There’s a lot of technology for nonprofits out there. But, finding the right online nonprofit tools can be tricky. They're either too expensive, too basic, or just weren’t made for the day-to-day realities of nonprofit life.
To help (and to talk about what makes Zeffy the best nonprofit tool) we’ve come up with a list of low cost software for nonprofits.
The sheer amount of online fundraising platforms available for donations, event ticketing, marketing and managing donors can be overwhelming to navigate. They all have 4.5 star reviews. They all claim to be free. And they all offer similar services. (We've written more about this in: Avoiding the hidden costs of "free" software for nonprofits.)
So, with the help our growing community of organizations, we’ve done some research and have come up with an up-to-date list of the best low cost software for nonprofit organizations.
These resources for nonprofits will help you make the most of your time while making fundraising a lot less stressful. Plus, every single one of them offers free tools for nonprofits or low cost options.
Of course we’re starting with how ChatGPT can help your nonprofit.
We’ve already written a few articles on how ChatGPT can be used as a time-saving tool for nonprofits so, we’ll just link to those articles instead of repeating ourselves. Just know that, when used properly, it is a powerful online tool for nonprofits.
We’ve written some how-to articles to help you and your nonprofit get the most out of ChatGPT.
Linktree. AKA how to use social media for nonprofits.
Let’s get things started with linktr.ee. Maybe your nonprofit doesn’t have a website just yet, but you have Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok. (Or any combination of ‘em.) Linktree lets you connect your TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, website, store, videos, music, podcast, events and more all in a link in bio landing page designed to get people to click.
And, with free, starter, pro and premium options, Linktree can help you with a lot more than just links.
Y’all’s is a great example of the power and simplicity of Linktree to connect your donors to all your social media accounts and fundraising events with one very shareable link.
Get to know Y’all a little better in our chat with them about starting a nonprofit in the US.
Wordpress: the best website builder for nonprofits.
To create a website, you don’t need skills in coding or a big budget. With WordPress, you can easily create and customize a website for your nonprofit.
As the world’s most popular content management system (CMS), WordPress is the foundation of almost 43% of all websites on the internet and growing. How? Well, it’s free (mostly). But, more importantly, its popularity means someone you know—maybe even someone in your nonprofit—might already know how to use it.1
With their premium plan at 10$ a month, you can unlock some premium themes and designs and a few other handy perks like 4k video and analytics. Their plugins also allow you to create customized pages for events and campaigns. And, as an added bonus: all Zeffy forms integrate quickly and seamlessly with WordPress pages. So, your donors will have a great donation experience.
Build high-converting donation forms with, you guessed it, Zeffy.
Zeffy’s donation forms can be set up in under 5 minutes and are 100% free. Zeffy even covers all your transaction (credit card) fees, so that 100% of the money donors give goes directly to your mission.
Zeffy forms can be easily embedded in your website and are mobile friendly. Simple and straightforward, your donors will love how easy they are to use (you can fill out a form in under 10 clicks) and you’ll love the conversion rate. (The Zeffy forms interface is so simple for donors, that they have no problem filling them out, which generates 50% more revenue for your mission.)
Low cost CRM for nonprofits do exist!
A CRM is a Customer Relationship Management platform that allows you to keep all your donor’s data securely in one place. They normally have a suite of tools to help you analyze behaviour, organize how and when you contact them, track certain actions, and even keep in touch with past and current donors.
If you aren’t using a CRM for your donors, you should consider it. Managing your donor relationships is key to keeping them long term.
There are more than a few options out there and even we couldn’t pick just one. So, we chose three.
HubSpot for nonprofits:
HubSpot provides a free CRM for up to 1 million contacts. Using their tools will help you build lasting relationships with your community of donors. With the proper care, and Hubspot’s suite of tools, a stranger to your cause can become one of your most avid supporters in very little time.
We use it at Zeffy and love it. And no, we didn’t get paid any money to talk about them here.
- We have experience with it and we know it’s reliable.
- You can easily integrate HubSpot with Zeffy.
- They provide detailed guidance for nonprofits.
- They have a free plan that’s pretty robust. (We believe the best tech should be free.)
- You can send 2000 emails a month with their free plan and, after that, you can easily integrate to Mailchimp or Brevo (sendinblue) if you don’t want to pay for Hubspot premium.
Salesforce for nonprofits:
Salesforce is another popular CRM with a free plan that integrates nicely with Zeffy. We recommend it to larger charities because it can take some getting used to. Check out our guide on integrating with other software and read all about the options Salesforce offers for nonprofit organizations.
Mailchimp for nonprofits:
If you are looking to revamp your email campaigns or newsletter, be sure to check out Mailchimp. The platform allows you to create beautiful emails and templates, automate sending, and act as a CRM. Their free plan allows for up to 2000 contacts and has a website builder and creative assistant.
If you have a lot of contacts, you may want to consider Sendinblue instead as their pricing is more affordable when it comes to larger volumes.
Brevo (sendinblue) for nonprofits:
Brevo offers great pricing for your emailing and CRM needs. You can easily tailor your emails, SMS and chats for your newsletter or campaign needs. Their pricing is extremely flexible (they even have a basic, free option) and will easily adapt to a growing nonprofit organization—good news for any nonprofit planning to expand their community and mailing list.
