8 Essential Online Free Tools & Resources for Nonprofits [2022]

8 Essential Online Free Tools & Resources for Nonprofits [2022]

Tools for Nonprofits

In today’s fast and highly competitive digital world, online tools are essential if you want to stay ahead of the game. As shared by Nonprofit Tech for Good, 54% of all nonprofits use an all-in-one online tool for their CRM and online fundraising needs. But you also need other tools either to integrate with your existing system or to use separately for increased productivity, better communication, and a massive impact.

However, in a sea of cool online tools & software, it can be hard to choose the right one for your nonprofit. Many of them seem to offer similar benefits, and many are expensive for a vast majority of nonprofits. So, how can you discover the best online tools and software for your nonprofits, when all of them are promising great results?

We’re here to help!


Our Top Picks for 8 Essential Online Tools & Software for Nonprofits [Updated for 2022]

  1. Donation Software – Donorbox
  2. Email Software – Mailchimp
  3. CRM – Salesforce
  4. Communication – Slack
  5. Analytics – Google Analytics
  6. Social Media Management – Buffer
  7. Design – Canva
  8. Task Management – Asana


1. The All-in-One Donation Software – Donorbox

online fundraising tools

Online fundraising has become bread and butter for nonprofit organizations around the world. It garners millions in charitable giving for the nonprofit industry every year. Online fundraising lets donors give easily and frequently and it keeps their information secure. It also lets nonprofits collect donations from anywhere, capture more donor information, increase their brand awareness, and raise funds cost-effectively. Win-win!

And fundraising is, in addition to delivering your programs/services, the most important activity for a nonprofit. You can’t serve your beneficiaries without funding. Therefore, it’s quintessential to choose great donation software.

Donorbox is a powerful all-in-one fundraising software that is very simple and fast to set up. You can start fundraising with a fast, optimized donation payment system in just 15 minutes. It’s free to get started and there’s no monthly contract involved either. Over 50,000 organizations from 40 countries use the Donorbox fundraising tool. Organizations can seamlessly embed a custom and branded recurring donation form on their website or use a pop-up form on their homepage. Alternatively, they can use the Donorbox-hosted, free donation page by customizing it to their liking. Nonprofits can collect, store, and maintain donor data in the Donorbox database. They can add communication notes, offline donations, get a list of important donor moments (first-time giving, giving anniversary, change in recurring plans), segment donor records, and more.

This effective fundraising software offers many impressive features like crowdfunding, text-to-give, peer-to-peer fundraising, event ticketing, membership campaigns, and more. Know about the features here.

Donorbox forms can be easily embedded in most website builders including WordPress, Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace. It accepts donations in multiple currencies (USD, EUR, CAD, GBP, AUD, plus more). Your donors can make donations via credit and debit cards, PayPal, ACH bank payments, Direct Debit using bank, Venmo, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and more. They will receive their donation receipts automatically after the donation is made. You can customize it beforehand.

Donorbox also features an embeddable donor wall, company matching widget, donation designation, suggested donation amounts, tribute donation, and many more useful features for your nonprofit. But that is not all, if you cannot wait to take your fundraising to the next level and break all the barriers, Donorbox Premium is here to make that happen. Get your own account manager cum fundraising coach, dedicated high-priority support 24/7, and a hand-picked set of advanced tools at very affordable pricing.

Pricing

Donorbox is free to start. It charges a small platform fee of 1.5% and there are payment processing fees of Stripe and PayPal (2.2% +30c). But nonprofits can let donors choose to cover the processing fees to make the most of their donations. Know more about Donorbox pricing here.


2. Email Software – MailChimp

online tools for nonprofits

Email marketing has been chastised for being a thing of the past, but study after study puts email marketing as the most effective way for nonprofits to build awareness, acquire leads, convert prospects, and retain current customers, even after compared to social media.

MailChimp lets you easily customize and brand your emails. You can use their range of templates or create your own. You also have the ability to remove the MailChimp logo from the bottom of each email.

MailChimp also provides thorough analytics that allows you to see how many subscribers have opened your email, which links were clicked the most frequently, how many people unsubscribed after receiving your email, and even how your response compares to the industry average.

Another great feature of Mailchimp is automation. On Mailchimp, you can create and schedule automated emails that follow up on donations, questions, and more.

With MailChimp, your nonprofit can also perform A/B testing, as well as target and segment donors. MailChimp integrates with apps you already use, allows you to create beautiful, mobile-friendly landing pages, and even offers a mobile app.

The options with Mailchimp are numerous!

