FAQ Nonprofits

How much does it cost to participate?
The 1+ is a free program open to nonprofits. Join now!

Does my organization qualify to receive pro bono services from 1+?
The 1+ program focuses primarily on 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations as appropriate pro bono clients. All 501(c)(3) nonprofits are welcome to register.  If your organization does not currently have its 501(c)(3) status, you may also register using the EIN of a fiscal sponsor.

What constitutes pro bono service?
The 1+ program defines pro bono service as professional service rendered: a) without expectation of a fee, or b) with a significant reduction in fees for organizations that support stronger communities. Pro bono service can take many forms; it is any contribution of designers’ knowledge, skills, judgment, and creativity that serves the public good.

How much pro bono time and expertise should I expect from my design partner?
Firms greatly vary in their ability and capacity to take on pro bono projects. For example, larger firms generally have increased capacity compared to smaller firms. 1+ suggests requesting the full extent of your design service needs. Be prepared to discuss a potential firm partner’s capacity to fulfill those needs in your first meeting.

What types of services do designers offer pro bono?
1+ offers built environment design services, including architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, engineering, and more. Learn more about services offered.

Can I contact a 1+ firm participant regarding questions on a potential project?
We recommend that all nonprofits who are interested in receiving pro bono services register with the 1+ program and post their projects to the website. Once you have registered and your project is live, you will have access to contact firms you have an interest in working with and participating firms can contact you regarding their interest in your project.

How is 1+ funded?
The 1+ program is made possible thanks to crucial financial support from corporate and private foundations; professional associations, including The American Institute of Architects, the American Society of Interior Designers and the International Interior Designers Association; as well as contributions by firms and individuals. Please see our supporters page for more information.

Where can I get information on past pro bono projects?
To view completed pro bono projects, please visit our project gallery.

How long do projects take?
As with every design project, the timeline is formulated on a per project basis. If you are being held to a specific deadline, this is one of the first things you should mention when posting a project to the matching portal of the website or talking to a designer.

What is the 1+ program’s involvement in the potential project?
1+ assists nonprofits through the online matching process by helping organizations clarify their scope of work and post projects. We believe it is important for both the nonprofits and firms to develop their own relationship through the pro bono process.  

How do I register a project?
In order to post a project to the website, you must first register your organization with the 1+ program. Once registered and logged in, you will have access to post projects through the “Create Project” section of the website.

We have several projects. Can I register more than one at a time?
Yes, you can register an unlimited amount of projects under your organization’s name.

Does 1+ offer any guidance on requesting design services for a large or long-term project?
Smaller requests are generally easier for firms to take on. Some nonprofits embarking on large building campaigns find it easier and quicker to match if they limit the request to preliminary design, or services such as a facility needs assessment and capital campaign materials. Once this scope of work is complete, the matched firm and nonprofit can agree to continue to work together.

Why does 1+ recommend signing a contract with the firm for pro bono services?
Even though the designer may be working pro bono at no cost, drafting a contract ensures that both parties fully understand the scope of work and what each one is committed to undertaking through the project. In some states, signing a contract may be legally required.

Do we have to pay for contractors to carry out the work?
Yes and no, but more likely yes than no. Occasionally, participating designers have been able to leverage their resources to engage contractors in pro bono work, but you should expect to work with the designer when establishing the budget of the overall project, including associated contractor costs.

What are the best ways to prepare for a meeting with potential design partners?
When you meet with designers for the first time, come ready to share how the organization has prepared for the project to date. This information will advance the conversation and reflect positively on your organization as a potential new client. Some of the most important tasks include: identify a budget and funding sources, establish a primary contact for the project, develop project goals, and share long term plans and the ideal timeline.

Can designers help get us supplies, furnishings, etc…?
As with all client-designer relationships, whether or not firms can assist in getting supplies either free or discounted depends on each individual firm’s ability. At the very least, it never hurts to ask the question when deciding whether or not that firm will work best for you and your organization’s need.

More questions? Email info@theoneplus.org