Nonprofits are always looking for products that will give them an advantage to reach their audience and accomplish their missions the best way possible. However, to do that, they often need those tools that cost money, money that cash-strapped nonprofit might not have.
This is particularly true in the digital world. There are tons of digital tools out there with tons of different features that nonprofits need and could very well use. However, the costs are a lot of times too high for them.
But the great news is, is that there are several free tools out there, that offer to nonprofits from companies that make very high quality and premium products. In fact, You’ll notice some of these names when you read on.
1) Google For Nonprofits
The first one that you may not know about, and one of the largest offers out there, is Google for Nonprofits. Now, yes, that is the Google you’re familiar with. But Google for Nonprofits is a program that Google gives to nonprofits absolutely free.
In this program, Google offers their G Suite program. G Suite is pretty much Gmail for corporations. This not only includes a custom email address, (i.e. your name @ your nonprofit.com or.org.) It also includes everything else that comes with signing up for new gmail account, such as Google Drive, Google Docs, Google spreadsheets, Everything else.
This is an amazing benefit. Because with that, you, your organization and all your organization’s employees can have a custom email address with all these benefits and 30 gigabytes of Google Drive storage for every member of your nonprofit. This alone is a cost savings of around six bucks per person per month.
Now, in addition to this, Google also has the Google Ad grant. Now before I dive into that, I’m sure all of y’all when you’re looking for information about a place for dinner, looking for nonprofits, or looking for practically anything, you go to google.com and type in a search. And all of us have seen those ads that appear at the top or bottom of the results, that are labeled ‘AD’. Normally, as an advertisement, you have to pay for those. But with a Google Ad Grant, qualified nonprofits can get those ad positions for free.
In fact, Google will give your nonprofit up to $10,000 per month in in-kind advertising. This is pretty amazing. This means that your nonprofit won’t likely have to pay for Google search ads. And unless you’re a large, multi-state nonprofit, this will be more than you’ll ever need. So this, combined with the G Suite and some other tools means that Google for Nonprofits is an amazing FREE product that your nonprofit should sign up.
Now, in addition to Google for Nonprofit, there are other tools out there for free. Another one would be Slack. You may have heard Slack or seen some commercial about Slack as a communications tool. Think of it as a chat room for your workplace. In it, you can set up different groups give different permissions, who can see those groups and allows your office, your nonprofit, your team to communicate throughout the workday without having to send emails back and forth, scheduling conference calls or in person interruptions that extend on for far too long.
A lot of times, all you need is a quick yes or no answer. And Slack will let you do it. The good news is, is that, like Google, it has a program that allows your nonprofit to be able to get their service for free. This is also a huge benefit because typically Slack is a per person cost. However, with the program, you can sign up your nonprofit and All your employees can get on there for free. They do have a limitation, that if you have more than 200 employees, you might have to apply to get a different level and that wouldn’t be completely free. However, most small to medium nonprofits are not going to get anywhere close to that 200 mark.
3) Facebook’s Workplace for Nonprofits
Now, lastly, another major player is Facebook with some free offerings. Regretfully, unlike Google, Facebook isn’t offering free advertisements. However, Facebook has a product called Facebook workplace. Now this is a great tool if you have a medium sized organization or even just a small organization with 10 to 20 different employees but allows you to create an intranet for your employees, that everyone can login, have a very similar interface to Facebook’s normal interface, where you can post information about your nonprofit, what’s going on inside your nonprofit, and all this other information that you want to keep outside of the general public, but still want to make sure you build a community within your team.
The cool thing is, again, because it’s Facebook, yeah, the interface of people can like react, comment, and build this kind of office culture. This tool again would normally be a per person cost. However, Facebook, is offering this tool for your nonprofit for free after you sign up.
So, in summary, these three tools are absolutely free to any 501(c)3 nonprofit. If your nonprofit isn’t taking advantage of these, or doesn’t think you need this right now, I would recommend you sign up for these as soon as possible. Even if you don’t use them now, there’s always a chance that Google, Facebook and/or Slack will change their policies and not have these offerings in the future. Most times when they do this, they will grandfather in whoever has already signed up for the product.
My mentality and my recommendation is always better to have it now and not use it, then not be able to sign up for it later. So, check out these links. Sign up now. And take advantage of these free tools. They’ll help you grow your nonprofit without hurting your budget.