Canva for Nonprofits Frees Up Great Minds for Creative Thinking
Your organization’s brand is sacrosanct. It’s your promise. It’s who you are, it’s what you do, and it’s why you exist.
The way you present your brand, and the way you make that promise to your donors, your constituents, and the general public are through your communications and messaging. It’s also how you demonstrate your impact as a nonprofit!
So take a moment to ask yourself: is my organization’s messaging clear, concise, and consistent? Or is it a roomful of ferrets hopped up on Red Bull and birthday cake?
Most likely, especially if you’re a small organization with a limited budget – like the vast majority of the 1.6 million nonprofits in the United States – it’s somewhere in between. And you’re looking for all the help you can get.
That’s where Canva comes in. Canva is a powerful suite of tools that streamline the process of creating impact through messaging. It’s a paid product for the general public. But the company offers a free version of Canva Pro – Canva for nonprofits – to help organizations create impactful marketing and campaign materials. And that makes it (easily) one of the best free resources for nonprofits on the market!
What Does Canva for Nonprofits Offer?
In a nutshell… consistency and simplicity.
You don’t need a degree in graphic design to use Canva for nonprofits. In fact, it was made specifically for people who don’t and for organizations that don’t have such folks on staff.
Canva for nonprofits is a clearinghouse of collateral for creating the marketing and messaging that are crucial to your
- and other public-facing campaigns.
It allows an organization access for one team of up to 10 people.
With Canva for nonprofits, you can create:
- Social media posts
- Website graphics
- And more
You can pull from the platform’s huge library of more than 75 million images, 3.5 million graphic elements, and 3,000 fonts. You can glom onto one of the platform’s 420,000 templates or start from scratch!
Canva for nonprofits lets you create a brand toolkit that houses all of your organization’s brand colors, fonts, and logos. With your brand toolkit, they’re easily accessible to everyone working on messaging. And that bodes well for the all-important consistency that cements your brand in your audience’s minds.
It also provides a place to store your branded templates, adding to institutional memory and ease of access from a variety of devices.
It’s a drag-and-drop process that makes it easy to play with designs until you get them just right.
IS CANVA PRO FREE FOR NONPROFITS?
Just as we mentioned above, Canva offers a free Canva Pro account for eligible nonprofits. They believe that nonprofit organizations are already doing incredible work. And they understand that, often, many organizations are working on a tight budget.
So, they’ve elected to offer up pro accounts to nonprofits that meet their requirements and that send in an application.
With your free nonprofit Canva Pro account, you’ll get the premium features for up to 10 people in your nonprofit. It is important to know that you can only have one free Canva Pro account for up to 10 users. If you need more than that, you’ll need to pay the additional costs for the added premium accounts.
Is My Nonprofit Eligible for a Free Canva Pro Account?
There are eligibility requirements to receive a free Canva Pro account for your organization. The company has limited these premium accounts for nonprofits that:
- Have a 501(c)(3)
- Are not schools, colleges, or universities. Independent charter schools may be exempt from this requirement. Canva does offer a separate “Canva for Education” program.
- Primarily work with social impact to serve the public or community
- Are public health organizations or government organizations assisting with public health
You’ll need to fill out an application, which is then reviewed by the Canva team. They’ll determine if your organization meets their requirements. If so, you can get started with your free account.
How to Use Canva Pro for Nonprofits? A Quick Overview of the Design Tool:
Without a graphic design degree or any prior knowledge, it can feel overwhelming at first to log into a tool like Canva.
After all, many of us have heard stories about using intense tools like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator.
The great news is that Canva understands where that overwhelming feeling comes from. And they’ve done everything they can to combat it.
Better yet, they’ve been successful at it!
Canva, especially with the premium features, has the capability of creating incredible, high-end designs for your nonprofit that rival what can be made in Adobe Suite’s tools.
The best part is that they’ve made it possible for those of us who decided not to major in graphic design.
So to keep the jitters away, let’s take a quick look at the design tool!
Your Canva dashboard is the hub of all of your recent designs, your nonprofit brand kit, and the design sizes you might want to try.
Plus, the dashboard has plenty of links to educational resources so you can better familiarize yourself with the tool and get inspired by other creations.
The Template Library:
If you’re anything like us, it’s hard to get started on a design from a completely blank canvas. There are so many options that we often fall into analysis paralysis.
That’s why the template library is so phenomenal. With 420,000+ templates to choose from, there’s certainly something for your current design needs.
You can choose from different categories. So for example, if you wanted to search all types of templates that are tagged with the “nonprofit” category, you can choose to do so.
Or, if you’d rather search by the type of template, like a social media post or even a letterhead, you can do that, too.
No matter what kind of graphic design you need to create for your organization, there’s sure to be a template for you.
The Design Tools:
When you navigate to the design portion of the software, you’ll see that there are plenty of tools to use!
You can completely customize templates that have already been created to suit your needs better. You can even upload your brand essentials, such as logos, fonts, and color palettes, to create cohesive designs.
One of the great things about having a Canva Pro for nonprofits account is that you have all of the premium design features. You’ll have plenty more options to choose from for stock images and videos, fonts, and other design elements.
