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Innovate for Social Impact

We provide pro bono expertise to help social impact organizations accelerate meaningful change.

Pro bono help from Cantina


Superior design and software engineering, as well as breakthrough innovation, shouldn’t just be available to those with big budgets. We know that many organizations doing meaningful work often struggle with resources, and yet their work is critical to our collective well-being.

At Cantina, we’re committed to doing our part. Our Innovate with Impact program makes Cantina’s talent and resources available, on a pro bono basis, to drive positive change, amplify and accelerate impact, and help social cause organizations succeed. Our support includes but is not limited to: design research, experience design, product design, and software engineering.

Pro bono help from Cantina

Each year, we award one organization with a dedicated pro bono team from Cantina to help them accelerate meaningful change. This can mean designing a new mobile app, rethinking a service experience, or designing an entirely new web experience. Whatever it is, we want to help.

How Cantina’s Innovate with Impact program works

Pro bono help from Cantina


We want to partner with you!

Please complete the application and we’ll be in touch. There is no cost to apply and the application deadline is 5pm December 4, 2020.

Application submission deadline

November 23, 2020

Selected partner organization will be announced

December 15, 2020

Kickoff for the 6-8 week project

January, 2021 (date TBD)


Frequently Asked Questions

What type of organizations are eligible for the Program?

The Program is open to U.S. based organizations that operate in the social impact space. This includes organizations working in a wide range of areas, including: climate, sustainability, land conservation, food and food waste, justice and equality, poverty, homelessness, healthcare, education, arts and music, and more. Your organization does not need to be a 501(c)(3) to apply, but it does need to be a mission-driven social enterprise focused on making meaningful change.

What criteria will you use to evaluate applicants?

We will evaluate applicants on a number of criteria, including the quality of their application; the social impact space they are in; the potential project they need help with; and how well their organization/project aligns with Cantina and our mission, vision, and values.

What type of projects are best suited for the Program?

Cantina can help with a variety of projects, but projects that are best suited will be:

  • Relevant: Relevant to a pressing issue or cause with a clear social impact goal
  • Innovative: Involve a new idea or build on an existing approach or tool in a new way
  • Impactful: Clearly define an intended impact or outcome
  • Functional: Contribute to a workable or implementable solution
  • Feasible: A project that Cantina can do in 6-8 weeks

What kind of team will we work with from Cantina?

Cantina has an experienced team of researchers, strategists, makers, designers, and software engineers. You will be working with a dedicated team of 3-5 experts from different disciplines, but if your project is focused in one area and does not require a multidisciplinary team, then we will assign the team that is best suited to your project’s needs.

What kind of commitment are you looking for from the selected partner organization?

We’re looking to work with an engaged partner, one that will collaborate with us, make decisions quickly, and agree to time commitments for:

  • Two hour remote project kickoff meeting
  • Stakeholder 1:1 interviews with key people from the organization as needed
  • Weekly remote one hour check-ins with the project team
  • Coordination of user research as needed
  • 1-2 workshops as needed (typically half or full day with key stakeholders)
  • Final presentation (typically two hours)

Will Cantina publicize the work?

Yes. Selected partner organizations must agree that Cantina will have the right to use their name/logo and create a case study describing the work for marketing and publicity purposes.

Some of our pro bono partners

Design Museum Boston Youth Enrichment Services Inspire Arts & Music Cristo Rey Newport Folk Festival

Other questions?

Get in touch