9 Free or Cheap Tools for Your DIY Nonprofit Marketing

When it comes to your nonprofit marketing strategy, putting your best foot forward is no small task. Thankfully, there are easy-to-use tools to manage your organizations communications and keep your website and social media pages up-to-date, regardless of your skill level, time, and resources.

Here are nine tools – handy apps, sites, and templates – that will not only help you to produce content quickly, but will also give your content the pizzazz it needs to garner all the attention it deserves.

  1. Video Recording
  2. Mobile Video Editing
  3. Desktop Video Editing
  4. Closed Captioning and Subtitles
  5. Social Media Graphics
  6. GIFs
  7. Photo Editing
  8. Stock Photos & Video
  9. Bonus Tools

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #1.

Video Recording: Zoom

At this point, many of us have gotten used to video calls – whether or not you’re a fan of turning on the webcam. In addition to hosting meetings, Zoom – even the free version – offers the ability to record yourself and save the video file to your computer. This is a good way to create video updates or announcements that you can later edit, if you prefer your computer over your phone for video creation. The beauty of using Zoom to record instead of the apps your computer provides is that you’re able to select a background, rather than display your home or office.

Cost: Free

Available on: Any desktop via Zoom.com

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #2.

Mobile Video Editing: Splice

A Google study found that a whopping 57% of people who watch fundraising videos will go on to donate to that cause. With stats like that, it’s safe to say that using what little time you have to broadcast your organization’s updates via video is worth the community of support you’ll gain. Splice is a great tool for beginners who want to creatively weave together video clips and photos with smooth transitions and even background music! No professional production necessary, simply use the camera on your phone to film.

Cost: Free trial, then $2.99/week (until you cancel your subscription)

Available on: Mobile app for Apple only

Bonus: Don’t have time to memorize your lines, but want to make sure you cover everything? Try teleprompt.me for a free teleprompter tool you can set up using a Chrome browser on a desktop or laptop.

Pro tip: For faster delivery of information, film in spurts that you can later “splice” together. Although this gives a choppy feel to your videos, it eliminates filler words, unnecessary pauses, and allows room for error so you can choose the best takes.

Pro tip: If you’re unsure how to obtain a video file from your organization but know how to view it online, you can easily record your screen on either an Apple device or Android. This way, you can save the video to your phone’s Photo Library and apply it in your video editing tool. (Be sure that you or your organization are the owners of the video you record to avoid copyright infringement!)

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #3.

Desktop Video Editing: Microsoft Photos/iMovie

Your computer likely came with free video editing tools – and you might not be aware of them! Both Windows and Mac provide free tools with their operating systems so you can simply edit videos and add additional media to them (like photos and title cards). You can use the links above to download them if they aren’t on your computer anymore, and you can learn how to best utilize them for your nonprofit by watching these tutorials: Windows 10 Video Editor Tutorial or Apple iMovie Tutorial

Cost: Free

Available on: Desktop for Windows or Mac

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #4.

Closed Captioning and Subtitles: MixCaptions

Did you know that 85% of video content is watched with the sound off? It’s worth your while to include closed captioning or subtitles on each video your nonprofit shares to be sure viewers watch all the way through. MixCaptions is a great solution and does most of the work for you. You can allow the app to automatically transcribe your video, so all you have to do is check for accuracy.

Cost: Free, but worth the $4.00/year subscription to remove and customize watermarks

Available on: Mobile apps for Apple and Android

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #5.

Social Media Graphics: Canva

Want to design eye-catching social posts that will motivate someone to see what your organization is all about? Canva offers templates for every graphic you could possibly need to get started. From statements and newsletters to Pinterest and Twitter posts, choose from an array of pre-designed examples that you can make your own by tweaking colors, changing text, and completely replacing images with your own.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases (ex. for the use of some stock photos)

Available on: Any desktop via canva.com, mobile apps for Apple, and Android

Pro tip: Create title slides with Canva graphics to give your videos a nice, polished finish.

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #6.

GIFs: Giphy

GIFs are a popular way to disseminate information in a visual format – and more often than not – make someone laugh. Share from a library of GIFs on Giphy or create your own.

Yes, we said make your own! String together your photos and videos for a silent, up-to-1-minute clip that you can add captions and stickers to. You can even control the timing of the transitions. Images you may consider using here may be powerful imagery of your service population or compelling stats that are important to your sector. With Giphy, you can apply a “source URL” to your GIF, which means your GIF can direct viewers to any website you wish, including your donation form.

Cost: Free

Available on: Any desktop via giphy.com, mobile apps for Apple and Android

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #7.

Photo Editing: Photoshop Express

The photos your team captures show the impactful work your donors make possible. Tell the story of your mission with these powerful images and expand your reach by enhancing them. For robust photo editing tools and a collage maker, Photoshop offers a free, simpler version of its software: Photoshop Express. Available on both desktop and mobile devices, you’ll gain an expansive set of features to perfect your pics from anywhere. Add text and filters to your images, remove pesky redeye and blemishes, and give your photos the boost they need to stand out on any newsfeed.

Cost: Free with in-app purchases for more advanced tools

Available on: Mobile apps for Apple and Android and Microsoft desktops

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #8.

Stock Photos & Video: Unsplash + Pexels

When you don’t have a professional photographer handy for flashy videos that will keep your donors engaged, Unsplash and Pexels can provide you with high-quality images that are not only free to use but inclusive of all genders, races, ethnicities, shapes, and abilities. Additionally, Pexels offers free high-quality video clips that you can add to any of your projects. Both Unsplash and Pexels make it easy to find what you’re looking for with a simple search bar.

Cost: Free to search

Available on: Any desktop or mobile device via unsplash.com/pexels.com

Pro tip: Use Pexels’ video clips in your Canva graphics for your social posts or the videos you create with Splice.

Nonprofit Marketing Tool #9.

For everything else, there’s TechSoup

Did you have more in mind? Perhaps project management and internal communication tools? Check out TechSoup. They offer registered nonprofits a broad yet searchable catalog of tech resources, such as software, hardware, training, and consulting at very low costs. As a matter of fact, we offer DonorPerfect to organizations with less than 500 records on this platform.

Cost: Free to search

Available on: Any desktop or mobile device via techsoup.com

These tools have definitely helped DonorPerfect’s Marketing Team to make our content more engaging, so we’re certain these tools will be extraordinarily useful for your team as well. Not only will you expand your reach, but you’ll have fun doing it! Good luck on all of your future marketing endeavors.

Marketing your mission through COVID-19?

Check out this free guide, packed with tips, tools, and templates to fundraise from home, to equip your team to connect with your donors in new ways and feel closer than ever to your community of support, even while you’re apart.

by Laura Bucher

Aug 21 20
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