Pricing

If you have less than 2,000 email subscribers, your email send limit is 10,000/month and 2000/day, you can use MailChimp’s most basic plan for free. This is great news for nonprofits who are fairly new to the industry and have limited funds. But they have paid plans as well, which are divided into 3 categories on their pricing page here. Also, they offer a 15% discount for charities.


3. CRM – Salesforce

online tools for nonprofits

Salesforce created the Nonprofit Success Pack specifically for nonprofits, with the intention of allowing nonprofits to focus on their impact. Over 47,000 nonprofits around the world use Salesforce, from small organizations working in a single community to multinational NGOs and foundations.

The Nonprofit Success Pack features a flexible, open data architecture and pre-built constituent and donor management components. Here’s a glimpse into their 2021 community impact report

  • 94% of their nonprofit users successfully leveraged Salesforce tools to drive impact.
  • There was a 19% reduction in their users’ operations costs.
  • 87% improvement in achieving the nonprofit mission.
  • 55% better staff communication and collaboration.

The Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack, being customized for nonprofits, helps your entire organization to cultivate donor relationships. It enables nonprofits to observe every interaction with a funder or volunteer. Having a lot of information, organized in a systematic way, can help you establish and grow donor relationships, manage the donation cycle. The NPSP offers the type of user-friendly and engaging experience that today’s donors expect.

One of the appealing features of NPSP is its ability to be configured for the needs, goals, and day-to-day processes of any organization with minimal custom programming. The tool is designed to grow with you. Here is a list of the best Salesforce tools for nonprofits to help make your choice easier.

Finally, it’s powerful – you ultimately get the same tool that Fortune 500 companies using the “regular” Salesforce get.

Pricing

Salesforce offers 10 free subscriptions of Sales & Service Cloud Enterprise Edition for all registered nonprofit organizations. Beyond that, their paid plans start at $36/user/month to $60/user/month and more. Know about their pricing here.


4. Communication – Slack

online tools for nonprofits

If you’re tired of getting buried in endless emails and you’re starting to feel confused about who replied to what and in relation to which project, Slack is the right tool for you. Slack is a “messaging app”. The idea behind it is to make communication and collaboration between coworkers easier.

The system is structured somewhat similarly to social media. There are ‘channels’ on the left side – you can create a channel for a project, a team, or an idea. When you create a channel, everyone can see what is going on in that channel. These are “open channels”. You can also create private channels where you can share confidential information with just a few team members. You also have the option of sending direct messages in order to reach one coworker quickly and directly.

Slack keeps all of your team communication in one place so that all the emails, Whatsapp, or even Facebook and Skype messaging can reduce or end. This makes your team less likely to get lost in dispersed communication.

Another advantage to Slack is that it can integrate with many other web services: Google Drive, Trello, Asana, Dropbox, to name but a few. You can share files, spreadsheets, links, and more. You can search in Slack, as well as make calls and share your screen.

Pricing

Slack is completely free to use. The first paid option starts at just $8 monthly per user (when paid monthly). The Slack for Charities Program offers eligible organizations a free or discounted upgrade. Find more details here.


5. Analytics – Google Analytics

fundraising apps for nonprofits

Analytics is something every organization that maintains a website should do, for-profit, or nonprofit. Google Analytics allows your nonprofit to track online conversions, both hard conversions, and soft conversions.

Hard conversions are ones that contribute directly to organizational operations or programs. Think online donations, volunteer registrations, or form submissions for more information. Soft conversions are online activities that lead to hard conversions. Think of them as engagement steps, like downloading an annual report or visiting more than ten website pages.

Another great feature Google Analytics offers is tracking pages with high drop-offs. This allows you to see which pages deter visitors from completing calls to action (like donating). This lets you immediately spot the bottlenecks and work on them.

One of the best things about Google Analytics is that you can make informed decisions on where your nonprofit staff should spend their time. Resource capacity is frequently an issue for many nonprofits, and Google Analytics helps remedy these issues. You can understand which visuals are effective, which blogs attract the most readers, which campaigns bring in the most results, and so on. When you know what works and what doesn’t, you can make better decisions for your nonprofit.

Pricing

The basic service is free, which is usually sufficient for most websites, but there is a paid premium version called Analytics 360 available.


6. Social Media Management – Buffer

fundraising apps for nonprofits

Does social media management cause you some anxiety? Do you find yourself running around thinking about what to tweet or what to share on Facebook? Do you sometimes realize the end of the day is approaching and you still haven’t posted anything? Buffer lets you create and schedule content when you have time and then posts it on your behalf according to the schedule you set. In this way, Buffers allows you to manage all of your accounts in one place, saving time. You can choose the dates and times you want to publish to each social media account, and you’re good to go.

