Co-founders, CEO & COO, Canva  

Australian unicorn Canva believes in leaving a lasting, positive impact on the world. In 2021, co-founders Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, unveiled their Two Step Plan – Step One: become one of the most valuable companies in the world; and Step Two: “Do the most good we can”. This involves donating the majority of their equity, amounting to 30% of Canva, to doing good through the Canva Foundation. 

As part of the Canva Foundation’s mission to empower every human to create a safe, free, and happy life for themselves, they have partnered with nonprofit GiveDirectly in Malawi to send millions of dollars directly to the world’s poorest households via unconditional cash transfers. The Foundation has also supported urgent global challenges – including crisis support donations to Afghanistan and Ukraine.   

Melanie is an Australian technology entrepreneur and the CEO and co-founder of Canva. Mel’s husband, Cliff is Canva’s co-founder and COO. Launched in 2013, Canva has a mission to empower everyone in the world to design anything and publish anywhere.  

“We have this wildly optimistic belief that there is enough money, goodwill, and good intentions in the world to solve most of the world’s problems. We feel like it’s not just a massive opportunity, but an important responsibility and we want to spend our lifetime working towards that.” 

Listen to Cliff’s StartGiving podcast episode to hear more about his and Mel’s giving journey:

Cliff Obrecht guests on the StartGiving podcast

Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht