Top 5 Marketing and Design Resources for Non-Profits

Our round-up of the top digital tools for your marketing & design needs – all of which are discounted or even free for non-profits! Whether you want to make your work more professional and appealing or improve your communications, there is something for everyone.

Do More (for free)

Our Favourite (and mostly free) Digital Marketing Tools

1. Create great content with Canva

Canva is an online design tool which allows you to create professional and engaging social media graphics and marketing materials easily and with little experience. You will find templates and ideas to create social media posts, videos, presentations and even marketing materials. It is completely free to non-profit organisations when you register and gives you access to a host of premium features at no cost.

Well worth a look and a favourite with the GCVS team.

3. Great Photography from Unsplash

Unsplash is a fantastic resource for high resolution, professional photography. Their License agrees that Unsplash photos can be used freely and it gathers content on a huge range of themes, so its a great resource for all sorts of organisations (with small budgets). All photos can be downloaded and used for free, without permission, but attribution to the photographer is appreciated. You can also build folders of your favourite pics to save them for later. Their only request is that photos are not sold on.

4. Schedule your Socials with Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a scheduling tool that allows you to plan out your social media posts in advance and build insight into your audience. By scheduling at their suggested ‘peak times’ you can maximise the performance of your posts and increase engagement. Hootsuite will connect to most popular platforms including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram meaning you create a post once and use the tools to schedule it where and when you want it to go live. Regular analytics and tips are also provided to help improve your campaign performance.

Hootsuite offers a 30 day free trial and up to 50% discount for non-profits organisations.

5. Shorten URLs and track your links with Bitly

Bitly is a URL shortener, so when you’re launching a campaign on social media, you can shorten and customise the URL to make it more shareable. Great when you only have 280 characters to share your news on Twitter! It also lets you assign a new URL to any of your links so its handy if you want to correct a destination error, update a destination or manually expire old links.

We love it because you can use their analytics to see what people are clicking on.

It’s important to understand what content is resonating with your audience and Bitly helps you by gathering metrics on every link and campaign – like clicks, geographic data, and top referring channels. By reviewing your link performance you can learn to share more of what your audience wants. And its free!


Don’t be deterred by the price you see online. A lot of companies offer discounts (or even free accounts) to non-profits, it’s often just a case of emailing to ask!

We’d love to hear the tools and recommendations you have? Get in touch at

Keep an eye on our Sector Development training programme for opportunities to find out more about marketing and promoting your organisation.

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