ILLUMINATE brightens the future of monumental Bay Area public art.


Shine It Forward App

The Bay Lights, one of the largest pieces of public art in history, becomes a catalyst for future public art through an innovative donor engagement app.


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ILLUMINATE engages the community through artistic and technological innovation.


The Business Challenge

In 2013, The Bay Lights project illuminated over 25,000 LEDs strung along the Bay Bridge, transforming it into innovative public art. ILLUMINATE, a nonprofit arts organization, was established to oversee the artwork’s permitting, installation, fundraising, and operations. In 2016, ILLUMINATE created Shine It Forward, connecting people to public art by inviting them to dedicate an LED light to a loved one. To make the program successful, a robust donor engagement app was needed. 

The App Solution

Built on Heroku, the Shine It Forward app is mobile-first and responsive. Donors can dedicate a light and memorialize the dedication by uploading a photo and text. This information is immediately reflected in the app, which gives the organization a view of all donor information integrated with its operational data. By combining artistic and technological innovation, ILLUMINATE inspires generosity, creates meaningful art, and builds a stronger, engaged community.

The Salesforce Platform has enabled us to build a robust donor engagement system that we can use to create ongoing relationships — an extremely valuable asset for an arts organization.”

Ben Davis, Founder & Chief Visionary Officer

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