Running a nonprofit is hard work. Most nonprofits operate on relatively small budgets and tight staffs, with most funding dedicated to programs and services. This can make it challenging to do everything you want to ensure your organization thrives.
Online tools are a great way to maximize your time and money. With these resources - many of which are free or low cost - you can automate specific processes, improve your online presence, and even ensure that your donors and supporters are engaged with your mission. We’ve made a list of some of the top online tools and resources for nonprofits to increase their efficiency and effectiveness as an organization.
Inclind is a full-service website design and development company based in Delaware. We work with clients throughout the United States, focusing on helping nonprofits, member organizations, and other entities create and manage their online presence. From custom integrations to website redesigns to ongoing support and maintenance, we will collaborate with your team to help you create a website that helps your nonprofit thrive.
Why Are Online Tools Important for Nonprofits?
Investing in technology is a no-brainer for corporations: it is almost required to function in the modern world. Yet many nonprofits work with much smaller budgets, often stretched thin by paying for program services and basic overhead. This can make it difficult to contemplate putting thousands of dollars into technology.
Despite tight budgets, software and other forms of technology are often a net positive for nonprofits. Technology typically improves efficiency by automating processes that would otherwise require substantial staff time (and the possibility of errors). Think of it this way: instead of having an employee manually enter information and follow up with donors or volunteers, customer relationship management (CRM) software can automatically manage these processes.
Donors can use technology in many ways, such as tracking donations (and sending out tax receipts), tracking volunteer hours, emailing supporters, and managing events. This can often cut down on costs beyond labor, such as printing and mailing expenses for sending out a traditional newsletter or other mailings.
Nonprofit organizations can also use specialized software to assist with Board of Director functions. Board management software can provide a central database for critical documents, budgets, board handbooks, and more. It can also automate scheduling, assist with onboarding new directors, and provide a method for secure communication.
Fortunately, many tech companies understand that nonprofits’ need for technology solutions has to be balanced with more limited funding. There are many great online tools and resources for nonprofits that you can utilize for your nonprofit for free or low cost. Below, we have rounded up some of our favorites that can help you optimize your operations.
Best Online Tools and Resources for Nonprofit Organizations
Many online tools and resources are out there - some better than others. Below, we have gathered a list of some of our favorite tools for nonprofits to help you show up higher in search engine results, find grant opportunities, build a better website, and more.
While HubSpot may not be a CRM specifically geared toward nonprofits, it can be used by nonprofits. HubSpot offers a great introduction to CRM software because they have a free tier! You can use all of HubSpot’s base services on the free tier. You can track leads through the lifecycle journey, create a chatbot for your website, set up a HubSpot blog, and more. You can even send up to 2,000 marketing emails per month on the free tier.
Project management is something both for-profit and nonprofit organizations struggle with. Asana makes it easier for teams to track what needs to be done and what is being done in one place. The best part? Asana has a free tier with all of the functionality you need to start creating projects, tracking to-dos against deadlines, and crushing your organizational goals.
Google Analytics is a web analytics service that is offered by Google that every website should have installed. It tracks and reports website traffic, which allows you to detect patterns and trends on your site. Google Analytics has paid options, but the basic service is completely free.
Campaign URL Builder
If you want to take your Google Analytics a step further, you can add an “Urchin tracking module,” or UTM, to the end of your regular URLs. Known as a Campaign URL Builder, this free tool lets you track website performance. You may check for things like conversions from online ads and referral traffic from social media campaigns.
Newsletter Spam Check
Newsletter spam check is a free tool that lets you check to see if your website domain has been flagged for spam or is otherwise on a blacklist. It can also make surethat your website is properly set up for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols, which are email authentication methods that help to ensure that spammers, phishers, and others are not sending emails on behalf of a domain that they don’t own.
While many online platforms are fairly easy to use, knowing basic HTML can make creating content, fundraising, and developing digital marketing campaigns easier. This HTML tutorial gives you the ability to make simple HTML edits to up your online game.
If you use WordPress, then SocialSnap is a must-have plugin. With this tool, you can customize titles, messages, and images that your site and blog display on social media. It also allows you to customize social share buttons for your website and/or blog.
WordPress is one of the best content management systems for nonprofits, particularly if they don’t have any staff with strong coding skills. WordPress Beginner is a great how-to guide for using WordPress for websites and blogs.
Meta Fundraising Tools
Facebook and Instagram are two of the biggest social media platforms out there - and they’re great for fundraising. Meta Fundraising Tools allow nonprofits and their supporters to fundraise directly on these platforms. For eligible nonprofits, Meta will pay all processing fees.
