Meet our Made Good panelists: Dawn Hancock
“I realized life was too short to do work I wasn’t passionate about and the only person holding me back was me. So I took the leap and that was the beginning of the Firebelly universe.”
Dawn Hancock

Dawn Hancock has always known she would find a way to give back, because as she says, “I never thought design and doing good in the world were mutually exclusive.”1

She did more than find a way, she created a culture that breeds socially responsible design. in 1999, she founded Firebelly Design, a studio that does “work for people we think are making a difference in the world.”2

With the mantra “Good Design for Good Reason.™” the studio is a pioneer in socially responsible design, and continues to live the principles of sustainable innovation and social responsibility.

In 2004, Firebelly Design started the annual Grant for Good program, which “awards a year’s worth of full-scale marketing, design and business planning services to one deserving nonprofit organization.”3

Knowing she and her colleagues at Firebelly could do more than just design websites and logos, Dawn launched Reason to Give in 2007, a program benefitting residents in the Humboldt Park neighboorhood where her studio is located. The program “allows online shoppers to directly purchase or donate money toward goods that children and families genuinely need.”4 Additionally, monthly workshops, such as resume building and computer training are held for participants in the program.

Wanting to create impact outside the studio, the Firebelly Foundation was formed in 2006, to provide “goods and services to underserved families, advocates for social equity and innovation, and provides training and resource support for the next generation of conscientious designers and social entrepreneurs.”5 Programs offered through the Foundation include the aforementioned, Reason to Give; Firebelly University, “a nine-month program in which individuals band together to run a business with our guidance and support.”6 ; and Camp Firebelly,  “an intensive apprenticeship experience like no other, for 10 talented folks looking to break into the design profession and use their powers for good.” 7

Dawn and her many endeavors, is a true role model for creating positive social impact, and we are thrilled that she accepted our invitation to be a part of Made Good.

See why Dawn is excited to be joining us for made Good:

More about Dawn Hancock:
Firebelly Design
Firebelly Foundation
Reason To Give
Grant For Good
Camp Firebelly
Firebelly University
VIDEO: Dawn Hancock of Firebelly Design’s Top 10 List of Shit I Have Done To Create A Life I Love
VIDEO: TEDxWindyCity – Dawn Hancock – 2/10/10
FastCo Exist: Designing Better Ways to Give Back


Made Good | September 26, 2013 6:30 PM

Made Good: An evening to celebrate design & its promise for social change, will feature three amazing design leaders and entrepreneurs for presentations, a panel discussion, and a Q&A session that will provide inspiration, practical advice, and conversation on bringing socially responsible design to your professional practice.

Our panelists are: Chicago’s Dawn Hancock of Firebelly Design and the Firebelly Foundation; AIGA Atlanta Fellow Doug Grimmett of Primal Screen and Good Thinking Atlanta; and Raleigh’s own Aly Khalifa of Gamil Design, founder of designbox and SPARKcon.

AIGA Raleigh will also be honoring Aly Khalifa at this event as the third-ever Fellow of AIGA Raleigh in recognition of his catalytic role in North Carolina’s design community!

As a way to keep the conversation going, we’re hosting four Made Good: Take Action events in October—all attendees to the evening event on the 26th will be able to attend a Take Action working session of their choice at no additional charge!

Made Good is a Design for Good event; Design for Good is AIGA’s national movement to ignite, accelerate and amplify design-driven social change.

Register here.

By Amy Lyons
Published September 21, 2013