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  5. The 2023 Annual Campaign

An Annual Campaign is a fundraising effort that nonprofit organizations like DESIGNxRI undertake each year to generate financial contributions from our supporters. This effort is crucial in making a lasting impact by providing a reliable source of funding to sustain the work we do to help us to better serve our community. Below we’ve outlined 3 big ways that giving to our Annual Campaign will make a difference!



The Catalyst Fund: Empower the Next Generation of Designers

We understand the challenges that aspiring designers face when launching their careers. This journey can be especially daunting for those with limited resources and a lack of financial safety nets. That’s where the Catalyst Fund comes in. The Catalyst Fund was created to support DESIGNxRI’s Design Catalyst program, which provides seed capital, business mentorship, professional development training, and peer-to-peer networking for growing creative businesses. By supporting start-up grants, training, and mentorship, this fund helps RI’s emerging designers overcome the usual barriers to launching a creative business.

This is where you come in. As a founding member of the Catalyst Fund, you can make a significant impact for the whole of Rhode Island’s design community. In the past, Design Catalyst has only been available to Providence-based businesses. However, this year we’re taking the program statewide. This expansion will provide underrepresented community members across Rhode Island with vital access to all the resources available through Design Catalyst program. By supporting the Catalyst Fund, you’re helping Rhode Island’s emerging designers take the leap into a career that not only enriches their lives but also betters our state by enriching the design industry!

Amplify the Power of Design

Design is all around us, shaping our daily lives in ways we often take for granted. It’s in the architecture of our homes, the clothes we wear, the efficiency of our public transportation systems, the educational experiences of our children, the devices we use, and the entertainment we enjoy. Good design seamlessly integrates into our world, often so well that it goes unnoticed. That’s where DESIGNxRI steps in.

Every year, we proudly host DESIGN WEEK RI, a celebration of the dynamic field of design and the thriving design industry right here in Rhode Island. By doing so, we put Rhode Island on the map as a vital hub for design in the United States. With your support, we can draw attention to our incredibly talented industry professionals and continue to foster growth and innovation.

Foster Design Business Growth in Rhode Island

Rhode Island is known for attracting talented creatives who come here to receive a top-notch design education. However, once they graduate, many of them leave for larger cities like New York, Chicago, or Boston to build their careers.

At DESIGNxRI, we’re determined to change that narrative. We’re advocating for Rhode Island to become a nurturing environment for design professionals to launch, scale, and sustain their businesses. By redirecting funding towards the design industry, we’re not only supporting the design community but also strengthening the city, the state, and the country as a whole. Investing in design is an investment in a brighter future for all of us.


With the resources and the education that I had during the Providence Design Catalyst Program…

We were able to level up our Westminster Pop-up into a year-long lease and create a new vegan bath line with additional 8 new products.

One of the most beneficial parts of the program was learning side-by-side with unique- like-minded entrepreneurs who were part of the catalyst and the DESIGNxRI staff that helped us throughout the whole process.

Lexus Fernandez, SOULITA

Providence Design Catalyst Alum 2022

We learned that we, as creatives and our business is very young…

The program helped us realize how much we know and how much we do not, which help prepare us for what is to come. The program also encouraged
us to do things at our own pace and appreciate what we have achieved (Thanks to our mentor Sara <3).


Providence Design Catalyst Alum 2022