Once you’re finished creating your design, you’ll more than likely want to upload it somewhere. Of course, you can download the designs straight to your computer.
But Canva Pro for nonprofits also offers design integrations.
Import your media to apps like Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Google Drive, and HubSpot! They even integrate with Typeform so you can customize your nonprofit surveys for a more cohesive experience.
Your Nonprofit’s Brand Kit:
Whether you create all of your nonprofit’s branding elements in Canva or not, you can still house them within the platform.
And doing so allows you to easily create more cohesive designs to boost brand awareness among supporters and new audiences.
On your dashboard, you can navigate to the brand toolbox on the left side navigation bar.
Once there, your team can upload the branding essentials like your nonprofit’s logos, color palettes, and fonts.
And the brand kit can be accessed from any new design your team creates. With the “Styles” tab on the left-hand side of the screen, you can easily select your branded fonts and color palettes to instantly re-create a templated design so it’s cohesive with your brand kit.
Further down the tools, you’ll also find the “Logos” tab, which houses all of the primary logos and submarks your organization has.
Plus, when you use the drop-down menu for different fonts, your nonprofit’s branded fonts show up first. The same thing happens when you select different colors for your design!
On the dashboard, you’ll find a tab that says “Content Planner.” This is a premium feature that’s relatively new to the game. And it makes scheduling out your posts for social media or even your email marketing efforts much easier!
Create designs based on your content calendar, and get a bird’s eye view of what’s supposed to roll out and when.
9 of the Best Ways to Use Canva for Nonprofits:
With Canva’s robust graphic design platform, you can create anything you need for your nonprofit organization.
But to get the inspiration flowing, here are some of our favorite ways to use Canva for nonprofits:
1. Design Your Nonprofit Branding Elements
As we mentioned earlier, you can design your nonprofit branding elements right on Canva’s platform. With a full-color spectrum, you can create your nonprofit’s signature color palette. You can upload a logo that’s already been made for your organization, or you can create one yourself.
Using Canva is a great way to manage your nonprofit’s visual brand elements so you stay consistent no matter where you show up.
2. Make an Impact with Social Media Graphics
No more struggling to create graphics with an overwhelming graphic design tool. Now you can make them with Canva. And no matter what social media platform your nonprofit shows up on, Canva’s got pre-made templates to help you.
From using the specific sizing of the social media’s standard posts and creating the design yourself, to choosing a template that looks incredible, you can do it all with Canva for nonprofits.
3. Create a Landing Page
Need a landing page to better optimize your Google Ad Grants for nonprofits? Or maybe you need one to sign more people up for your nonprofit email newsletter?
Whatever the reason is, you can create any graphics or branding you need for it. You can select the “banner” option and create a brand new graphic yourself. Or you can find already-made templates to help you design something!
Either way, a branded banner or graphic on your landing page will make it more engaging for your supporters. And that keeps them around longer!
4. Update Your Nonprofit Email List with a Branded Newsletter
And speaking of nonprofit email newsletters, are you sending branded newsletters out? If not, or if you’re looking to elevate your newsletters, consider Canva for nonprofits to the rescue!
You can easily create a graphic that you can copy and paste into your nonprofit email marketing software.
5. Impress Your Board with Official Letterheads
Nothing says “official” like branded letterheads. And no matter what size your nonprofit organization is, an official letterhead goes a long way. Especially when you present information on it to your board.
Impress your nonprofit organization’s leadership by creating letterhead documents with Canva for nonprofits. Simply click the “A4 Document” option when selecting a size. Then, you can design it yourself or choose from their thousands of templates!
6. Highlight Your Organization’s Efforts with Infographics
Infographics go a long way to showing supporters how your nonprofit organization is making a difference. They’re bold, eye-catching, and they show tangible results.
So whether you’re making an infographic for an Instagram carousel or you want to include one on your nonprofit website, use Canva to help you!
7. Zoom Background for Virtual Fundraising Events
As the world continues to move online, virtual fundraising events are becoming more and more popular.
So, if you’ve got one coming up on your calendar, consider making custom designs for it! Whether you’re using Zoom or a different virtual event platform, creating a virtual background is a nice added touch!
8. Design Your Nonprofit’s Annual Report
Gone are the days of having your nonprofit’s annual report on a solid white Google document. Instead, you can create a gorgeous design to supplement the content of your annual report.
9. Create Designs for Supporter Merchandise
If your nonprofit is looking for creative ways to boost donations and revenue, then maybe it’s time to open up an eCommerce shop.
Purchasing merchandise is often a favorite way for your audience to show their support. Your team can use Canva to create designs for t-shirts and hoodies, coffee mugs, to-go thermoses, stickers, and more!
If you’re curious about what your nonprofit’s supporters might be interested in purchasing, send out a survey!
Not only will you wow your supporters with the amazing work you’re doing, showcased in your content, but you’ll also wow them with the graphic design you’ve created!
Ready to learn more about Canva for Nonprofits?
You can get a taste of Canva on our free and 100-percent-pressure-free Nonprofit Library Demo!
– Your friends at NonprofitLibrary