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How we live our value of ‘Be a Force For Good’

We all aim to live our ‘Be A Force For Good’ value every day, bringing Canva’s 31% pledge to life through both the Canva company and Canva Foundation.

At Canva, we aim to live our values each and every day. As a global platform with a community across 190 countries, we strongly believe in the important responsibility we have to use our voice, our platform, and our reach to stand behind these values that drive us.

While our different values might resonate more at various points in time for each Canvanaut, the one that intrinsically threads through everything we do is to ‘Be a Force For Good’. That’s because it makes up a very key part of Canva’s ‘simple’ Two-Step plan, and has been a core part of our mission, our culture, and our overall company DNA from the very beginning.

Canva's two-step plan

Image of Canva’s ‘simple’ Two-Step plan

With the goal of Step Two in mind, we joined Pledge 1%(opens in a new tab or window) back in 2019 — a global initiative where companies give 1% of their profit, equity, product, or time back to their communities — to help bring our ‘Be a Force For Good’ value to life. And we’ve committed to donating all four of these areas as part of the pledge!

At Canva, it’s hugely important to us to leave a lasting, positive impact on our world. This is an area we’re all passionate about, but none more so than our founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, who announced in 2021 that they’ll be donating the majority of their equity (30% of Canva), to do good in the world through the Canva Foundation, where we believe there's enough money, enough goodwill, and enough creativity and innovation to help solve the world's biggest challenges in our lifetime.

Because of our Two-Step plan, both the Canva Company and the Canva Foundation are key to bringing this 31% pledge to life and every Canvanaut helps contribute towards this mission and our crazy big goals. Here’s how:

Donating our product

We recently surpassed 250,000 nonprofits using Canva’s premium platform for free(opens in a new tab or window). From the Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, the World Wildlife Fund, and UNICEF, to thousands of amazing grassroots organizations, we’ve seen some incredible ways that nonprofits are using Canva to promote and champion important causes such as Stop Hunger Now(opens in a new tab or window) crafting online content to help collect food, clean water, blankets and medicine during emergencies, to Amnesty International Australia(opens in a new tab or window) curating the 21st century equivalent of picket signs that inspire followers to take action on important issues.

Amnesty International Canva designs

A few of the designs Amnesty International Australia has made on Canva

We also care deeply about supporting the future of creativity, which we believe starts in the classroom. That’s why we provide Canva for free(opens in a new tab or window) to K-12 students and teachers around the world. Today, more than 130,000 schools are using Canva for Education and are able to access over 70,000 templates to help design posters, lesson plans, presentations, book reports, and whatever else their imaginations can dream up.

Every launch, every bug fix, every template, and every ingredient our entire team works on helps improve Canva’s product for everyone — including for these nonprofits and the students and teachers on our educational plans.

A student using Canva in the classroom

A student using Canva in the classroom

Donating funds

Through the Canva Foundation, we donate our profit and equity as part of our mission to empower every human to create a safe, free and happy life for themselves.

Today, 656 million people still live below the extreme poverty line of less than $1.90 a day. Many of these people are often forced to choose between feeding their children or sending a sick family member to the hospital — all on top of dealing with the same global impacts each of us is experiencing that are driving up local prices.

That’s why we’ve partnered with GiveDirectly(opens in a new tab or window), a nonprofit that sends money directly to the world’s poorest households via unconditional cash transfers, as we have a shared belief that people living in poverty deserve the dignity to choose for themselves how best to improve their lives — and cash enables that choice.

We launched our first pilot program in Lilongwe Rural, Malawi, to distribute US$10 million of digital, unconditional cash to nearly 13,000 people in Rural Lilongwe, who will receive $50 per month for 12 months. This program also has a research component that will not only help Malawians, but future recipients of GiveDirectly programs.

Canva Foundation team’s recent trip to Malawi

Photo from the Canva Foundation team’s recent trip to Malawi

Through Canva and our Foundation, we’ve also been able to play a small part in supporting some of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises such as the Aussies for Afghanistan Appeal(opens in a new tab or window) and the war in Ukraine(opens in a new tab or window), by donating an initial US$183,000+ and US$933,000+ respectively to initiatives in both countries, with a goal of deploying funds as quickly as possible in partnership with grassroots organizations who are well-connected on-the-ground.

Via our internal donation-matching program, Canvanauts have donated a total of US$203,000 in the 2021/2022 financial year, which has all been matched dollar-for-dollar as part of our gift-matching initiative. That’s over US$400,000 that has been donated to nonprofits by Canvanauts to help them amplify their impact!

Donating our time

Beyond making an impact via funding and product donations, every Canvanaut gets three days of paid Force For Good volunteer leave each year to support causes close to their hearts. To help empower Canvanauts to use their leave, we launched Force For Good Fridays, giving everyone the ultimate permission slip to volunteer and give back to their local community every month.

Canva supporting OzHarvest

Our Employer Brand Team supporting OzHarvest

Since launching this initiative in May, we’ve had over 510 volunteers contribute over 2,100 hours to 23 nonprofits globally!

We seek to openly collaborate with Canvanauts on the orgs we support through volunteering through our open volunteering suggestion form and often look for and share a suite of generalist and skilled volunteering opportunities that empower our team to use not only their time, but their talents and unique skills in the most impactful ways possible. If you feel inspired and want to contribute to your local community, some of our favorite initiatives include volunteering our time and skills to run mock interviews for disadvantaged young people entering the workforce via Headspace’s(opens in a new tab or window) program; solving real-life design challenges faced by nonprofits; rolling up our sleeves for The Trail Foundation(opens in a new tab or window) to help conserve the natural parks and trails; banding together as a global community to map the places and people(opens in a new tab or window) most vulnerable to disaster and many, many more.

We’re really only 1% of the way there when it comes to our ‘simple’ Two-Step plan, but we’re so excited for all the future Force For Good initiatives we have planned, and the impact they can have on the world with your help!

Robyn leads Canva’s Social Impact work, identifying partnerships and programs that bring the best of Canva to help solve global challenges in the most impactful way possible.


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