We are always looking for the most effective ways to connect with our audience, and having the right online tools to communicate our message is essential. There are many resources out there for managing social media, mailing lists, and websites that are offered at low to no-cost for nonprofits. Here are some of the resources we use at ACE, as well as some tips for finding the best deals for your organization.
Free or Discounted Online Tools
Slack – Free for nonprofits with 501(c)3 status, Slack helps us streamline our day-to-day conversations and is a fantastic solution to overflowing inboxes. It has so many features, including screensharing, in-app calls, and file sharing. You can even create custom emojis!
MailClark – One of the most powerful features of Slack is its ability to integrate with other apps. One such app, MailClark, is a fully featured bot that brings external communications like email, Facebook messages, and Twitter messages into Slack so that you can respond without ever leaving your Slack team. MailClark also integrates with Microsoft teams. This is especially useful for shared inboxes, such as responding to contact request forms. No more messy forwarding! And best of all, MailClark offers their premium plan to nonprofits for free.
Trello – Trello is free for everyone, but they also offer discounts on paid plans for nonprofits. We use the free version of Trello, and think it’s a great tool for managing day-to-day tasks, as well as projects and campaigns.
Mailchimp – Our current email management system, Mailchimp, offers forever free accounts to everyone. If your mailing list exceeds 2,000 contacts, Mailchimp also offers nonprofits a 15% discount on paid plans.
Zapier – Offers 15% discount for nonprofits with 501(c)3 status, free plan with limited number of zaps available to everyone. We use Zapier to automate tasks for us, and help us sync up our various communications apps so they ‘talk’ to each other.
Google Ads Grant – Apply to receive up to $10,000/month in free Google search text ads.
Web and Design Tools
Adobe Creative Cloud – Featuring a heavily discounted first year through Techsoup, this tool is especially useful for teams that have multiple designers that work remotely.
Moqups – This is a fantastic tool for web designers looking for a faster, more efficient way to create wireframe mockups of their website and app designs.
Canva – Create and edit images for your website or social media channels using this browser-based editing app. Nonprofits can apply for a free account—contact Canva support for more information.
Social Media Image Size Cheat Sheet – With so many social media platforms to manage these days, it can be hard to keep track of the image requirements of each of them. Luckily, there’s this handy guide to help you stay on top of the game!
Patternry – This tool is especially helpful for maintaining consistent branding across the web. Create a front-end style guide for all of your web and graphic design assets and collaborate with up to 75 users. Contact support to ask about their free nonprofit plan.
QuestionPro – QuestionPro is an online survey platform that provides a free license to nonprofits. QuestionPro supports sample survey questions such as multiple choice, drop-down menu, likert-scale, semantic differential, matrix, constant sum, drag-and-drop, slider-scale, net-promoter scale, and many more question types.
Google Analytics – Analytics is free for everyone to use, and highly recommended for all organizations that maintain websites. This gives you the tools you need to analyze your website traffic, set up A/B tests, and more.
Heatmap.me – This is a really cool tool that visually represents user engagement, such as scroll-length and clicks, through the use of a heatmap overlay. Contact support to see if your organization is eligible for a free premium account.
Best Ways to Save
Apply for Google for Nonprofits – Once accepted, you’ll have access to free Google Apps, and Youtube for Nonprofits, which allows you to fundraise from your Youtube channel! Joining Google for Nonprofits is also the first step to applying for a Google Ads grant.
Join Techsoup – It’s free to join and only takes a few minutes to register your account. Once you are verified as an eligible 501(c)3 organizations, your organization can purchase hundreds of different tools at heavily discounted prices.
Always contact companies via email prior to paying full price – Many companies offer discounts to charities, from premium WordPress plugins to user testing credits. It never hurts to ask, and a quick email may result in saving a lot of money!
Weigh the costs/benefits – It’s not always about the price. A tool that costs $20 a month might save you hours in work each week. If available, set up a monthly trial. This gives you an opportunity to determine what tools are most cost-effective for your organization.
Does your organization know of any free or discounted online tools for nonprofits? Are there any resources that you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!