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the best affordable tools for charities.

Created by: Charity Express

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TOOL KIT CRM

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WHERE TO START

? Start with Data/Information

Think About the Humans

You are better off sending the right communication at the right time and having it look less sexy than having a great looking piece to go the wrong people at the wrong time. Think through how you want to capture and use data first and start finding the best tools that fit that strategy.

A great tool that does not get used properly is not a great tool. Understand who is on your team, their roles and how they will use and interact with the tool and factor that in when making a decision about which tools to use.

Look for Integrations

consider the Big Picture

Integrations help you cut down on time, enhance the programs it integrates with and helps create more seamless workflows. Make sure you know which tools work well with others and which ones don’t before you start incorporating into your operations.

Saving money in the short term may cost you in the long run. Investing in websites, social media and great design have easy to see costs but NOT investing in those things is harder to see.

don't try to do it all...At Once If you try to do everything, all at once you’ll likely do little well and it won’t last. Prioritize the strategies and corresponding tools, determine a realistic course of action and start there. You can add on as you go.

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CRM Knowing who your constituents are, working to build relationships with them and managing that process is essential to any fundraising strategy. Having a way to coordinate your efforts in these areas is absolutely critical. Enter the CRM or Constituent Relationship Management system.

salesforce

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Sales Force $ What it Will cost you •

Free for qualified partners through SalesForce Foundation.

Gets 10 users.

Things we like

Things we don't like

• Tons of integrations and

• Takes a bit more time to

• Great support resources

you like them and the

• Can track more than

are basic and not all that

customization options.

get things set up just how

and nonprofit community.

nonprofit customizations

donors and donations if need be.

• And it’s free!

great.

• You may need a

consultant to help get you started and the system is

so powerful with so many

options you can get lost in the vortex.

salesforce Who Should Use it

If you’ve used SalesForce before, have a tech savvy team or

access to some tech knowledge you can get a free, functional, powerful and usable system.

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eTapestry

by Blackbaud

$ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

$456 (basic), $3,023 (full)

• Easy to set up and start

• More complex and not as

Has yearly renewal cost.

• Has the ability to scale as

• A lot of add on fees and

• Support and resources

• Price can go up quickly

for 1 user 900 donors.

using.

you grow.

are readily available.

• A stable, solid option

backed by the biggest name in the business,

Blackbaud, so a very low

intuitive as you may hope. nickle and dime options. as you add features and users.

• Blackbaud isn’t our favourite.

risk choice.

Who Should Use it If you want a trusted system that will work that you can add on

as you need to as you grow and you are willing to spend a bit on your system. And you don’t mind Blackbaud.

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donor perfect $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

• Easy to use, good

$576 (basic), $3971 (full) for one user, 900 donors and online version

Has yearly renewal cost.

customization options and can track volunteers and members.

• The basic online version is very affordable

and does just about

everything you need well to very well.

Costs can escalate

quickly depending on

users, customizations, etc.

• Not the greatest

integration options and email set up isn’t as

strong as it could be.

Who Should Use it If you want eTapestry but don’t like Blackbaud as it is very similar in specs, cost and functionality.

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CiviCRM $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

• Open source software

• Will need someone who

$0 to start up and $600 for support (can use

other vendors as well).

with lots of customization options.

• With a programmers you

can do anything you want (basically).

• Can track more than

donors and donations if

knows software and open source.

• Not the easiest for nontechies to use.

• If things don’t work, it’s up to you to fix.

need be.

• And it’s free!

Who Should Use it If you have tech knowledge or access to some and want a more customized system to meet your exact needs.

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GIFT WORKS $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

• Easy to set up and start

• Can inhibit more

$499 (basic), $1247 (full)

for one user, 900 donors.

using and great for nonadvanced users.

• A nice dashboard to give

quick snapshot of activity.

• Good email options.

• Lot’s of “wizards” and

simple, friendly language

advanced users and teams.

• Has some limiting options when it comes to reports

and payment integrations (for basic version).

makes it fun to work with.

Who Should Use it If you are a smaller team, sensitive to cost and not an advanced user.

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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT Size & Groups

CRM

Capacity & Process

how many users/contacts do you have? How many do you hope/plan to have in 3 years? Who are the main groups you want to track?

who is going to manage and use the system? Will all the information flow through one “data keeper” or will different people and departments be responsible for using? How do you currently process donations and information?

Change & hidden Costs

Integration & Customization

what will it cost you change (time, labour, loss of data, interrupted service, learning a new system)? What will it cost you if you don’t (time, labour, loss of data, interrupted service)?

does/will this work with your website, email program and other services? Is it seamless or compatible? Does it work in the “cloud”? Can you make the changes you need to for it to fit with your organization?

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Websites/blogs Online fundraising continues to grow at a double digital rate and more than 50% of offline donors visit a charity’s website before making a donation. These two facts show the fundraising importance but your website is also where people get their first experience with you and your mission making a web presence increasingly important to an organization’s success.

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Wordpress $ What it Will cost you • •

Free!

Additional costs include: customization, themes, hosting, URL’s, some plugins

Things we like • Free!

• Extremely robust for a free tool.

• Can be as simple and

Things we don't like • May need some basic HTML/CSS to get the most out of it.

easy as you like or as complex as you want.

• Huge support community. • Tons of themes for quick and easy customization.

• Great for written content

Who Should Use it Anyone and everyone. Can cost as little or as much as you want

and can be as easy or as hard to use as you want. Can grow and develop with you as your organization grows and develops.

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TumBLr $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

Free!

• Free!

• Not as flexible to do as

customization, themes,

• Extremely visual and eye

• Limited in its plugins and

Additional costs include: hosting, URL’s, some plugins

• Very simple site.

catching in its lay out.

• Great for pictures and

much as other sites.

customization options.

videos.

Who Should Use it If you want high visuals, simple blogging site without tons of

content pieces. If you would rather share pictures as opposed to press releases.

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WEbs $ What it Will cost you •

Free to $16.67/month for Premium.

Things we like

Things we don't like

• Drag and drop, easy site

• Templates are not the

• Some plugins like eCom-

• Limited in some of the

building.

merce. Mobile friendly.

best.

apps/plugins and customizations.

• Can outgrow its functionality.

Who Should Use it If you want to build your own site pretty easily and not expecting the world. Can increase price point as you need to.

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Square Space $ What it Will cost you •

$8/month or $16/month.

Things we like

Things we don't like

• Beautiful templates with

• Blogging function not as

simple navigation.

• Very professional feel

with high design quality.

• Great with visuals.

• Nice social sharing integration.

• Mobile friendly.

robust as you might like.

• Cusomizable but takes

more effort and there are fewer resources to work from.

• Plugins and add-ons are fewer.

Who Should Use it If you are looking for simplicity and want to pay a bit for high

design value. If you are less concerned about SEO, blogging and written content.

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Wix $ What it Will cost you •

Free to $16.17/month

Things we like • Drag and drop, easy site building.

• Can get up and running in

Things we don't like • Can be buggy and glitchy. • User experience is not great.

minutes.

• Support is lacking and

in the web vortex.

• Limited plugins and things

• Won’t let you get too lost • Unique templates to build from so sites don’t look

quite weak.

you can do.

like everyone else’s.

• Mobile friendly.

• Facebook microsite option.

Who Should Use it If you want a nice splash page or simple site that doesn’t look simple. Generally not worth all the bugs and issues.

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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

W EB S I T E

Strategy

Capacity

What are you wanting to accomplish on the web? Are you looking to grow and expand your digital focus or just maintain the status quo?

Who is going to manage and maintain the site?

Tradeoffs

Blog/News

More customization (largely in design) generally equals more resources (time & money). Bigger focus on design generally equals less focus functionality. Greater access to the backend generally equals a simpler, more straightforward site.

Are you wanting to use a blog as the main place for news, updates and “dynamic� content? Is a blogging approach front and center in your content strategy or more peripheral?

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email Email continues to be one of the best ways to update and communicate to a wide audience of supporters at a low cost. As more and more fundraising and communication moves to the web and social media the role of email only increases in importance. Online fundraising is directly correlated to email list size.

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Campaigner $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

$10/month for 1000 to

• Easy segmentation.

• Too simple, not enough

Free for nonprofits up to

• Triggers and automations

• Ugly templates, site and

$200/month for 50,000. 500.

• Simple functionality. features.

Things we don't like

features.

design in general.

• Not a lot of integration options and features.

• API is not always or easily accessible for more customization.

Who Should Use it Not many people to be honest. If this happens to integrate nicely with your CRM and you just want something that helps you get

the word out then it can work. If you want to do anything beyond

the basics, and sometimes even then, this probably isn’t for you.

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Mail Chimp $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

• Easy, simple and guided

• Lack of features for free

• Can start small and grow

• To use all the bells and

Free Plan

• Up to 2,000 subscribers. • Up to 12,000 emails per month.

• Not all features available.

processes. large.

• Reporting and analytics

plans is annoying.

whistles you need some more techie skills.

• A/B testing. Paid Plan

• From $10/month for 500

subscribers to $240/month for 50,000 subscribers.

• Mobile friendly and focused.

• Integrations galore • RSS to email.

• Nonprofit discount.

15% discount for non-profits

Who Should Use it Basically anyone and everyone. A great fit for organizations

both small and large. Always on top of what’s next, continually developing the product, great customer service, caring about

nonprofits and being easy to use are why it’s our hands down favourite.

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Campaign Monitor $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

• From $15/month for 500 to

• Great templates and easy

• Lack of nonprofit specific

• No discount for nonprofits.

• Mobile ready and friendly.

• To use all the bells and

$500/month for 50,000.

customization.

• A/B testing.

• RSS to email.

resources and attention. whistles you need some more techie skills.

• Integrations and API’s.

• Easy to navigate site and resources.

Who Should Use it Anyone really but more design focused, probably larger

organizations wanting the extra customizations and cost is less of a factor. A great product.

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Constant Contact $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

• Integrates with nonprofit

From $15/month for 500

emails to $150/month for 25,000.

30% discount for nonprofits (must pre-pay).

CRM’s like eTapestry,

Convio, Donor Perfect, etc.

• Widely used and support

Things we don't like

• Poor templates.

• Not as many integrations. or customization options.

• Clunky user experience.

base large.

• Nonprofit discount. • A/B testing.

Who Should Use it Organizations who want the basics and will never use more advanced features. If it integrates well with your CRM of choice and aren’t looking for the latest and greatest.

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Vertical Response $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

Free for nonprofits up to

• Pay-as-you go option for

• Integrates with Sales-

$10/month for 500 to

• Postcard and survey ex-

• Can be a bit clunky in

10,000 emails per month. $240/month for 40,000.

less frequent emails.

tension options are nice

Force not much else. terms of usability.

to manage in one place.

• Design capabilities are

best practices available

• Less features, bells and

• Good resources, tips and through site.

• Focus on working with other channels (print,

social media, web, etc.).

limited.

whistles.

• Cost after the 10,000 free emails.

Who Should Use it Organizations looking for a free solution to send emails more

occasionally. If you want to do some basic surveys and postcards it is nice and easy to use as well. For SalesForce users this is

a nice, easy to use and free add on. Limited to larger and non SalesForce organizations though.

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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

EMAIL

Volume

Data

How many subscribers do you have or will have? How many emails are you sending or plan on sending? This directly determines price point.

How are you using and managing your data? Do you have a CRM with email management in it already? Do you want to link up with an API? Do you mind exporting and importing in Excel or having information in two different places?

Features/Customization

DESIGN

How many bells and whistles do you want and need right now? What about in the future? Can the product grow as you grow?

How important is designing beautiful custom emails to you and your supporters? How much access do you have to designers, coders and “techie� folks who can help?

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Social Media Management Philanthropy is inherently social and has always been about building relationships. Social media is a rapidly expanding method of connecting with supporters, and them to one another, in small ways. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest and others are new simply new ways to do what charities have always done; build relationships.

TweetDeck

Sprouter

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Hootsuite $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

Free (limited).

• Manage and monitor

• Report generation is

20% discount for

$9.99/month.

qualified nonprofits.

across channels in one place.

• Great for team

limited without paying extra.

management.

• Affordable.

• Solid analytics.

• Desktop, mobile and cloud options.

• Hootlet is great for

sharing/scheduling.

Who Should Use it Anyone looking to manage and monitor multiple accounts and

pages in one place. Great for teams and shared ownership. Web cruisers who want to share and schedule content.

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Tweetdeck $ What it Will cost you •

Free

Things we like

Things we don't like

• Free!

• Facebook integration is

• Desktop and mobile management options.

• Nice layout for Twitter to

see tweets, interactions, lists, etc.

weak.

• No other channels beyond Facebook and Twitter.

Who Should Use it

TweetDeck If you want a free dashboard to manage and monitor Twitter with a little Facebook thrown in.

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Sprouter $ What it Will cost you •

$9/month $39/month, $59/month and $99/ month.

50% discount for nonprofits.

Things we like • Manage and monitor

across channels in one place.

• Great visual dashboard.

Things we don't like • Team management

function is a bit clunky.

• Cost for teams get’s

• Nice audience insights.

expenseive fast.

• Desktop, cloud and mobile options.

Sprouter Who Should Use it

Anyone looking to manage and monitor multiple accounts and

pages in one place with a small team or a larger budget. Looking to engage and grow your community.

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Crowdbooster $ What it Will cost you

Things we like

Things we don't like

Free (1 Twitter, 1 Face-

• Recommended actions.

• Only Facebook and Twit-

$39/month or $99/month

book).

for more users and options.

• Visual display of reach of posts.

• Simple to see what’s going on and take actions.

ter.

• Scheduling is a bit clunky. • Hard to grab content from the web to share and schedule.

Who Should Use it If you are primarily on Twitter and Facebook and only have one account in each you want to keep tabs on. Great to quickly see what’s resonating and what you can do.

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involver $ What it Will cost you • •

Things we like

Things we don't like

$5/month.

• Incorporates more

• Analytics can be buggy.

accounts.

• Good listening and

• Workflow management is

$3/month for more

channels than most. monitoring functions.

• Scheduling across

• No team funcationality. clunky.

multiple channels.

Who Should Use it If you are less concerned about workflow and team management and want to know about all the conversations going on about your organization.

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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT Social Media

Team/Volunteers

Monitoring/Analysis

Is there one person managing/monitoring the account or do you have multiple people and even volunteers helping out?

How interested are you in monitoring conversations and analyzing your efforts? How in-depth are you hoping to get?

Channels

Cost

Are you just on Facebook and Twitter? Or do you want a tool that can manage more channels?

Additional users, added functionality and more robust reports are all ways some tools “nickle and dime� you so beware of these extra or hidden costs.

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GETting STUFF DONE Technology is good. You can have a meeting with four different people in four different cities relatively easy. It is also bad. The distractions are many and managing all the projects, tasks, to do’s and more is tough. Harnessing the good and cutting out the bad is the key.

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getting Stuff Done

Join.Me. Free, easy to use screen sharing option for meetings, webinars and calls.

Wufoo Can do sign up forms, event registration, surveys and more. Easy to use, integrates well and has good value (and free option for smaller organizations)

Evernote

DROPBOX

Free way to store notes from groceries to ideas anywhere, anytime seamlessly (computer-phone-tablet)

Host and access documents “in the cloud� with multiple people on multiple channels at an affordable rate.

Trello

POCKET

Free, simple project management software. Great for teams working remote on the same projects.

Store links and content quickly and easily from anywhere (phone, web, social media, tablet) to read later.

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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

Get Stuff Done

Team

Web Savvy

Is your team all in one office or spread out? Do you have flexible work hours or set hours? Is your work highly collaborative or more independent?

If your staff aren’t comfortable using or know how to use a tool then it is all for not. Understand where the users are at with their tech/web skills.

Mobile

Workflow

Will you be working on the fly, on the road, in coffee shops and from phones and tablets?

How can these tools be incorporated into or build off of your current workflow (as opposed to you needing to create a new workflow for the tool)?

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Make Things Look Cool With so many different charities, causes and social good initiatives out there it is getting harder to stand out. Good design is one of the first and easiest ways that people will determine if they have an interest in you. Ultimately it is about how you are making a difference in the world but why not make a difference and have it look cool too?.

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Make Things Look Cool PREZI

ANIMOTO

Issuu

Make great looking dynamic presentations for meetings, webinars or campaigns.

Turn photos and video clips into professional looking videos quickly and easily.

Host PDF’s online and make them easy to read and share online.

99 Designs

Short Stack

PIktochart

Outsource your design needs (logo, web page, t-shirt) to thousands of quality designers and choose what you want.

Add some flare to your Facebook page with welcome pages, contests and “microsites”

Simple drag and drop tool to create great looking infographics.

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THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

Make things Look Cool

Capacity

Frequency

Do you have someone on your team that can do design work regularly and at a high level? Do you have a volunteer or relationship with a vendor that can?

How often are you needing design projects? If frequent look at a contractor or agency, if less frequen look at some crowdsourced tools.

Time

Visuals

Making things look good, pretty and cool doesn’t always have to take more time... but it often does. And it’s often worth it. Just be wary of the time commitment and knowingly choose to use or not use the tool/service.

Do you have access to great visuals in the form of pictures and videos? Great pictures in shoddy designs look more shoddy. Play to your strengths and surround strength with strength.

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Go DEEPER This guide is just a summary of some of the main areas where nonprofits can use tools to increase their impact and only scratches the surface. There are many great sites, blogs and people to follow to learn more about what is best and right for you and your organization.

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GO DEEPER HUBSPOT

KISS METRICS

techsoup Canada

IDEALWARE

Great free tools, webinars and white papers on digital marketing and social media. Business focused but lot’s of application for nonprofits.

Fantastic blog on copywriting for the web, monitoring and measuring and digital marketing. Business focused but lot’s of application for nonprofits.

Good resource for information and reviews on products and tools. Registered charities can get donated products or greatly reduced prices.

Very in-depth reviews, analysis and recommendations for nonprofits when it comes to software and IT. Very research focused.

NTEN

Google for Nonprofits

Mashable

Peer Giving Ideas

Awesome hub for all things nonprofit and technology. Partners with others to produce great content, training, research and resources.

Google produces lot’s of great (and free) products that can help nonprofits and even has a Google Grants program that can provide free advertising opportunities.

Trendy site to cover all things tech, web and digital. Special sections for nonprofits and social impact are useful to get more focused advice and resources.

Blog of software company Peer Giving Ideas curates quality content on the web twice a week to update small/ medium sized charities with practical tips and information.

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ABOUT US Charity Express is a start-up digital agency based in Vancouver, BC. We’re a team of creative, passionate and action-oriented people that design and execute digital strategies to help charities, nonprofits and other charitable initiatives build capacity and succeed in achieving their goals in a web environment.

Wanna Chat? Give Us A Shout. Brady Josephson, Strategic Director brady@charityexpress.com office: 778-331-0577 twitter: @bradyjosephson

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Affordable tools for non-profits

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