How much does it cost to become a 1% nonprofit participant?
The 1% is a free program open nonprofits and registration takes no more than 1% of your day, that’s roughly 4.8 minutes. Please click here to register.
Does my organization qualify to receive pro bono services from 1% firm participants?
The 1% program of Public Architecture focuses primarily on 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations as appropriate pro bono clients. All 501(c)3 nonprofits are welcome to register.
What constitutes pro bono architectural and design service?
The 1% program defines pro bono service to be 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.
What kind of contribution is “1%” in terms of our design needs?
In literal terms, The 1% program is asking for 20 hours per employee per year in each firm. However, many of our participating firms give more than 1% to the program, often carrying out pro bono projects to conclusion based on their relationship with their nonprofit client, exclusive of the number of hours actually pledged to the program.
We do not have money for an architect, should we still sign-up our projects with The 1%?
At Public Architecture, we believe that everyone should have access to good design and never discourage nonprofits from registering with our 1% program. Whether the scope of your project is small or large, there are a variety of ways that architects can help empower your organization through design that do not lend itself to large sums of money.
What does Public Architecture expect from us?
Even though participation within the The 1% program is free, there are several ways you can offer assistance to Public Architecture. At a very minimum we would like our nonprofits to check back in throughout the process of their projects to let us know how its going, and consider posting their project as a case study to the website.
What types of services do architects and other designers offer pro bono?
Seven typical services offered by architects on a pro bono basis are listed on the website under our Service Offerings page. Everything from a simple feasibility assessment to asses the space and programming needs of your organization to a Building and Space Location and a full Facilities Renovation is described there in more detail: Click here to be directed to the Service Offerings page.
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%, and post their projects to the website. Once you have registered and posted your project, participating firms can contact you regarding their interest in your project, and you will have access to contact firms you have an interest in working with.
How experienced are the firms registered as participants of The 1% program?
Both qualified licensed and unlicensed architectural professionals are registered participants with The 1% program. To find a firm that best suits your organization’s needs and level of care, take time to investigate multiple firms and make contact when advised by email after a firm has expressed interest in your project.
How much time do the designers have to give us?
Relative time that architects can give towards pro bono projects varies on a firm by firm basis. The 1% encourages at a minimum 20 hours per employee per year. We suggest that nonprofits start small with their project inquiries to architects, such as a feasibility assessment, and have often found that the relationship built through the pro bono project process is one that architects through the remainder of the design work.
If my organization does not need a new building, how is this program helpful to us?
Designers do much more than design new buildings. A list of typical services provided on a pro bono basis by our architecture and firms can be found on the Service Offerings page of the website.
Can we invite other nonprofits to register?
Of course! While we are national nonprofit, our team at Public Architecture is relatively small. The 1% program continues to grow through the support and word-of-mouth of our current participants.
How is Public Architecture funded?
The 1% program of Public Architecture is made possible thanks to the crucial support and generosity of a variety of organizations, our participating firms, and individuals. We continue to look to add new partners, and would welcome all ideas for that. Please see our Supporters page for more information
Pro Bono Projects
Do participating 1% design firms work for free?
Yes and no. Public Architecture defines pro bono as services rendered for free or at a reduced rate to organizations who could not otherwise afford them. Whether or not an architecture firm is able to cover their own overhead through the course of the project is based on a firm by firm basis, and will need to be discussed individually with the firm before proceeding.
Where can I get information on past probono projects?
To view completed pro bono projects, please visit our Project Gallery .
I am not sure what services my organizations need, how do I proceed?
We recommend checking out our Service Offerings page under the Nonprofit dropdown menu to get a better idea of services our 1% participating firms generally offer to their pro bono clients. If you still have questions after reading, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at email@example.com with any questions. Be sure to use SERVICE QUESTION, in the subject line.
How long do projects take?
As with every architecture project, whether or not it actually results in a building, the timeline for each project can only be 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 an architect.
What is Public Architecture's involvement in the potential project?
Public Architecture assists nonprofits through the online matching process by helping scope and post the project. It is up to the nonprofit to follow-up with the firms they send requests to and receive responses from. 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, you will have access to post projects through your “My 1%” account by logging on to 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.
What happens if we need work done after the project is complete?
If one project lends itself to another project, and you have enjoyed the experience with the previous firm, we suggest you post the new project to the website and continue to work with that firm to see if they are available to continue services. If the firm is unavailable, or you are interested in enlisting a different firm’s services, nonprofits are encouraged to post the new project to the website to begin the matching process again.
Why does Public Architecture recommend signing a contract with the firm for pro bono services?
Even though the architect may be working pro bono at a reduced rate or no cost, we recommend that a contract is drafted for all pro bono projects. Drafting a contract ensures that both parties fully understand the scope of work and what each one is committed to undertaking through the project.
Do we have to pay for contractors to carry out the work?
Yes and no, but more likely yes than no. There have been anecdotal stories of participating designers who were able to leverage their resources to engage contractors in pro bono work, but for the most part you should expect to work with the architect when establishing the budget of the overall project, including associated contractor costs.
Can architects help get us supplies, furnishings, etc…?
As with all client-architecture relationships, whether or not architectural 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.
How can I remove my project from the website?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and send us the project title you want removed from the pool of nonprofits actively seeking design services.
Still have questions?