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Powering Up Imagination Changemakers Globally

Written by 
Ward Bullard
December 16, 2020

MURAL is proud and humbled to share that we currently have more than 1,200 nonprofit organizations using our digital workspace for free as a part of our MURAL for Good program.

In the last six months, nonprofit imagination workers have been making the world a better place with MURAL:

👏 4,000+ monthly active nonprofit members

👀 94% monthly active rate

🙌 61,000+ monthly active guests and visitors

🎨 21,000+ murals created

At MURAL, our company values guide us every day to keep learning, improving, and celebrating. 

Adapt to thrive

“Current world challenges require diverse teams and their use of imagination and visual methods to innovate. Nonprofit organizations globally are tackling these problems, big and small, daily. To all of the nonprofits in our program, it is inspiring how you constantly bring passion and purpose into everyday work, collaborate globally, and create and innovate through the lens of empathy all while executing on a tight timeline and budget. And you get it done. Thank you for making this world a better place. It is a privilege to support and learn from you.”

💡 Mariano Suarez-Battan, Co-Founder & CEO | MURAL

At the onset of the pandemic, MURAL moved quickly to create an offering to support organizations working on COVID-19 related projects. In this difficult time, it was important to enable nonprofits to continue to advance their impactful work with the innovative collaboration that MURAL allows. Soon after creating this initial offering, the Education and Nonprofits team looked to create a lasting program to make MURAL more accessible to nonprofit organizations long term. In June 2020, we launched our nonprofit program.

As MURAL continues to grow and adapt we are excited to expand our social impact efforts and aim to foster a culture of giving and engagement with local communities across our global team. 

Think global

Nonprofits are using MURAL globally. Not only are teams based in countries across the world, but also they are now able to more easily collaborate with their global stakeholders. While many nonprofits first used MURAL as their workshops suddenly moved remote at the beginning of COVID-19, they now are using MURAL for design sprints, agile retrospectives, and project planning.

MURAL has partnered with 1,200+ organizations across six continents and 40+ countries.

Generate wows: Nonprofits doing amazing things!

There are so many amazing stories of nonprofits doing incredible work and incorporating MURAL to boost their success. There are nonprofit organizations using MURAL in their work across education, health and safety, climate and environment, diversity and inclusion, arts, technology and science, economic growth, and global partnerships.

Here are some mini case studies that highlight how some of our most active nonprofits have used MURAL to grow, create impactful campaigns, and encourage active collaboration toward a common goal.

Design For America


Design for America (DFA) is a community of innovators using design for social good. DFA is made up of multidisciplinary, student-led studios, located on 38 college campuses across the country. DFAers partner with organizations in their community and use design thinking to address local challenges. To do so, their network goes through rigorous in-person and virtual training, workshops, and collaborating to create impact.   


Once the pandemic began DFA quickly came across many challenges as a team trying to conceptualize, run, and facilitate all of their robust programming without being in a room.


Adding MURAL into the DFA toolkit was a game changer, and it’s now part and parcel of how they run design sprints, facilitate longer challenges, and work with university and industry partners.

Internally, many meetings include a MURAL board which is now their virtual whiteboard standard for team planning, project calendars, and program development.

On the studio side, DFA translated their design thinking curriculum onto MURAL. So far, 20 studios have incorporated MURAL into their workflow, equipping more than 60 student projects with a powerful tool that enables social impact, from increasing voter engagement to starting conversations about what should be done with empty pedestals of removed confederate statues on campus. The rest of the studios will be adopting MURAL in 2021!

Example image of DFA's Team Breakout Template.


Black Dog Institute


Black Dog Institute is an Australian Medical Research Institute focused on mental health research and the translation of new and better ways to treat and prevent mental health problems through digital tools and novel interventions.


How to run a design sprint with new external partners and internal Black Dog Institute stakeholders remotely. None of the parties had ever done a remote design sprint before and for 90 percent of the team this was their first design sprint. So, they had a dual challenge of learning a new process and learning how to do it remotely.


Black Dog Institute came across MURAL and planned their entire design sprint using our tool.

