Holiday Giving List: Charitable Organizations That Support Creativity & Innovation
This time of year is when most of us start to think about where to donate to make a difference. I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite organizations that are specific to bringing innovation and creativity to those who may otherwise go without it in their lives. I hope you’ll be as impressed and inspired by the work these places are doing as I am. Access to creative thinking and innovative problem-solving need not be a privilege.
I’ve known about Funny Girls since the Harnisch Foundation reached out to me years ago about being involved. Though Mindhatch wasn’t able to partner with them at the time, I’ve followed their work and am so inspired by how they use improv to strengthen the leadership skills of girls in grades 3–8.
I first learned about the Right Question Institute when I read one of my favorite books last year: A More Beautiful Question. The Right Question Institute (RQI) is a nonprofit educational organization offering a simple, powerful strategy that builds people’s skills to ask better questions, participate in decisions that affect them, and advocate for themselves. Their work is highly relevant to the empathy work we do in design thinking and anything that strives to tap in to the human condition to find deeper understanding and solve important and complex problems.
Street Entrepreneurs envisions a grit-based economy where people with talent, drive, and hustle have access to the resources needed to sustainably solve the problems impacting their lives, their communities, and our world. It’s founded by a former Mindhatch intern (yay!) and gives entrepreneurs training in design thinking and improv, among many other skills. I’m proud to have recently joined the Street Entrepreneurs board!
The Creative Education Foundation (CEF) is a nonprofit that sparks personal and professional transformation by empowering people with the skill set, tool set, and mind set of deliberate creativity. Their goal is to teach all people to use Creative Problem Solving to develop new ideas, solve problems, and implement solutions. I piloted my Improv for Design Thinking workshop at CEF’s Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) a few years ago and can vouch for the absolutely wonderful work they do!
The Detroit Creativity Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides improv training to Detroit middle and high schoolers by partnering with schools and community organizations. Co-founded by the amazing Marc Evan Jackson (most recently of The Good Place fame), I learned about DCP when Marc spoke about it at an Applied Improvisation Network conference several years ago. Please check it out, it’s wonderful and important work!
Happy gifting this holiday season!