Good design makes digital programming better — here are four key tips from digital-first non-profits

mindyourmind and Black Futures Now have done the research and development to create successful online programs — here’s what they learned

Why It Matters

COVID-19 has sent much of the social impact world online, forcing non-profits to quickly adapt to a remote reality. But in a sector in which few have the resources to innovate with technology, how can social impact organizations improve how they work online, and find new ways of helping the people they serve?

This story is in partnership with Ontario Trillium Foundation.

When Heather Miko-Kelly first joined the staff of mindyourmind in 2006, a non-profit set up to support youth mental health online, she says many in her field dismissed the idea of digital solutions.

“People working in the field with youth, they didn’t think that the digital world was meaningful or valuable,” says Miko-Kelly, now program manager of the organization in London, Ontario. “Why do we want young people going on the internet more?” they would ask at conferences.

How things have changed. In the years since, work has increasingly moved online – a move further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many social impact organizations accustomed to working in person have been finding ways to redesign their work to be effective online.  

Black Futures Now, a collective of

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