They have now introduced MURAL to the rest of the Institute and have incorporated MURAL into all their collaborative workshops. They can accommodate a blended approach where people are dialing in remotely and others are meeting face to face. It’s now their preferred way to record the planning and thinking that they do for their UX and UI team. For example, Black Dog Institute uses MURAL to record feedback from their user consultation sessions, record retrospectives and lessons learned, prep work for research trials, and conduct competitor analysis for market scans.

Click on the image above to check out Black Dog Institute's full program mural.

AST2020 Accelerating Social Transformation


Accelerating Social Transformation (AST) is a social innovation certificate program co-led by Akhtar Badshah and Genevieve Tremblay of Catalytic Innovators Group and hosted at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. The program invites pioneering leaders in the social impact and philanthropy sectors to share their personal and professional journeys.


How to provide the same opportunities for networking, connections, and collaboration in a virtual environment.


As they pivoted to virtual delivery, AST2020 chose to use MURAL and Microsoft Teams to:

  • Design a visual, interactive working environment for a deep-dive charrette into Design Thinking
  • Develop an engaging visual platform for co-creation, experiential and asynchronous learning
  • Connect and build learning community and forge lasting connections between participants
  • Increase program length from four days to four weeks and include 60 participants from 16 different countries spanning six continents. 
Click on the image above to see how AST mapped out their program experience.

Project Adventure


Project Adventure aims to empower communities to create positive change through interactive learning. Their usual programming involves building ropes courses and in-person training for teachers to implement in their classrooms. 


How to build community and deliver programs with continued value while remote?


Project Adventure now facilitates their workshops, team building and problem solving initiatives on MURAL. The learning curve was the biggest challenge they initially faced. To solve this they created a personalized onboarding mural to send out to participants prior to their training. Now they use murals for prolonged group workshops. MURAL has allowed Project Adventure to expand the reach of their programs, increasing their flagship workshop “SEL Through Adventure” from four sessions to 12.

“The level of interaction is huge and it is something we haven’t found somewhere else,” said Greg Urban, Staffing Coordinator and Trainer at Project Adventure. “MURAL provides a sandbox to do some of the problem solving initiatives that don’t work just over Zoom.”

Urban envisions that once in-person training is possible again Project Adventure would likely take a blended (remote and in person) approach where they could teach theory and training prior to their events on MURAL, and then meet in person for the technical activities.

Click the image above to see the mural they use to onboard participants. 

Join Project Adventure’s training they are hosting on how experiential facilitators can use MURAL.

A big thank you to the other nonprofits using MURAL to amplify their impact!

Make others successful

MURAL centers the product in community. To foster the nonprofit community early on, the MURAL for Nonprofits webinar series was created to share success stories and use cases for the nonprofit audience.

We want to thank the changemakers that joined us on our sessions to share their MURAL strategies, successes, and challenges to help make others successful. Checkout the webinar recaps to learn from these leaders and jumpstart your success. 

Play to win and have fun

As part of our end-of-year initiatives, MURAL is hosting a “Thanksathon” to show our gratitude for the first 1,000 nonprofits on our free plan. MURAL employees have volunteered their time on the 21st and 22nd of December (a full 48 hours) to provide nonprofits with 25 minute mentoring sessions to level up their MURAL skills going into the new year. The hype among the MURAListas is real, and everyone is looking forward to connecting with our nonprofit users before the holidays! We can assure you we will show up with a smile ready to work with you to help map out an idea, or tackle challenges.

Show up with a smile

If you work for a nonprofit that is not yet on the nonprofit plan, please visit to see if your organization qualifies for a free workspace or discount.

Here at MURAL feedback is the biggest gift. We are constantly trying to improve our platform and programs to better serve our users. Please reach out to with any feedback, challenges, or to share your success story. We would love to hear from you.

About the author

About the authors

Ward Bullard

VP, Education and Nonprofits
Ward is the Head of Education and Nonprofits @ MURAL. Additionally, he teaches as an adjunct instructor at Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the, where he developed the course, “Testing at Scale: The Sports Fan Experience.”