For many nonprofits the summer months can be glorious – warm weather brings a boost in morale; a new fiscal year begins; donors go on vacation; and with a little downtime we find a glimmer of hope to tackle a few projects on our to-do list. Not surprisingly, because nonprofits are so focused on serving clients, many of the projects we set aside for our summer to-do lists focus on operational improvements – like researching donor databases or taking courses to fulfill professional development requirements. At Social Impact Architects, we know devoting time to building a high-performance organization helps nonprofits better serve clients. With that in mind, we wanted to help you check items off your list with these free or discounted resources great corporate citizens have made available for nonprofits:
- Software & Applications – Techsoup, Microsoft, and the Salesforce Foundation donate an array of software and applications to nonprofit organizations including operating systems, office suites, donor management, project management and accounting software. For example, TechSoup Stock helps nonprofits access donated and discounted technology products generously provided by corporate and nonprofit technology partners.
- Website Tools – Wix is an easy to use website design tool that allows users to create professional-looking websites quickly and inexpensively. They even have a free option.
- Professional Development – Nonprofit Technology Network helps you master tech for your nonprofit. They also offer many local clubs.
- Image Editing – Software to crop and resize photos can be pricey but PicMonkey allows you to make changes to images at no cost.
- Human Resources – There always seems to be a shortage of fundraising, financial, marketing and graphic design expertise in the nonprofit world. Nonprofits can post a project (e.g., design a new logo or write a strategic plan) on Catchafire and select a professional who applies to complete the project pro-bono. Check into local pro-bono professional resources, such as SCORE, Executive Service Corps and Social Venture Partners, as well as your local university for student talent, too.
- Advertising – You can spread the word about the great work your organization is doing with up to $10,000 a month of free advertising on Google search result pages by applying for Google ad grants.
- Professional Development – Budgets to invest in our own professional growth can sometimes be wanting, but local libraries through the Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network provide free seminars to nonprofits as well as a wealth of grantseeking resources. Social Impact Architects is also excited to be launching a FREE beta version of our popular Storytelling course this summer through a fun and easy-to-use e-learning platform – send us an email if you want to be a reviewer.
- Connect – We are a big fan of the Council of Nonprofits and their efforts to mobilize nonprofits to achieve greater collective impact – join their organization at a national or local level to connect with others and advocate.
- Hodgepodge – Goods for the Greater Good partners with corporations to bring brand-new, overstocked products like clothing, health and beauty products, electronics, home products, toys and sports equipment available to nonprofits. This service is particularly helpful for agencies filling the basic needs of clients in crisis situations.
- Books – Schools and literacy programs can turn to FirstBook for free or highly discounted children’s books.
- Office Furniture and Equipment – Corporations make used furniture and equipment available to nonprofit organizations across the U.S. through CSR Eco Solutions. Visit the website to see what donations may be available in your area.
We are grateful for the organizations that make serious commitments to the causes and people nonprofits represent, and we hope the resources they make available come in handy for your organization this summer. We hope you will share stories of freebies with us online or through a shout-out on Twitter @socialtrendspot. We will add them to our Free Stuff for Nonprofits list.