with leading creative agencies that will help them stand out, reach more people, and amplify their impact. To learn more about Orange Tree Project’s design grants or to apply, visit

Orange Tree Project was established by Bobby Buchanan, the founder of Buchanan Design, one of San Diego’s leading brand and design agencies. As Orange Tree Project’s executive director, Buchanan works with a select group of leading design agencies and accomplished professionals who want to give back with branding, design, and marketing expertise. “Nonprofits and organizations for social good should have access to the best creative talent, and great design can help a nonprofit reach greater success,” says Buchanan. “If a nonprofit is truly serious about their cause and mission, then they must be serious about their brand.” Organizations throughout San Diego and the United States will be considered for grant awards.

With approximately 10,000 nonprofits in San Diego County, only small portions have budgets that allow for professional brand strategy and design services. Many are forced to look for the least expensive option or request in-kind or pro bono design work. The results can lack cohesiveness and lose site of the overall organizational brand. Designers under these circumstances can develop what Orange Tree Project refers to as, “pro bono blues,” because of the lack of financial support to create work that is effective. Ultimately, this can damage the brand value of the nonprofit.

Professional design is critical in helping an organization succeed. It can elevate a nonprofit’s brand image, increase awareness of its mission, and broaden its reach. Orange Tree Project ensures each project’s success by thoughtfully evaluating which nonprofits are selected and pairing them with the best design professionals to meet their needs.

Nonprofits are only required to pay 25 percent of the project value for branding and design work to effectively cover operational hard costs associated with their service. The remaining 75 percent is covered pro bono through Orange Tree Project, providing the design agency promotional exposure and other benefits. “We are creating a win-win model for nonprofits and creative agencies,” says Buchanan.

The design grant application process is straightforward and easy to access on the Orange Tree Project website. In the application, nonprofits are asked to share more information about their 501c3 nonprofit organization, with details like their mission, programs, audience and specific design needs. Orange Tree Project reviews and evaluates all applications through a set of criteria including the applicant’s mission, current state of operations, budget, support base, and project size and needs.

Selected nonprofits generally have an operating budget between $200,000 and $700,000. Once a nonprofit is selected, they will be paired with the design agency partner to best meet all of their needs. Both parties will agree to the mutually beneficial project proposal and enter into a traditional working relationship. The nonprofit will pay the 25 percent fee directly to the creative agency. Design grants may be awarded to any selected nonprofits that cannot afford the 25 percent fee. Whatever needs or expenses arise, Orange Tree Project uses their industry connections to ensure the best rates.

Orange Tree Project is currently self-funded and welcomes donations from the public to help fund the design grants that deserving nonprofits need, allowing them to dedicate more resources toward their cause. Since organizations are carefully selected, donors know that their contributions will be wisely spent, generating the greatest possible impact. To donate, visit:

Get a sneak peek at the amazing designs created by Orange Tree Project on their online store which features clothing for men, women, and children, as well as cards, prints, pillows and more. Proceeds from each sale also fund the design grants. Visit:

About Orange Tree Project
Orange Tree Project is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that connects nonprofits with leading design agencies to help them advance their mission and achieve greater impact. We aim to improve communities by helping as many nonprofits succeed, which in turn, help a whole lot of people along the way. Learn more about Orange Tree Project at Connect on Facebook and Instagram.