Did you know that non-profit organisations get access to great discounts and tools from companies like Google, Salesforce and Facebook?
Let me show you some of the best digital tools that are available for your charity.
Google Ad Grants
The Google Ad Grants programme gives you £7,000 per month to spend on Google Search Ads. That’s a whopping £84,000 per year of digital ad spending, for free.
There are some limitations. It’s only on search ads, so if you’ll need a second Google Ads account to run display ads through Google’s ad network or video ads on Youtube.
I’ve also found Google to be quite strict about the search terms you can run ads against. For most non-profits this shouldn’t be a problem, but for non-profits who earn revenue delivering the same services offered by private sector there may be some appeals to complete.
One nice problem to have with Google Ad Grants is apathy. It seems amazing, but when an organisation gets given an £84,000 asset for free, they often have no idea what to do with it. I regularly see ads and campaigns that haven’t been updated or reviewed since day one.
Saving = £84,000 per year
Salesforce Power of Us
Salesforce is a powerful business platform that helps you run your non-profit more efficiently. It collects and manages your data, and helps connect staff, volunteers and everyone impacted by your work.
The Power of Us program gives non-profits access to ten free licences for Salesforce’s Sales & Service Cloud Enterprise Edition, as well as their Nonprofit Success Pack. The success pack is a ready-to-go set up that you can use straight away, and includes revenue management tools, analytics and reports.
Salesforce allows you to use your data better. Whether it’s more accurate donor records, service user logs or managing income generation, Salesforce keeps all your information in one place and turns it into actionable insights.
Salesforce can be accessed remotely through its mobile app or a browser. So work-from-homers have exactly the same insights as they would in the office. Salesforce’s data controls are second to none, with the ability to lock access to sensitive data to individuals or locations.
Despite what some actors may claim, you don’t have to hire an expensive specialist agency to set up your Salesforce instance. The Trailhead training programme is free and contains almost everything you could possibly need to know when you start using Salesforce.
Saving = £16,800 per year
Whatever your non-profit does, you’ll be needing spreadsheets, word processing and emails.
And as a charity you don’t need to pay a penny for these essentials. Both Google and Microsoft supply non-profits with a free suite of in-browser office programmes, plus storage, calendars that synchronise across all of your devices, and email hosting with your web domain’s address. Which means there’s no excuse to be using a free Gmail or Hotmail account!
Microsoft also offer non-profits ten free licences for their Microsoft 365 Business Premium level subscription, with additional licences available for £3.80 per month.
Whether you decide to use Microsoft’s Office 365 or Google’s Workspace for Nonprofits depends on your organisation’s needs and the other services you use. Google’s Workspace integrates with other services better than Office, but most of your people will probably be more at home with Office.
If you’re looking to upgrade to a cloud office suite, consider auditing your present and future digital requirements. Some extra time spent now could save a fortune in the future.
Saving (Microsoft’s ten free licences) = £1,812 per year
Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of products includes market leading apps like Photoshop, Premiere Pro and After Effects.
These enterprise level apps have everything you need to make your work pop! Whilst the learning curve with Adobe’s products is quite steep they provide a number of tutorials. They’re also well supported by their user community who actively answer questions and produce their own tutorials on YouTube.
Adobe’s charity pricing isn’t publically available, but it tends to be equivalent to their Student and Teacher pricing, which is over 65% off for the first year and half price after that.
Saving = £404.40 first year, £299.52 per year after
Keep your supporters close with regular email communications. These free plans are available to everyone, but mean your non-profit has no excuse not to use email marketing to raise funds, and more importantly sharing what you achieve with these donations.
|Email sends per month||6,000 marketing emails per month plus 100 automated emails per day||10,000|
|Branding||None||Includes ‘Sent with Mailchimp’ banner at the bottom of each email.|
|Perfect for||Organisations who want more control over their email’s design, organisations who need onboarding sequences at free level.||Organisations with WordPress websites, people who just want to send emails, not learn how to use lots of functions.|
Both SendGrid and Mailchimp have built-in tools to help you stay the right side of GDPR and data protection rules.
Deciding between the two should depend on your non-profit’s skills and priorities. Mailchimp is the more user friendly of the two, and also has a mobile app where you can create emails on the go. SendGrid has more advanced features, and lets you send cleaner, more professional emails, as well as integrating more closely with your website.
Make more out of Facebook
Unfortunately Mark Zuckerburg isn’t as generous with advertising grants as Google is. If you want to run ads on Facebook, Instagram or Whatsapp you’ll have to pay Mr Zuckerburg full price.
However, Facebook does still have some useful tools for charities.
One is the Donate button. This lets people donate to your organisation directly from your page or post. You can also allow your supporters to create fundraisers for your non-profit (Facebook prompts people to create these around their birthdays). Unlike other services like justgiving, you’ll receive 100% of the donation as Facebook covers all processing costs.
A unique tool Facebook provides for non-profits is Mentorship. A Facebook Group with Mentorship activated can foster one-to-one mentorships between group members, with members creating a profile and sharing what they’re offering or looking for in a mentorship.
Another free tool is Business Manager. This tool helps you manage all of the messages, comments and interactions people make with your page, and has a powerful post and story scheduling tool.
But the best asset your charity has on Facebook is its supporters. From creating the content you post to boosting your reach through sharing, your supporters are your secret weapon!
Charity Digital Exchange
Before you buy any software or service for your non-profit, check Charity Digital first. They work with loads of firms to deliver discounted or donated products to charities, as well as putting on events to help introduce you to the options available.
At time of writing the Charity Digital Exchange site is terrible to view and use, but persevere and you can make big savings on loads of products for your non-profit.
Power Up Your Non-Profit
Getting over £100,000 of top tier digital spending for free makes a real difference to cash-strapped non-profits. But having it available won’t be enough if you can’t claim or use it.
That’s why it’s worth finding a partner to help you maximise the impact of these digital tools.