Today on the podcast we welcome Matt Schwartz. Matt is the Founder and Executive Director of Constructive, a social change brand strategy and experience design firm in New York City. The company works exclusively with nonprofits and educational institutions. Matt’s background is in digital design and creative writing, and he worked early in his career for a big international agency. Then about 20 years ago, he set out to create his own company run with a different set of values. He has a passion for uniting strategy, content, design, and technology to help organizations advance missions that drive positive social, economic, and environmental change. Inside this episode, Matt shares how he views working with nonprofits as a kind of paid PhD for how the world works. He describes how the work Constructive does is able to make an impact at scale, even though they are not directly working where, as he says, “the rubber hits the road.”

Matt Schwartz

Matt Schwartz, Founder of Constructive

For 20 years Matt has helped social change organizations and businesses achieve greater impact by combining brand strategy and experience design.

In 2000, he founded Constructive with a focus on helping nonprofit and educational institutions advance their missions that drive positive social, economic, and environmental change by providing expertise in branding, web design, content, and technology. Combining the rigor and strategic insights of a brand consultancy with the creativity and technical acumen of a web design firm, they create mission-driven brand experiences online and in print that help clients stand up, stand out, and stand for something.

Matt views every engagement as an opportunity to learn something new about our world from experts working to address its greatest challenges. It's this learning process that inspires and drives him to be a collaborative partner who asks to be challenged by—and who challenges the people he works with—to think big and find innovative and effective ways to accomplish visionary goals together. 

"The key is you have to have enough work to be able to say ‘no’." - @heyconstructive

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Tune in to find out:

  • An overview of Matt’s background and his work with Constructive 
  • The impetus for Matt starting the Agency and his entrepreneurial mindset 
  • Defining your company values and aligning them with with your client expectations
  • The interpersonal and financial fit screening process to determine a working relationship
  • Creating a content calendar that engages staff in the process
  • The learning process to identify blind spots and implement business systems and processes
  • The impact that Constructive is making through their partnerships
  • How not to be a vendor
  • The future of design agencies and technology agencies as the industry matures

“You're not designing if you're not doing it in a collaborative process.” - @heyconstructive

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Get the full transcript for this episode: