27 Free or Low-Cost Tools to Make Your Nonprofit Shine
Attn: Nonprofits! Who among us has a money tree in their backyard? No one? I thought so! Whether you're a neighborhood hero or a global heavyweight, an arsenal of free and low-cost tools is just waiting for you. Looking to be the next social media sensation, supersize your fundraising, or just slap a leash on that unwieldy beast called 'time management'? I have you covered. Drumroll, please... a list of 27 free to low-cost resources that will propel your nonprofit beyond the stars! Optimizing Social Media Presence 1. Canva: Designing Engaging Social Media Graphics
Canva is an intuitive and user-friendly graphic design tool that enables you to create compelling visuals for your social media posts. With hundreds of customizable templates, you can effortlessly create branded memes, posters, and other promotional materials to enhance your online presence. 2. TweetDeck: Managing Twitter More Efficiently
TweetDeck is a robust Twitter management tool that allows you to monitor multiple accounts, track hashtags, schedule tweets, and engage with notifications, all from one dashboard. 3. Hootsuite: Centralizing Social Media Management Hootsuite is a comprehensive social media management platform that allows you to control all your social media accounts from a single interface, making it easier to schedule posts, manage messages, and analyze performance. 4. Later: Simplifying Instagram Scheduling Later is a popular Instagram scheduler that lets you plan and schedule your Instagram posts in advance, ensuring consistent posting and freeing up your time for other tasks. 5. Thunderclap: Amplifying Your Campaigns Thunderclap is a unique tool that lets your supporters pledge their social media reach to your campaign, helping you amplify your message and reach more people. Improving Writing and Public Relations 6. Grammarly: Enhancing Writing Quality Grammarly is a handy tool that checks your grammar and spelling in real time as you type online, ensuring your messages, posts, and emails are error-free. 7. CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer: Crafting Captivating Headlines CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer is an invaluable tool for creating compelling headlines for your website, blog posts, and email campaigns that drive traffic and engagement. 8. Hunter: Connecting with Journalists Hunter is a Google Chrome extension that helps you find the email addresses of journalists, allowing you to reach out directly to those who can help publicize your work. Enhancing Time Management 9. Trello: Organizing Tasks and Projects Trello is an intuitive project management tool that helps you organize tasks, track progress, and set deadlines. Its easy-to-use interface and flexible features make it a valuable tool for managing your nonprofit's projects and workflows. 10. Tomato Timer: Boosting Productivity Tomato Timer is a simple online tool that uses the Pomodoro Technique – working in 25-minute intervals with 5-minute breaks – to enhance focus and productivity. 11. Headspace: Promoting Mindfulness and Well-being Headspace is a mindfulness app that offers bite-sized meditations on various topics, including stress and sleep. It's an excellent tool for promoting well-being among your team members. 12. Slack: Facilitating Team Communication Slack is a virtual workspace that enables efficient and organized team communication. You can create channels for different projects, share files, and store messages for easy reference. Creating Visually Appealing Graphics 13. Adobe's Aviary: Editing Photos with Ease Adobe's Aviary is a quick and easy online tool for adjusting, editing, and cropping photos, making creating high-quality visuals for your nonprofit easy. 14. Iconfinder: Accessing a Library of Icons Iconfinder provides a vast library of free and paid icons that you can use to enhance your visual content. 15. Font Squirrel: Finding Free Fonts Font Squirrel is a resource for finding hundreds of free fonts to add a unique touch to your marketing materials. 16. Hubspot's Infographic Templates: Simplifying Infographic Creation Hubspot's Infographic Templates provide customizable templates for creating professional-looking infographics, a great way to convey data in an engaging and visually appealing manner. Maximizing Email Effectiveness 17. MailChimp: Sending Beautiful Email Campaigns MailChimp is a powerful email marketing tool that allows you to create and send beautiful email campaigns with no coding experience required. 18. Boomerang for Gmail: Managing Your Inbox Boomerang for Gmail is a plugin that helps you manage your inbox, schedule emails, and set helpful reminders, keeping your communications organized and timely. 19. SenderScore: Improving Email Deliverability SenderScore is a valuable tool for ensuring your organization's emails reach your supporters' inboxes, not their spam folders. 20. Evan Miller's Sample Size Calculator: Planning A/B Tests Evan Miller's Sample Size Calculator simplifies the process of planning A/B tests, helping you determine the sample size you need for statistically significant results. Boosting Fundraising Efforts 21. Paperless Post: Designing Email Invites for Fundraisers Paperless Post allows you to create beautiful email invitations for any fundraising event, enhancing your event's appeal and professionalism. 22. Imprint: Creating Thank You Videos from Photos Imprint is a tool that lets you create touching thank you videos from your photographs or short videos, adding a personal touch to your donor appreciation efforts. 23. GlobalGiving's Digital Fundraising Strategy Worksheet: Developing a Digital Fundraising Plan GlobalGiving's Digital Fundraising Strategy Worksheet provides a comprehensive guide to developing a digital fundraising plan that gets results. Additional Free Resources 24. Google Grants: Driving Traffic with Free AdWords Advertising Google Grants offers nonprofit organizations up to $10,000 per month in free AdWords advertising, driving traffic to your website and enhancing your online visibility. 25. TechSoup: Accessing Discounted Software TechSoup partners with technology companies to offer nonprofit organizations heavily discounted software, providing you access to powerful tools at a fraction of the usual cost. 26. VolunteerMatch: Finding Volunteers VolunteerMatch is an online portal to volunteer opportunities posted by nonprofits worldwide, helping attract and engage volunteers for your cause. 27. Pimp My Cause: Connecting with Skilled Marketers Pimp My Cause is a platform that connects nonprofits with marketers offering pro bono services, including public relations, graphic design, advertising, and web development. There you have it! The tools above are about more than just helping you work smarter - they're designed to crank up your outreach efforts and really make your organization shine, all without breaking the bank. Think of these resources less like tools and more like stepping stones on the path to creating meaningful, lasting change. If you find any of these resources particularly helpful, consider sharing this article with others who might benefit from it! Are there any other resources that you or your organization find invaluable? Comment below! Meet the Author - Kristin Chute Kristin Chute is a freelance writer with a passion for helping nonprofits increase their reach and impact. She has written for companies offering SaaS solutions, nonprofits directly, and donor loyalty programs. Kristin believes in the power of nonprofit organizations to change the world. With expertise stemming from her career and personal connection to volunteering at her childhood summer camp, she shares insights to help nonprofits increase their reach, engage supporters, and amplify fundraising efforts.