Linktree is a site that allows nonprofits and other users to create landing pages with multiple links and calls-to-actions. These are commonly used on Instagram and TikTok as the “Link in Bio” so that one link takes you to everything that you want users to see.
Graphics are necessary for effective digital marketing and social media campaigns. Canva is an online tool that includes free and premium (paid) templates, photos, and more options.
There are times when it is necessary to post pictures on your website or social media - but you might not have the skills to take your own photos iStock offers low-cost, royalty-free images, which can be helpful for building websites, creating brochures, and more.
As the popularity of platforms like TikTok and YouTube demonstrates, people often prefer to engage with video content. CauseVid allows nonprofits to create personalized thank-you videos that can be sent via email.
One of the challenges that many nonprofits face is evaluating the effectiveness of their programs and campaigns. SurveyMonkey is an online survey service that can be used to collect feedback from donors, supporters, volunteers, and other stakeholders.
Boardable is a tool that nonprofits can use to schedule meetings for boards and committees. It includes a centralized board portal that makes it easy to collaborate.
Great Nonprofits is an online database where donors and supporters can write reviews so that your org can earn a “top-rated” digital seal. Getting a listing on this site is a good idea- and then asking your supporters to write a review!
GuideStar is a database that savvy donors check before making a donation to a nonprofit. Nonprofits should make sure that their nonprofit is listed on GuideStar, and then update their profile annually.
If you want to find new staff or volunteers, then Idealist is a great site. It’s a platform where nonprofits can post both jobs and volunteer opportunities.
Nonprofits obtain funding from a variety of sources, including grants. Instrumentl is a database of grant opportunities that you can use to find funding sources. It can also be used to track and manage grants.
Speaking of grants…Rote is a web-based grant-writing tool. It increases efficiency by saving your past grant language in one place. You can then organize and filter your grant proposals to save time when writing a new proposal.
One of the challenges of running an event as a nonprofit is finding vendors who are willing to donate items. The ShareWay is a directory of donors who offer food, beverage, and raffle items that nonprofits can use to raise funds and support events.
VolunteerMatch is a platform that nonprofits can use to post volunteer opportunities. It is currently used by more than 100,000 nonprofit organizations!
If you’re in the nonprofit software market, you should check out TechSoup. They partner with tech companies to offer discounted software to nonprofits.
Storing, sharing, and managing digital files can be challenging. Dropbox is a cloud storage service allowing you to upload documents for collaboration.
As a nonprofit, the last thing that you want is for your website to be riddled with simple errors that cause you to lose credibility. Grammarly is an online service that allows you to cut and paste content or upload documents to check for spelling and grammar mistakes.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is important to ensure that your nonprofit shows up high in the list of online search results. Keyword Tool allows nonprofits to search for keywords related to their mission and programs to create optimized content and online ads.
It can be hard to focus on note-tasking when you’re in meetings or on a Zoom call. Otter is an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can be used to transcribe meetings, calls, and conversations into shareable notes that can also be searched.
If you want your staff, volunteers, or others to be able to communicate and collaborate through focused messaging, then Slack is a great option. This cloud-based tool is free to use.
In 2023, the novelty of Zoom has probably worn off for many of us - but it’s still a useful tool. It’s an affordable cloud platform for meetings, webinars, and more.
One of the drawbacks of having any type of online presence is the possibility of malware and security risks. SiteLock is a cloud-based tool that allows you to scan your site for these issues and remove them.
If your nonprofit hosts any events, then they may benefit from EventBrite - an easy-to-use online ticketing platform. It also allows you to create registration pages for specific events.
All nonprofit organizations should have a way of finding out when they are mentioned in the media. Google Alerts is a free, easy way to get notified anytime your organization is mentioned in the news. You can also set up alerts for keywords that are relevant to your mission.
Ready to Upgrade Your Website? Give Inclind a Call.
Online tools and resources are a great way to help your nonprofit be more successful. However, you will also need a solid, well-designed website so that supporters can find you and learn more about your work. That’s where we can help your organization shine.
Inclind has deep experience working with all types of nonprofits throughout the U.S. We know that nonprofit organizations require a different focus than for-profit companies. We will help you design and develop a nonprofit website that raises awareness about your mission, attracts donors, volunteers, and supporters, and makes it as easy as possible for people to get involved.
We're available to talk if you’d like to learn more about our web services for nonprofits. You can fill out our online contact form or hit the live chat button to talk to one of our experts about your website.