AIGA Innovate

AIGA Innovate is a grant program developed to encourage and empower chapters to boldly face the future. The program funds game-changing projects at AIGA chapters across the country, which improve the AIGA member experience, impact the wider community, are scalable to other chapters, and are sustainable after the initial grant period.

AIGA Innovate is a four-year fund with up to $250,000 to be awarded each year. The first group of projects was funded in 2015. The next application period will open this winter.

Application period

Thank you for your interest in AIGA Innovate. The application for the 2016 funding period is now closed.

Congratulations to projects funded in 2016!

  • EntreprenU: Design Business Toolkit, AIGA Baltimore: This is a range of easily accessible articles, tutorial videos, and infographics for designers and AIGA chapters. AIGA members could use this toolkit personally as an educational tool and a general resource on: starting their own business, business plan development, talking points regarding design to relay to non-designers, and variety of administrative considerations.

  • Design Legislation Map, AIGA Baltimore:A searchable database of established and in-process design-related legislation, this website, along with interactive map, will help connect local policy to creative organizations. Chapters would have the ability to submit their own content to help build out this resource that will not only make designers more aware but we hope will also further engage them with the legislation that affects our field.

    For more information on both of AIGA Baltimore's projects, visit the AIGA Baltimore site.

  • Empowering the Underserved DesignKit, AIGA Arizona:This will expose underserved high school students, starting with an initial target audience of Navajo and Hopi cultures in Arizona, to the field of design with an engaging multi-player game, called “Parallel—Game of Design.”

    It will allow for the students to be introduced to concepts of design and design thinking through basic principles, encourage students to actively work in a group setting to solve design-related issues within their own communities, and provide access to design materials, where they are typically limited.

    As an end result, the game, “Parallel—Game of Design,” can be exchanged between AIGA Chapters, or potentially sent out to all Chapters all at once.

Keep an eye on this page for updates on these projects as they progress this year.

High standards for approval

Proposed projects must:

  • Support AIGA’s mission and strategic framework
  • Demonstrate advancement and inspiration, and be conceptually new
  • Inventively meet a need for the chapter, its members, or community
  • Demonstrate the capacity to be shareable and scalable among AIGA’s 70 chapters and not limited only to your local community
  • Become self-sustaining after the initial funding
  • Engage the larger community to find creative design solutions to challenges

Who can apply?

  • All applications must be submitted with the approval and participation of your local AIGA chapter board and the signature of your chapter president. AIGA Innovate grants are awarded to chapters, not to individual members.
  • Any individual leading a project and submitting on behalf of their chapter must 1) be a current AIGA member and 2) develop the application in collaboration with their AIGA chapter

Note: AIGA Innovate grants are not a stipend for individual chapter activity or one-time special events. Instead, this fund should be considered an opportunity for additional means to prototype an exciting new project for the wider organization.

Selection committee 2016

An eight-person selection committee, made up of past and incoming presidents council chairs and members-at-large, evaluate applications in both rounds. Once the committee selects proposals for funding, it is reviewed by the AIGA executive director, who grants final approval. Learn more about the selection committee.

Download and read the information packet

Read this updated informational PDF for AIGA Innovate 2016: in it, you'll find additional details like application information, funding criteria, selection processes, deadlines, and more.

Projects funded in 2015

Learn more about the exciting projects funded in 2015 to get a better sense of what types of projects AIGA Innovate supports. And check back for regular updates as those projects roll out throughout the year.


Make sure to read the updated informational packet in full, and review the AIGA Innovate FAQ's page. If you still have questions, email innovate [at]—we're here to help.