You can schedule posts directly from Buffer’s website, through a plugin, or via your newsreader. Buffer also lets you collaborate with your nonprofit team, which is especially useful when you have one person providing photos, someone else creating blog posts, and another person interacting with the supporters.

Since Buffer enables you to post frequently and consistently with minimal effort, it can help you build a stronger following. Its analytics tools will also evaluate your posts to deduce the best possible times to share your content. Buffer also makes reporting a breeze since you’re able to track key engagement metrics very easily.

Their blog is amongst the best ones in the business, and their support team is available and helpful.

Pricing

Buffer offers a free plan at $0 (allows you to manage three social media accounts) and the paid plans range from $5 to $100 per month. They offer a 50% discount to all registered nonprofit organizations. All they need to see is your official documentation, such as a copy of your 501(c)(3) status, or your country’s equivalent, to support your nonprofit status. Know more about their pricing here.


7. Design – Canva

free tools for nonprofits

Today’s audience demands engaging high-quality visual content. The standards for photos and videos posted on social media are only getting higher. For many nonprofits, this can be a stressful ordeal unless they employ a professional designer. However, many cannot afford one. Canva offers a great solution to nonprofits who wish to create great visual content anyway.

Canva assists in the creation of visual content for social media and marketing materials. It offers thousands of templates, making it quick and easy to create appealing graphics. Its premium version, Canva Pro, offers even more tools to try out. This tool makes creating visual content for social media channels a breeze. It’s also very easy to use, includes templates, and has lots of useful how-to information.

You can even set up a brand kit including your brand colors, fonts (you can even upload a font if you have one), and logos. It’s also easy to create and save branded templates so that everyone on your team can access them.

Pricing

Canva offers Canva Pro for free to registered nonprofits. Know eligibility guidelines here


8. Task Management – Asana

free tools for nonprofits

Asana is one of the best free project management tools with an attractive interface. Whether your nonprofit team is tracking a big or small project, you are sure to stay organized and on track by utilizing Asana’s basic tools: project workflows, task assignments, team establishment, due dates, and comments.

In Asana, users join Projects and Teams as applicable. Each Project has a task list. Each task can have subtasks, as well as an assignee, due date, attachments, comments, tags, and followers. You use these tasks and subtasks to track work. The comments and other data help you understand what’s happening with the task so that you don’t need to discuss matters over email or some other way. As tasks and subtasks are completed, all of their history and everything that occurred ends up being attached to the task itself.

As soon as a change is made or a task is assigned, Asana users receive notifications in their inbox and are invited to check, follow, like, or comment with the update. You can even draw the attention of a particular team member by simply mentioning him/her in task comments to make sure they’re in the loop.

More advanced features include the ability to upload documents, and integration with a variety of programs including Google Chrome, Dropbox, MailChimp, Okta, and many more. Asana also lets you send private messages and create spaces for team conversations.

It doesn’t include Gantt charts, time-tracking, and some other advanced tools for managing projects specifically but it is great for task management, workflow management, and basic process/project management.

Pricing

Asana is free for up to 15 teammates. If you have additional users, or you would like to upgrade to utilize more features, Asana Premium is available for $13.49 per month (when billed monthly). They have a business plan as well, priced at $30.49/month. Know about their pricing here. Registered nonprofits, however, get a 50% discount.


Conclusion

online tools for nonprofits

These are our top picks for essential online tools to help you in many crucial areas of nonprofit activities. Remember to always contact companies via email prior to paying the full price – many companies offer discounts to nonprofits.

Furthermore, when selecting an online tool for your nonprofit, weigh the costs and benefits. Sometimes the best tool isn’t the most expensive one, and sometimes a tool that costs $30 a month might save you hours of work each week. If available, always use the trial period to test whether the tool is right for your nonprofit.

Being a digitally savvy nonprofit is now a must. Technology is transforming how nonprofit professionals engage with donors and supporters across mobile and online platforms. Donorbox will help you with all things fundraising as well as donor management and let you integrate with some of the most important utility and communication tools out there.

Subscribe to our newsletter and check out our nonprofit blog for insights and tips on fundraising and nonprofit management.

Ilma Ibrisevic is a content creator and nonprofit writer. She’s passionate about meaningful work, sustainability, and social movements. If she’s not working, she’s obsessing over coffee or cooking. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

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