- Canva’s Two-Step Plan: Celebrating 10 years of impact
Canva’s Two-Step Plan: Celebrating 10 years of impact
We’ve always set out to ‘do the most good we can’, and as Canva turns 10, we’re shining a light on some milestones we’ve achieved so far.
Since the very beginning of Canva, we’ve been driven by the belief that it’s possible to build a great product while also having a lasting positive impact on the world. While lots has happened over the last decade, our aspiration to do the most good we can remains unchanged. Everything we do contributes to our Two-Step Plan as a company: Step One – to become one of the world’s most valuable companies; and Step Two –to do the most good we can.
As we reflect on our journey over the past decade, we’re incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made and feel more inspired than ever to supercharge our impact in the decades to come.
Here are 10 of our most momentous milestones achieved so far.
1. We joined Pledge 1%
In 2019 we embodied our value ‘be a force for good’ and joined Pledge 1%, a global initiative where companies pledge 1% of their time, profit, product, or equity to have a positive impact. We pledged all four. We do this day-to-day by donating our time through volunteering, donating funds through partnerships with organizations such as GiveDirectly, and empowering close to half a million nonprofits and over 45 million teachers and students with free access to our Canva Pro product.
In 2021, we took this 1% even further with the announcement that we’re committing an additional 30% of Canva towards doing good in the world. Today, more than 30% of Canva’s value has been pledged towards making a difference.
2. Launching the Canva Foundation
Step Two is made up of a number of initiatives including how we give away our core product, our company resources, and our team's time and skills to create positive change. As our main charitable arm, The Canva Foundation is another one of the ways we bring our Two-Step Plan to life and is the vehicle for our philanthropic work.
We believe there’s enough money, goodwill, and creativity to help solve the world’s biggest challenges in our lifetime, so we’re proud to partner with a variety of organizations via the Canva Foundation to provide support to communities that need it the most.
From the Afghanistan crisis to the Ukraine war, and so many other crisis situations, we’ve been able to play a small part in assisting some of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises through the Canva Foundation. Our biggest project to date is our partnership with Give Directly, where we’ve worked together to send funds to provide direct cash transfers to some of the world’s poorest people in an effort to learn more about the most effective ways to contribute towards ending extreme poverty.
3. Empowering nonprofits with skills to make a difference
We’re now empowering close to half a million nonprofit organizations to champion important causes with Canva for Nonprofits. From workshops and design training sessions to social media webinars and resources such as marketing, sustainable development goals, or crisis toolkits, we’re proud to play a small role in the tremendous difference these organizations make.
We know for many nonprofits, finding the time and resources to produce visual materials can be a challenge. Forever Projects is an inspirational example of how nonprofits can use the resources we’ve created to achieve their goals.
4. Our commitment to GiveDirectly
We’re firm believers that nobody should live in poverty, yet 700 million people live on less than $2.15 per day (the daily amount required to meet your most basic needs). We have a bold and optimistic goal to help change this.
In 2021, we first partnered with GiveDirectly, a global nonprofit dedicated to enabling the world’s poorest households to improve their lives through direct cash transfers. Our first partnership saw us distribute $10 million to 12,800 people living in extreme poverty in rural Malawi. Studies have shown that an effective way to help someone who has no money, is to give them money, as it not only enables recipients to buy what they need, but it provides them to make the choice for themselves on how best to improve their lives.
From the research we conducted, we’ve learned that cash transfers are having an immediate positive impact on recipients, and a long-term positive uplift for their entire community. We were extraordinarily proud and grateful to have been in a position to further back this with an additional $20 million dollar cash transfer earlier this year.
5. Our first-ever ‘Force for Good Week’
Volunteering is baked into our culture at Canva. Each year, every Canvanaut is given three days of paid ‘Force for Good leave’ to use to give back to the world, and we empower our team to take time out of their busy schedules each month through dedicated ‘Force for Good Fridays’. In June this year, we were thrilled to take our volunteering program to the next level with our first-ever ‘Force for Good Week’: a week-long takeover of our quarterly ‘Season Opener’, where Canvanauts lent a helping hand across more than 100 events dedicated to assisting those experiencing homelessness and hardship.
More than 1,500 Canvanauts came together to give back and provided more than 20,000 individuals with food; created more than 2,100 moments of connection for those facing disconnection or loneliness; and more than 450 moments of dignity for those experiencing hardship.
6. Growing the minds of the future
We know education is often the key to a brighter future, which is why we’re passionate about equipping educators and classrooms with design and digital literacy skills through Canva for Education – our free program for K-12 students and teachers around the world.
We’re now empowering more than 45 million teachers and students with Canva, and supporting educators with thousands of in-built lesson plans and templates to inspire creativity in their classrooms. One element of our education program we’re particularly proud of is our partnership with Upschool, where together we developed a 10-week course aimed at educating students on the importance of protecting our planet, and how they can be the change agents we need for the future.
7. Planting seeds of the future with One Print, One Tree
A huge part of our efforts to make the world a better place is championing sustainability and helping to protect the environment, both now and in the future. Since launching our One Print, One Tree program almost two years ago, where for each Canva Print order we plant a tree, we’ve planted over 4 million trees as part of our efforts to support environmental recuperation.
Through One Print, One Tree, we’ve been able to plant more than 200 different species of trees across 22 individual sites, with more than 4,500 hectares of land planned for restoration. The program has also provided employment opportunities for more than 170 people across 10 countries. As we look to the future, we’re excited to continue to create social and ecological change.
8. Shaping a sustainable future
Over time at Canva, we’ve achieved a number of important sustainability milestones including participating in the Australian Government’s Climate Active program in both 2020 and 2021, and supporting our Beyond New Zero phase, where we focus on regeneration and restoration. We were also proud to sign The Climate Pledge in 2021 for the opportunity to combat climate change alongside a number of global organizations.
Our two Australian campuses also serve daily breakfast and lunch sourced from fresh food farms that practice regenerative agriculture, and snacks from some of our favorite social enterprises. In Sydney, we partner with Food for Change to donate our food waste, and the campus is even home to some rooftop bees, with our hives having produced hundreds of kilos of honey!
Our commitment to solving some of the world’s biggest problems goes beyond what we do at Canva. We know we need to join forces with others, so we’re thrilled to have extended our partnership with Watershed to support Frontier: a collection of forward-thinking companies who are making the commitment to scale a portfolio of world-class carbon removal solutions.
9. Helping those in crisis
When a crisis hits, we strive to support vulnerable communities in the areas of the world that need it most. Examples include the Aussie Tech for Indiacall to action we launched during the Covid-19 pandemic and the urgent relief we provided to millions of Afghans facing a humanitarian crisis in 2022 through the Aussies for Afghanistan Appeal.
We’ve been proud to donate funds to communities battling natural disasters, including the Philippines following Typhoon Rai and Nalgae; $500,000 toward the destructive Australian bushfires in 2020; three days’ worth of proceeds from Canva Marketplace purchases to the victims of the 2023 Türkiye and Syria earthquakes; and just last week, $100,000 to aid crisis responses for the devastating Moroccan earthquake and the Libya flood. One of the biggest crises our world has seen in recent times is the heartbreaking illegal war in Ukraine. We strongly oppose the ongoing war and provided support in a variety of ways, including blocking access to Canva in Russia.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Filipinos lost their livelihood, with some left hungry and unable to meet their daily needs. A community pantry movement, sparked by Ana Patricia Non, inspired communities across the country to come together to share food supplies. The Canva Philippines team helped the cause by designing and printing signages for the community pantries, and donated 18 tons of vegetable produce sourced from local farmers, benefitting more than 900 community pantry locations.
10. Developing a resource-rich content library
An important part of our work at Canva is helping to provide our community with design templates to scale their ability to champion important causes and make a difference. FromUkraine peace templates, to GivingTuesday Creator templates, and even bespoke nonprofit billboard templates to help nonprofits scale their impact, we’re always looking to equip nonprofits with assets to help show support and spark change.
We’re incredibly proud to house hundreds of education templates and nonprofit toolkits and resources within our Canva library, free for our education and nonprofit communities to use. From webinars to workshops, we’re regularly connecting with these groups to better understand their needs and equip them with impactful tools and resources.
If you’re familiar with Canva, you’ll know we often say we’re only 1% of the way there – and with so much left to do, it’s something that will forever be the case. We’re incredibly grateful, proud and humbled to have been able to bring our Two-Step Plan to life over the past decade – but we know there’s still so much left to do.
None of this would be possible without our extraordinary team of Canvanauts, and our amazing global community of 150 million people who’ve been instrumental in our ability to make a difference. Thank you for designing with Canva and for being a part of our Two-Step Plan. We truly couldn’t have done it without you, and we hope we can continue to make you proud as we look towards the 99% ahead.
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