From Seeds to Harvest: Visualizing 30 Years of Giving

Kendeda Fund / 2023 / Environment & Climate Change, Gender Equality, Human Rights, Racial Equity

Screen shot from the Virtual Garden project, Designed by Graphicacy for the Kendeda Fund


The Kendeda Fund enlisted Graphicacy to visualize the full reach of 30 years of grantmaking with a scrolling, interactive virtual garden that enlivens the fund’s work and serves as an inspiring resource for anyone interested in philanthropy.

Background and Challenge

In 1993, Diana Blank started making charitable donations quietly and anonymously throughout her hometown of Atlanta. It was the beginning of a philanthropic endeavor that would eventually come to be known as The Kendeda Fund.

Over the last 30 years, Diana’s grantmaking has supported projects both nationally and globally, ranging from gun violence prevention and girls’ rights to work on climate change, land conservation, and economic equity.
At the end of 2023, Diana will conclude her giving journey and close the Foundation permanently. All told, she will have made more than $1 billion in grants to hundreds of nonprofit organizations.

To mark Kendeda’s closure, Dena Kimball, the Fund’s Executive Director (and Diana’s daughter), approached Graphicacy with an open-ended request: She wanted to display the full breadth and beauty of her mother’s 30-year-work, something well beyond a basic list of grants.

“The mission was twofold: Focus on what we did and how we did it, and leave a set of breadcrumbs for future philanthropists,” said Dena.

Opportunity and Solution

Since Dena and her team had never worked on a data visualization project, Graphicacy led the Kendeda fund through a series of collaborative workshops, which included educational sessions on different chart types, and brainstorming sessions to surface possible visual metaphors to help tell the story.

The results of these sessions was a surprising and delightful idea: a virtual garden. Kendeda was thrilled by the prospect — especially so given Diana’s lifelong love for the natural world.

In the early stages, Graphicacy collaborated deeply with Kendeda on how to express the fund’s growth. And so, From Seeds to Harvest was born. Graphicacy created a garden where each plant stands for a project, the height of each represents the number of years Kendeda provided support, and each leaf represents a single grant disbursement.
In powering the garden’s animated story, Graphicacy included an R&D period, to test out potential technologies, and make sure the final version works quickly in a web browser and loads beautifully on a phone.

Graphicacy also handled the sound design and created a backing soundtrack, which helps ground the experience, setting a contemplative and peaceful mood, with sound effects triggered by user interactions.

While Dena first envisioned the project as a gift for her mother, Graphicacy’s dynamic and uplifting digital garden now serves as an inspiring resource for anyone interested in the philanthropy space.

montage of images from the Virtual Garden project, designed by Graphicacy for the Kendeda fund

“The virtual garden that Graphicacy created speaks to the power of a body of work. It’s important to represent the beauty of the whole, as a way to ground the conversation for future philanthropists, and Graphicacy were perfect partners for making it flourish.”

Dena Kimball, Executive Director of the Kendeda Fund

Interested in working on a project like this?