A while back I posted on my Instagram about charities being able to get all the pro features of the design app Canva for free, and lots of people said ‘I didn’t know that!’  So it got me thinking: what other free or affordable comms tools can help out small charities with their marketing activities? 

Here’s three ideas…

Find, save and edit photos to use in your marketing materials and on social media

It’s always best to use photos of real people and situations. But if you’re stuck, there are some top quality photo and illustration sites including: Unsplash and Pexels but just make sure you dig deep with your search terms so you’re finding some of the less-used and more interesting images.

Nappy’s tagline is: ‘Beautiful photos of Black and Brown people, for free’ and the site provides excellent, creative and representative images. Whilst inclusive strategic consultancy The UnMistakeables has a collection of free-to-download images of South Asians (affectionately known as Desi people).

Google is your friend here – you can also run an image search, clicking the ‘advanced image search’ and select ‘Creative commons search’ as the ‘usage rights’ to find free-to-use images.

And if you’re looking to save images from the web and quickly edit them or add them to designs for free, then check out Pablo by Buffer – plus it has a time-saving browser extension if you’re using Chrome.

Ask your stakeholders what they think about an issue or service

SurveyMonkey is probably the best-known tool, offering a free plan where you can ask up to 10 questions for quick insights, plus also run quizzes. But SmartSurvey also includes an unlimited number of 15-question surveys for free for up to 100 people responding, plus a discount of up to 10% on paid plans.

Again there’s a Google option – Google Forms is a free survey tool if you have a personal or included in a business Google account. It’s less customisable but equally doesn’t have the same limits, so great for small scale surveys. 

Keep in touch with your supporters

Similarly, many of the well-known email marketing tools have free versions or non-profit discounts. For example you can mail up to 2,000 subscribers with up to 12,000 emails via Mailchimp’s free version and there’s 15% off the paid plans for charities. A Weber gives charities the first three months for free after which there’s a 25% discount off the $19/month plan for unlimited emails to 500 subscribers. And Get Response gives 50% off the plan you choose, starting from $15/month for sending emails up to 1,000 subscribers.

If you need marketing advice, strategy or project management, get in touch!  I offer a complimentary discovery call to chat through how I can help.