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94 | The Evolving Picture of Design Philanthropy

Kyle Reis has extensive corporate and social design experience, allowing him to be a valuable consultant in a range of fields. Currently, along with his philanthropic work, he serves as CEO of the consulting firm, Cooper Carry.

94 | The Evolving Picture of Design Philanthropy

Kyle Reis is known in the philanthropic world as a champion of social impact design. He is board chair of the Reis Foundation, a family foundation focused on justice for under-represented communities. He also serves as Senior Director at TechSoup, a nonprofit social enterprise that has connected more than a million civil society organizations around the world to billions worth of technology products and capacity-building services. Previously, Kyle spent twenty-five years at the Ford Foundation, where he held a dozen roles in program, operations, and administration. Kyle introduced social impact design to the foundation and supported at its inception. He also previously served on the advisory committee that conceptualized NGOSource. He is former board chair of the nonprofit evaluation firm, Innovation Network, as well as of the 6,000-member philanthropic association, PEAK Grantmaking (formerly known as Grants Management Network.) Throughout, he has remained true to his conviction that change happens at the intersection of disciplines and design makes its biggest marks at these intersections. 

At critical junctures, Kyle has supported and assisted numerous notable social designers and events, including, Change Labs, MASS Design, D-Rev, Design to Divest, James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design, and the Design for Social Innovation program at the School for Visual Arts (DSI-SVA). His work transcends the traditional role played by philanthropists–i.e., grant making–as he tries to bring his whole self and experience to the table to ensure maximum impact.

In recent years, he has been part of an effort to create stronger bonds between the design and nonprofit communities, most recently as a participant in Design Vanguard, an effort spearheaded by corporate and nonprofit senior design leaders. 

In 2021 he was announced as the new CEO of Cooper Carry, a firm providing architecture, planning, landscape architecture, interior design, experiential graphic design, branding, and sustainability consulting services.

We had a chance to speak with Kyle about the evolving role of philanthropy on Social Design Insights. Have a listen below.


Social Design Insights would like to thank all those who make our weekly show possible: Baruch Zeichner, our Producer and Sound Engineer, Donna Read, for producing our video content, and Leah Freidenrich, Director of the Curry Stone Foundation. Our theme music for 2018 is "Alright With Me" by Reggie Young from his album "Young Street." The break music for this episode is "The Only Green World" by Rumors of the Big Wave from their album "Burning Times."