Welcome to Charity Navigator's Blog!

The team from Charity Navigator, the nation's largest independent charity evaluator and leading donor advocate, shares their thoughts on emerging nonprofit-sector issues and offers tips to better inform your intelligent giving decisions.

Return to Main Site   |   Find a Charity   |   Receive Email Updates   |   Support Charity Navigator

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

10 Free Tools to Help Your Nonprofit Boost Year-End Giving

This guest post was written by our friends at Give Lively.

#GivingTuesday is coming in hot on November 27th. Fortunately, there are free digital tools that any nonprofit can use to prepare for the big day and the year-end giving rush. We compiled a list of ten free services that will help your nonprofit spread the word, wow your supporters, collect data, collaborate with your team, and, most importantly, raise more money!


Want to create beautiful graphics for #GivingTuesday but don’t have a designer on staff? Check out Canva. Create graphs, edit photos, and much more, all for free with Canva. Its drag-and-drop format is incredibly easy to use whether you’re in marketing, development, or an executive director. If you’ve created something you really love and want to print it, Canva can help with that too, however, the print service isn’t free. 

Give Lively

Give Lively offers nonprofits a powerful fundraising platform for free. The platform includes everything you’ll need for year-end giving and gala season, from fundraising pages to Text-to-Donate, Event Ticketing to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, and a lot more. The entire platform is incredibly easy to use for nonprofits and donors alike, and it’s absolutely free. So how is it all free?  The company is fully funded by philanthropists to provide best-in-class tech to all nonprofits for free.

Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

Ok, so this is a three-in-one, but it’s important. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are quick  ways for your nonprofit to spread your message and get donations. Not only that, but they all include built-in tools to measure your reach, engagement, and other key stats. If you want to boost your posts, you’ll have to pay, but if you just want to keep up with your core supporters (and their friends), these social media platforms are the way to go.


Want to schedule social media posts for #GivingTuesday now to make the day less stressful? Look no further than Hootsuite. It’s an amazing free tool that nonprofits (and thousands of businesses and brands) use to create and maintain a social media calendar. It integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and even if you don’t use it for scheduling, it can be helpful to keep everything social organized in one place.


With MailChimp’s free tier, your nonprofit can send up to 12,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers. Plus, you can set up landing pages and Google Remarketing Ads, access guides and tutorials, get instant email and chat support for 30 days, and automate the emails you send. If you’re not using an email client yet, signing up for MailChimp for free is a no brainer. 

Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack

Customer relationship management (CRM) software for nonprofits can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to use. But it doesn’t have to be. Any nonprofit looking into CRM software should turn to the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack. It’s free for nonprofits and has all the tools you’ll need to manage programs, donations, volunteers, and supporters all in one convenient location.

Google Drive

Still using Microsoft Office? You may want to consider switching to Google Drive. Drive has all the same features as Office at zero cost. You can write documents, set up spreadsheets, create presentations, and more with Drive. Plus, Drive makes it easy to collaborate with your team. Team members can go into your documents (can anyone say fundraising appeals?) and leave notes, make edits, and share with others. Drive is one of the best collaborative tools out there.

Taproot Foundation

Taproot is a nonprofit that helps other nonprofits get pro bono help on specific projects. Whether you need help with legal work, marketing, strategic planning or something else, Taproot will help you enlist high-skilled volunteers to get the job done. Figure out what you need for #GivingTuesday and year-end giving, then reach out to Taproot.

Flickr Creative Commons

Most nonprofits don’t have access to professional photographers. That’s where Flickr Creative Commons comes in. Use this site to find compelling, high quality imagery that you don’t have to pay for. Every image on the site comes without a copyright, so you can use them, photoshop them, add in your own designs, include them in videos, and much more.

Google Analytics

If you don’t have data on who is visiting your site and how they’re using it, you’re in the dark. Shine some light on your website with Google Analytics. The free version of this powerful software will help you tally your website visitors, figure out their demographics, and track their movements and clicks on your site. Plus, it integrates with Google AdWords and Google Ad Grants

Get started with these tools today to optimize your #GivingTuesday and year-end giving success. Most of these tools are pretty straightforward, but some have small learning curves, so you’ll want to get started as soon as possible to ensure your organization’s success. Happy fundraising!

Give Lively builds innovative fundraising tech and gives it away to nonprofits for free—seriously. A philanthropist-funded initiative, Give Lively’s operating costs are fully covered so they can create best-in-class technology to empower nonprofits. Nonprofits can sign up online for unlimited access to Give Lively’s always free fundraising platform, including features like Fundraising Pages, Text-to-Donate with Live Display, Peer-to-Peer, Event Ticketing, Embeddable Widgets, Video Storytelling and more. Learn how to raise more with Give Lively on #GivingTuesday.

As a 501 (c) (3) organization itself, Charity Navigator depends on public support to help donors make informed choices. Please consider investing in the future of Charity Navigator by making a donation today.  Donate now >>

No comments: