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Tech fundraising tools for free

Howard Lake | 13 April 2023 | Blogs

Zero. Photo: Unsplash
Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

All fundraising requires tech skills and tools, even the simplest face to face fundraising ask. Digital comms, a CRM, digital design, data analytics, giving platforms, online learning platforms for fundraisers, and more. But is any of this available for free? Here’s UK Fundraising’s list.

  1. Benchmark Software Ltd – the company’s Free Software for Charities approach provides its accounts, payroll, CRM and knowledge management packages “completely free to all registered charities, churches, clubs and non-profit organisations”.

    The company states “there are no catches – full versions of our software are free to charities and NPOs, with no limitations or reduced functionality.” Software support is available at just £10 a month.
  2. Charity Digital Exchange, from Charity Digital, is part of the global TechSoup initiative. It offers donated and substantially discounted software from leading brands, including Adobe, Microsoft, Zoom, Autodesk, Amazon, Cisco and Avast.
  3. Canva – the ever-expanding visual design tool, which already includes some of the latest generative AI functions like text-to-image, is available as the full premium version to eligible charities. Many charities use it for all or most of their visual design activity. One Canva for Nonprofit account gives access to up to 50 individual user accounts for your colleagues. There’s a whole set of resources available to nonprofits to make the most of the tool.
  4. Donorfy – the CRM solution for charities offers a free version, Donorfy Essentials, for charities with fewer than 500 constituents (people, organisations). Users can upgrade to Donorfy Professional whenever they wish.
  5. Editors for Impact CIC – a social enterprise connecting small NGOs and charities with its “passionate, creative volunteers, relieving time spent on content creation to focus on impact”. Editors for Impact produce videos, audio and graphics.
  6. Facebook – Meta’s Workplace for Good offers “Workplace Core for free to eligible non-profit charitable organisations, so they can keep their people and communities connected.”
  7. With Google for Nonprofits Google “offers eligible organisations access to Google products and discounts that can help solve the challenges nonprofits face: finding new donors and volunteers, working more efficiently, and getting supporters to take action.”
  8. JustGiving – the fundraising platform’s Giving Checkout is a fee-free direct donation link for charities that want to offer a donate link/button/cta on their platform.
  9. Mailchimp – the email marketing platform offers a free version, although not specifically for charities, offering 1,000 monthly sends, and only one audience or segments. Previously it had offered a specific free package for charities with fewer than 2,000 email subscribers and other limits, but it seems that that has now been replaced by a 15% discount for verified and eligible nonprofits.
  10. Microsoft 365 grants and discounts for nonprofits can help charities simplify IT management and reduce costs while empowering staff and volunteers to collaborate securely from anywhere on any device.

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An introduction to AI for charity professionals by Ross Angus
Google for Nonprofits' services for charities
Google for Nonprofits’ services for charities

More free tech tools

There are of course many other tools that are useful to fundraisers and charities that don’t charge anyone to use. To name a few:

Pexels and Unsplash – two free stock image tools. Always read the terms of any site that provides free content to make sure you are using them correctly.

Tableau Public is a powerful data visualisation tool. If you use the free version you should know that what you create with it is made public.

Digital Candle offers a free one-hour advice session from a skilled tech volunteer for a charity CEO or senior leader. This can be very useful to help give them context for a new tool or opportunity.

Even more free technology resources

For more expansive list of free technology resources for UK charities – from training, funding, donated hardware, website hosting, and its own free AI-based tools, explore Charity Excellence.

In Kind Direct also provide a range of work and office donated products for charities that join their scheme.

TechSoup‘s training courses cover email marketing, Google AdWords, Power BI, Outlook, fundraising and many other topics and tools.

More resources?

We are happy to add relevant resources to this list, but we don’t aim for it to be comprehensive, and we’ll focus on free tech tools and resources specifically for the UK and Ireland, not globally. We’re not listing products that offer a time-limited free trial.

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