The to-do list of a fundraiser never ends – and our budgets don’t always quite line up with all the tasks we need to complete. Thankfully, we live in the digital age, where awesome free tools abound! Whether you’re trying to find time for design, data crunching, or social posting, these 5 totally free tools will make it a snap.
Free stock photography for everything
Lots of the fundraisers rely on stock photography one way or another – whether they’re not able to share photos real service users, their cause or offering is intangible, or they simply don’t have the bandwidth in-house to get some great photography assets. Especially in today’s digital world, we know that pictures are worth more than ever.
But good stock can be really expensive, especially if it’s the kind of image you may not be able to re-use. Thankfully, there are some amazing websites where you can access high-quality stock photos, totally free.
Google Analytics for tracking
If you aren’t already using this, make this a top priority. Properly-installed Google Analytics provides you with an absolutely wealth of data about your website. If you’re ever asked yourself questions like:
- Which social media channel drives the most donors?
- What content on our website interests people the most?
- Where do most of our online donors come from?
These are questions that can all be answered within Analytics – that, and way more. You can use the data within Google Analytics to refine and optimize every fundraising activity, from choosing DM asks that will resonate well with donors to identifying and filling content and service gaps.
Canva for design
Sometimes you can’t afford to hire a top-tier designer to execute your design work. And while we don’t recommend that your graphics be super shiny and crisp, they still need to be effective at communicating whatever it is they’ve been created for.
Enter Canva, the simplest free design software I’ve ever seen. Anyone – and I mean anyone – can use this to create some pretty darn good, simple designs. From posters and presentations to invitations and infographics, you can do just about anything in here.
inZight for visualizing data
Who doesn’t love a good infographic, right? They’re an engaging way to illustrate what you’re up to and what impacts your work is having. Show’em to Board members, donors, funders, and watch their eyes light up.
Not only that, charts can be an easy way for you to visualize your database, catch and capitalize on donor behaviour trends, and course-correct your program on the fly.
But for all the awesomeness to be found in your data, visualizing it is hard. There’s an art to the perfect infographic, to teasing out the right info in the right way. inZight can help. Simply upload the data you need (being mindful to strip out any identifying information, of course) and let inZight automatically draw the right kind of chart for the variables you choose. You can even manipulate it in real-time, to really tease out patterns.
Pablo for social media
Pablo is immensely handy for any fundraisers who also run social off the side of their desks. We know engagement skyrockets when we include images in social posts (and climbs even higher when we add video, but that’s another blog post!). But it’s a huge pain to source images, make them your own, and re-size each one to the most recently released dimensions for every social network.
Right? Wrong. Pablo by Buffer is packed with easy images (or you can upload you own). Add a quote, throw on a filter, and then let Pablo magically re-size and re-align your image for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.