Celebrating the changemakers in Mural's nonprofit community

Written by 
Emma Schnee
December 20, 2021
Celebrating the changemakers in Mural's nonprofit community
Written by 
Emma Schnee
December 20, 2021

We have been grateful to grow the Mural for Good program over the past year. We currently have over 2,600 nonprofits using Mural on our free nonprofit plan. In the last year:

  • More than 1,500 new nonprofits joined the program 🎉
  • 36,000 murals were created 🤩
  • 270,000 people collaborated across all the workspaces 👏 

That’s a lot of collaboration! 

“I have been amazed this year by the creative ways nonprofits connect with their local and global teams to continue their impactful work," said Ward Bullard, VP Mural for Good & Playmakers. "Our company values to think global, adapt to thrive, generate wows, make others successful, and experiment like an owner are demonstrated by these organizations every day.”

Let’s take a look at four organizations that have accomplished amazing things throughout the year, using Mural along the way to help them do it.  


The organization Makesense knows that many people who are aware of social and environmental emergencies want to get involved — but many do not. Why not? Often because they feel too lonely, too small to have an impact on their scale, or because they are afraid or don't know how to concretely take action. 

In order to remove these barriers to civic action, Makesense has created five thematic programs, which in 15 days allow participants, gathered in groups of 15 people, to train and take action. For example :

  • Helping homeless people by collecting hygiene kits, clothes, and learning how to reach out to them in their daily lives.
  • (Re)creating social links with isolated elderly by doing them small services or by making friendly calls.
  • Supporting newcomers by giving them French lessons, practicing a sport with them or helping them to redo their resume.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by convincing their neighborhood merchants to adopt zero-waste alternatives, supporting renewable energy cooperatives, or sharing knowledge about climate change.
  • Accelerating the food transition by changing consumption habits, supporting local farmers, or creating a distribution network near them.

In 2021 they have trained 5,000 people, who have carried out more than 25,000 positive actions together! Last November in Glasgow, Makesense even had the chance to present their climate program during a roundtable with former President Barack Obama during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). 

Some of the Makesense crew at COP26 with former President Barack Obama.

Mural has been a decisive tool for Makesense, enabling them to express their creativity despite social distancing and connect with their various stakeholders (employees, volunteers, entrepreneurs, corporate or associative partners, etc.).

In one instance they used Mural during a collective workshop with their volunteer and expert field partners on social and environmental issues in order to define their yearly impact objective and the associated strategy for it.

Check out this mural to get inspired by more internal and external ways the Makesense team used Mural.


Red de Innovación Local  

Red de Innovación Local supports local government teams and helps them become community development leaders by enhancing their management capabilities. They have used Mural in various programs and initiatives to create collaborative, transparent, and creative spaces. 

The tool has been mainly used to design high-impact solutions and generate shared ideation dynamics with a special focus on the creativity that is boosted when many people share experiences. Through visual collaboration they were able to identify ways to improve internal processes and products with a team that takes retrospective assessments remotely.

As an interdisciplinary team located throughout Argentina, they were able to build remote spaces so they could have conversations, reach agreements, and ideate in real time.

Red de Innovación Local designed public policies and shared spaces for the generation of agreements and commitments of more than 250 districts in Argentina. Below you can see an example from the district of Saladillo.


At the beginning of 2021, the city of Saladillo became a Local Development Agency and Red de Innovación used Mural to outline the milestones of that project. During three months of work, the local team focused on generating foundational agreements for the creation of the Development Agency including:

  • Description of the target population and findings from fieldwork
  • Ideation of the main lines of work
  • Coordination and definition of roles
  • Voting and prioritization of results

Red de Innovación's mural visualizing the milestones of the Saladillo project.


Design for America 

Design for America (DFA) shapes the next generation of social innovators by teaching empathy-based design, centering collaboration and co-creation, and building young leaders’ capacity to explore a wide range of challenge spaces in service to the greater good.  

This past summer, DFA partnered with the YMCA to further their shared mission of nurturing agents of social change. DFA Fellows worked alongside YMCA high school students to address issues around mental health in young people. The team exchanged their unique knowledge, power, and experience across time zones and backgrounds to learn the foundations of empathetic design and co-create an idea for improving education-based support systems for youth. 

Throughout this project, teams utilized Mural as a versatile container to co-work, collaborate, and communicate their findings with one another. 

Mural used for a design sprint with YMCA Changemakers on how to make their Summer Design Institute programs more engaging. 


YLabs is a global nonprofit that designs, tests, and advocates for youth-driven solutions to improve their health and economic opportunity. Based in Africa and North America, they've worked in 16 countries to deeply engage young people as leaders in designing a healthier, more prosperous future. To give a snapshot of YLabs' projects in 2021, their teams around the world have been:

  • Designing Cocoons, safe spaces for young refugees in Uganda to manage their menstruation. 
  • Developing AskDoki, an AI chatbot to educate Kenyan youth about sex, contraception, STIs, and HIV.
  • Scaling CyberRwanda, a digital education platform in Rwanda to teach youth about their bodies, puberty, consent, health, and career development.
  • Training grassroots organizations in Kenya, Ghana, Cambodia, Rwanda, and Nigeria on how to engage youth in co-design.

Their design and research teams work collaboratively across multiple remote environments, often in the field. Mural is used to conduct collaborative design sessions, global training workshops across multiple countries, and to conduct team-building and bonding activities.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, YLabs were able to co-design safely with nearly 1,000 young people across the world. In 2021 their global projects reached more than 250,000 young people to support their health and economic opportunities.


"We have used Mural for synthesis and brainstorming, and it has been like an MVP tool for most of us. It makes it easy to work as a large team, where everyone just contributes [in] real time and any clarifications are sought as you go."  - Nzisa Kioko NCDExchange Fellow, Kenya
Digital collaboration allowed the distributed YLabs teams across the world to ideate together quickly.

The mural above was used for a project aiming at designing a safe, ethical, and effective system of delivering cash assistance to unaccompanied youth in refugee camps in Ethiopia. YLabs worked in collaboration with an international team to develop ideas in this workshop.

Mural for Good looks ahead

We feel very lucky to be able to support the amazing work of organizations like these. Mural employees look forward to connecting with organizations as the year comes to a close as part of our Mural Gives Back employee volunteering initiative.

As we look ahead to the new year, the Mural for Good team is excited to partner with new organizations, provide more opportunities for employee engagement with this community, and continue to learn and be inspired by the passion and dedication these nonprofits bring to their work. 

About the authors

About the authors

Emma Schnee

Emma Schnee

Integrated Marketing Manager
Emma is a a marketing manager at MURAL where she champions the stories of educators, students, and nonprofits to highlight the creative and impactful ways they incorporate visual collaboration into their work. She is passionate about the intersection of social impact, business, and design.