Graphic design for nonprofits? Use Canva.
Searching for a simple but pretty great tool for your nonprofit’s campaign branding, social media and email templates? Look no further than Canva for nonprofits. Is Canva free for nonprofits? Yes! Canva for nonprofits gives you access to all their amazing premium tools for free.
Create a branding deck, infographics to help your donors better understand your mission, edit images and so, so, so much more. Apply to get Canva for nonprofits for free! (It’s definitely worth it.)
- In Canada, you need to be a Canadian charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
- In the United States you must have 501(c)(3) tax exemption status from the IRS.
When it comes to outsourcing, helloDarwin knows how to save time.
It can be overwhelming and time consuming to find the best services for your next fundraising event: web development, marketing, video production, content writing, helloDarwin can help your nonprofit find the perfect partner.
helloDarwin will match you with the right experts for your needs, and it’s free for nonprofits.
All you have to do is submit your project and helloDarwin will send you three potential partners within 48 hours. It’s that easy.
Zeffy has event management for nonprofits too.
Zeffy’s event management software for nonprofits and online ticket sales are just as simple to use as our donation forms. Zeffy’s event ticketing tools can be used for your events, raffles, memberships, and online stores. They’re mobile friendly and can be embedded directly into your website. You can even automatically generate tax receipts and scannable QR codes for all your events.
And, of course, the Zeffy’s event management and ticketing software is 100% free. We even cover the transaction (credit card) fees.
The Google Ad Grants gives nonprofits $10,000 worth of free google ads.
The Google Ad Grants provides nonprofits in quite a few countries, including Canada and the United States with up to $10,000 per month in search ads shown on google.com. This grant can be a very valuable tool in promoting your cause and fundraising campaigns and boosting your results.
The Google Ad Grants will help you reach potential donors and sponsors searching for causes like yours. Whether it is to donate, volunteer or help further your mission, the awareness a clicks will go a long way to helping you achieve your mission.
And, as if that weren’t enough, they even provide tips to effectively manage your ads.
Gain visibility on how donors interact on your nonprofit's website with Google Analytics.
Use Google Analytics to better understand how visitors to your website interact once they arrive. See which pages donors visit, when they visit, where they find your pages (Google search, ads, articles, etc.) and, what are the most and least popular pages on your website.
Google Analytics will allow you to calculate your donor conversion rate and, through plugins like Monster Insights, can integrate with WordPress so you can monitor your results directly on your WordPress dashboard. You can even use Google Analytics to track your Zeffy forms.
Just reach out to us and send your Google Analytics tracking ID along with the form you’d like to track.
What is Hotjar and why are we talking about it?
Hotjar is here to help you understand how your donors and community use your website. It provides a fresh perspective on Google Analytics by allowing you to visualize how your users move around, and interact with, your site.
See where donors get lost, when they give up, where they click, where they spend the most time, and more. And, as if that wasn’t helpful enough HotJar for nonprofits allows you to apply for a free business account. To qualify your nonprofit needs to be “working to further charitable causes that align with [Hotjar’s] Core Values."2 AKA: organizations that are nongovernmental, nonacademic, noncommercial, nonpolitical in nature, and have no religious affiliation. They also favour nonprofit organizations that have a focus on environmental causes or advocate for equality of minorities and disadvantaged groups.2
Peer-to-Peer fundraising. Yes, Zeffy does that too.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is a great tool to get your supporters involved and multiply your donations. With Zeffy peer-to-peer forms, you can quickly set up a campaign and share it with your supporters right away.
Our forms are easy for fundraisers and sponsors to get involved by creating and customizing their own campaign page. The forms are mobile friendly, which is a must when it comes to peer-to-peer crowdfunding. Oh, and did we mention that they’re free to use? We probably did…
For more information, check out our free webinar: Hosting a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign or read up on preparing for your next peer-to-peer fundraising campaign.
Automate some of your many, many tasks with Zapier.
As a nonprofit already adapting to the every-changing realities of fundraising online, you probably don’t have a lot of extra time to spend on long administrative tasks like transferring data between all the different platforms you use. That’s where Zapier comes in.
Zapier saves you time, a lot of time, by automating your tasks and integrating your softwares. Zapier’s API connection platform is a great tool for integrating your donation data with your CRM or connecting with your accounting software. Or, as Zapier puts it: Do what you do best, let Zapier do the rest.
Zapier does provide a discount for nonprofits, so your monthly fee will be around $25 and it is well worth the time saved on administrative tasks.
Zeffy has an app on Zapier, which allows you to automatically transfer your donation and ticketing data to your CRM or any other app.
LinkedIn was made to network. Use it for your nonprofit.
Are you looking for a new hire or board member? New sponsors? Tips and tricks? Webinar invitations? Growing your team and community on LinkedIn is an easy way to do all.
LinkedIn for nonprofits can help get the word out about your charity in a more professional environment. They provide guides, resources and other helpful tips to elevate your presence and help you grow your network.