Autodesk will make its software available to qualifying 501©(3) nonprofit organizations or equivalent entities that are directly employing design to contribute to a better world. The program will be administered through the Autodesk.com website, with a web-based application that requires basic contact information, confirmation of nonprofit status, and an explanation of how the software will be used. A third party vendor will vet nonprofits to ensure that they comply with Autodesk's non-discrimination policies.
Select nonprofits will be flagged and followed closely as potential case studies, which will be profiled on the Autodesk Foundation website as well as pushed out through other Autodesk, Inc. social media channels. This will provide, for the first time, a clear path and application for nonprofits seeking design software donations. It will also involve direct outreach to the nonprofit design community via sponsorship and invitations extended to event attendees within the public interest design space as well as award program participants and honorees.
This technology represents years of development, far exceeding its retail price; even this price is often beyond the reach of nonprofit organizations. The four principal Autodesk software suites officially available through the program in its first year include Autodesk's Product Design Suite Premium, Building Design Suite Premium, Infrastructure Design Suite Premium, and Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate. The suggested retail price for these four suites ranges from $6,825 to $7,495. Autodesk has also committed substantial staff time to plan and manage this program. The software will be used by nonprofits to design, visualize, simulate, and build or manufacture more efficiently and sustainably. Even the most basic graphic renderings of products, buildings, and other objects can aid organizations, and the communities they are working to serve, in their pursuit of funding, community investment, and support. Autodesk aims to deliver 1,000 licenses, chosen from four suites of software to 500 nonprofits during the span of this one-year Commitment to Action.
The Technology Impact program will launch in September in conjunction with the CGI Annual Meeting, with order fulfillment starting within five business days of the announcement.
Deliverables: Program webpage, press release, order fulfillments
The Technology Impact Program will launch a series of "getting started" resources to aid nonprofits in employing Autodesk software and technology.
Deliverables: Getting Started kit
The Technology Impact Program will be available internationally and introduced as such to the Autodesk customer base during the annual Autodesk University conference in Las Vegas, empowering 10,000+ people with the ability to identify and notify potential nonprofit beneficiaries.
Deliverables: Program promotional kit
The Technology Impact Program will reach 50 percent of its annual goal of 500 nonprofits.
Deliverables: Up to 500 software suites delivered to 250 nonprofits
The Technology Impact Program will be featured prominently on the new Autodesk Impact Design Foundation website, Autodesk.org, including distribution metrics and case studies.
Deliverables: Program presence on Autodesk.org website, distribution metrics, case studies
The Technology Impact Program will be promoted at the annual Structures for Inclusion conference.
Deliverables: Program brochure for new users
The Technology Impact program will reach 100 percent of its annual goal of 500 nonprofits.
Deliverables: Up to 1,000 software suites delivered to 500 nonprofits
Every day, architects, designers, and engineers are putting their professional skills to work imagining, designing, and creating a better world. A crucial cohort of these contributors operates in the nonprofit sector. A primary example is the pioneering healthcare design work of MASS Design Group in partnership with Partners in Health on the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda. Entities like MASS focus on bringing good design to resource-limited settings that are largely untouched by mainstream design firms. They also employ a critical human-centered design approach by living and working with the communities being served for months at a time.
Technology - ranging from internet connectivity to hardware and software - is essential in making this work a reality. Yet, sophisticated design software is costly, due to the immense investment of resources needed to create and maintain it. This need exists among environmental design groups, but also product and systems design nonprofits. There is also a need and opportunity for professional skills development, both among practitioners providing the services as well as community partners, which Autodesk software provides through extensive training materials.
Autodesk suites provide the technical tools to create products for individuals in need, buildings and environments that provide crucial shelter or community space, and systems to access vital social services. Autodesk Building Design Suite, for example, provides a 3D building design software portfolio that combines Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tools to produce compelling visualizations, use integrated simulation and analysis, create high-quality construction documentation, and improve control over project outcomes.
Autodesk, to date, has not reached out to the nonprofit sector in a strategic way as, historically, individual donations were made by Autodesk employees. One clear precedent for more strategic outreach is Autodesk's Clean Tech Partner Program, through which nearly 2,500 clean technology companies in 70 countries have been granted access to up to $150,000 in Autodesk software.