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17 Essential Tools Every Nonprofit Needs: Free and Discounted Resources to Streamline Operations and Boost Impact

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Do you ever feel like there's just not enough time in the day to get everything done as a nonprofit professional? You're not alone! But don't worry, I've gathered a collection of helpful tools to lend you a hand. Whether you are wrestling with project management, donor relations, or online visibility, these tools are here to make your life a little easier. Best of all, these tools are FREE!

  • Manage Projects: Feeling overwhelmed by scattered tasks and unclear deadlines? Asana's free version keeps your team organized and on the same page. Asana offers a 50% discount for nonprofits if you want to use all of its amazing features Click HERE to learn more.
  • Craft Newsletters: Ditch the personal email account! Mailchimp offers a free tier to design professional and engaging email newsletters for your subscribers. You can also get a 15% discount as a nonprofit if you want to upgrade to a higher tier. Learn more by clicking HERE.
  • Boost Online Visibility: Want to reach more people but can't afford ads? Google Ad Grants provides nonprofits with a free $10,000 monthly budget for text-based search ads.
  • Stay Connected with Donors: Zeffy's free plan helps smaller nonprofits manage donor information and streamline fundraising processes.
  • Facilitate Teamwork: Google Workspace for Nonprofits offers a suite of free tools including Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Drive for seamless collaboration within your team.
  • Proofread Your Work: Grammarly's free plan catches typos and grammatical errors before you hit publish. Polish your writing further with the free Hemingway App to improve readability.
  • Present Data with Flair: Can't afford fancy data visualization tools? Tableau Public lets you create interactive charts, graphs, and dashboards to showcase your data in a compelling way.
  • Empower Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: Give Lively's free platform empowers your supporters to create and run their own fundraising campaigns, expanding your donor network. Zeffy also offers this service for FREE!
  • Schedule Social Media Posts: Short on time to manage social media? Buffer allows you to schedule posts in advance for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram (with a limited number of free accounts).
  • Track Link Performance: Wondering if people are clicking your links? Bitly's free plan shortens links and provides basic tracking analytics. They recently acquired QR Code Generator, another free tool to connect your audience to campaigns and events.
  • Analyze Website Traffic: Google Analytics offers free insights into who visits your website, how they find you, and what they do once they arrive.
  • Test Website Usability: See how visitors navigate your website with Microsoft Clarity's free heatmaps and recordings. This helps you identify areas for improvement.
  • Find Free Images: No budget for stock photos?  Pexels and Unsplash offer high-quality images you can download for free. (But, I recommend taking your own pictures whenever possible!)
  • Design Engaging Visuals: Canva is a free and user-friendly tool to create stunning graphics and edit photos for your website and social media. Nonprofits can get the professional version of Canva FREE! Click HERE to learn more and sign up now!
  • Build Online Communities: Facebook Groups provide a free platform for fostering discussion and connection among your supporters within a familiar platform.
  • Manage Volunteers: Simplify volunteer recruitment and communication with a free Volunteer Management tool by SignUp.
  • Securely Store Passwords: LastPass helps you manage all your passwords securely with a single master password. The free plan offers basic features for password storage and generation.

Did I miss any hidden gems on this list? Feel free to email me at Steph@SuccessForNonprofits, and I will add them.

Canva For Nonprofits

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There can be no doubt that creating social media posts and other types of communications for your nonprofits can be time-consuming. You know you need to do it, but it’s hard to find the time, and it can be stressful to come up with designs. Finding better ways to manage your organization's daily design requirements is essential to fulfilling tasks on schedule. We also understand that not everyone has professional design software or the resources to hire a graphic designer. So we're happy to share tools you can use for your nonprofit to save time and help you progress much further, much faster. Say hello to Canva! This fantastic online tool is like a magic wand for creating eye-catching visual content for your social media, print materials, presentations, videos, merchandise, and beyond. The best part? You don't need to be a design guru to work wonders with it!

Having been avid Canva users ourselves for years, we can confidently say that it's a versatile, user-friendly, and incredibly effective companion for nonprofits. Ready to dive into a world where design meets delight? Here's why Canva is about to become your nonprofit's new best friend:

CANVA IS AN EASY-TO-USE  TIME-SAVING RESOURCE WITH LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES

Canva provides you with drag-and-drop templates that are easy to customize and share across your nonprofit’s social media channels and various other platforms. You can customize font combinations, colors, upload your images, create charts, insert animated gifs, and so much more. Using their search feature, with over 250,000 templates to choose from, you are sure to find a design to suit your needs.

The best part about Canva is the cost. It's FREE! You can use high-quality stock photos and videos in your designs without needing to upgrade to a Canva Pro account. Even better, qualified nonprofits can join Canva’s Nonprofit Program and get all of the features of a Pro account for free!

Who qualifies? Registered nonprofits, Social impact organizations with a mission consistent with a public or community benefit, Public health organizations, and government entities assisting with public health qualify for Canva’s Nonprofit Program. Find out more information:

ANYONE CAN USE CANVA

Whether you're familiar with pro design software, such as Photoshop, or aren't the slightest bit tech-savvy, Canva is a solid tool that anyone can use. While you can dive into the platform and self-learn (it's that easy!), they offer two-minute video tutorials in the Canva Design School to help you get started.

IT'S ALL IN THE CLOUD

Canva is a cloud-based software that utilizes the power of collaboration and synchronicity. If you're not at your desk or need to finish your work at home, Canva is accessible on mobile devices, and each design syncs across your logins, so you won't ever lose material. Have a team? You can invite others to collaborate on designs, making the entire process streamlined.

CANVA BOOSTS ENGAGEMENT

Nonprofit storytelling is a powerful engagement strategy, and Canva can help you tell your organization's story, increase awareness, and encourage audiences to interact with your posts. No more drab timelines! With a few taps of your finger, you can use Canva to design social media posts and newsletters that will resonate with supporters. Whether it's in a presentation for your board members, an infographic for an annual giving campaign, or invitations for a fundraising event – the result is polished, professional visual content that converts!

ARE YOU FEELING CREATIVE YET?

Canva is a game-changing resource that has helped some business owners see a 1000% increase in traffic and conversions. This is why Canva is our go-to platform of choice in helping nonprofits reach their goals.

GET STARTED WITH CANVA TODAY WITH PERFECTLY CURATED TEMPLATES!

Even the savviest designer won't always have time to comb through free templates. The best time-cruncher won't always be able to organize creative thoughts or implement them. And the most creative minds may still find it challenging to stand out when there are so many others in the same space.

After much research, we found few available resources that catered to nonprofits. We're all about making your life easier, so we put together bundled template packs specifically for your organization. You could tinker with Canva yourself, or you could:

  • Get noticed on social media instantly with templates tailored to your nonprofit.
  • Use clear messaging with our prefilled templates and never run out of ideas or things to say.
  • Look the part with professional graphic design that leaves a positive impression.
  • Grow your donor base and finally start seeing the results you've envisioned.

We've already done all the work for you so you can get back to changing the world. Grab a year's worth of content and catapult your organization to new heights!

Repurposing Content: 4 Strategies That Work to Gain More Visibility for Your Nonprofit

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