a higher level of access to a vital resource in arts philanthropy

Website Design: Grantmakers in the Arts


We delivered a vastly improved look and user experience along multiple fronts, earning the outcome high praise from the CEO.

Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) is the only national organization that devotes itself exclusively to philanthropy in arts and culture, and who’s mission is to “provides leadership and service that advances the use of philanthropic and governmental resources to support the growth of the arts and culture.”
We are proud of the thoughtful, supportive work we’ve done for GIA, especially with respect to GIA’s longstanding commitment to racial equity in arts philanthropy.

Plaid Tractor Creative Lead Robert Boulware was awarded the project after gaining an understanding of the layered needs of executive leadership; an outgrowth of meaningful conversations, asking the right questions, and clearly articulating a plan of action capable of successfully meeting all of GIA’s needs.

“In designing our website, Robert first made sure to understand the work of our organization and our mission. That understanding laid the groundwork for a productive, positive experience and outcome. Additionally, he listened to our feedback, explained the opportunities and limitations and was extremely responsive. GIA is very pleased with our new website and in the work of Plaid Tractor”

– Janet Brown, President & CEO, Grantmakers in the Arts.

Building from an understanding of how readership engages with the GIA content

GIA leadership provided insights into user behavior, and how regular readers expected content to be delivered. We designed a modular system to meet GIA’s needs for a content rich landing page, and flexible to accommodate shifting needs down the road.

GIA also rolled out a more powerful search tool, which provided an opportunity to offer it to users as a first resort option to access archival material. We designed an elegant way to push it without being pushy, and designed it to function appropriately for wide or narrow interfaces.

Reflecting the tone & meaning of a new brand identity and affirmed mission

GIA expressed a desire to demonstrate a new level of dedication and service to Arts Philanthropy.

We responded directly in relevant areas by establishing new design approaches and standards, including:

  • Appropriately extending the new brand color, and adding intuitive color coding for funding specializations.
  • New, balanced layout styles and clear hierarchies.
  • Fine attention to making the site more navigable and readable, with attention to typographic function and emphasis.

“Robert responded to our layered criteria and reached successful design solutions with less iteration than I’d experienced on past projects. Our entire team was really pleased with the results.”

– Jim McDonald, Deputy Director & Director of Programs, Grantmakers in the Arts