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20 of the Best Google Docs Templates for Nonprofits

Lori Halley 26 August 2010 7 comments

Google Docs TemplatesCreating a presentation for your board? Wading into end-of-project paperwork? Or maybe you’re signing up a new crop of volunteers for your non-profit...

Whatever the task, odds are that there’s a time-saving template, free at Google Docs, to help you do more with less effort.

In this post, I've compiled the 20 most useful Google Doc templates that I've come across, but if you don't see one here that you need, it's easy to search for more templates yourself.

Simply browse Google's Template Gallery, or narrow your search by Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, Forms, and Drawings. You’ll find thousands of templates – some by Google itself, and many unique templates that were contributed by users around the world, all free for you to use and adapt as you like.

Here is my list of the 20 most useful Google Doc templates I've found:

1) Infographics Toolbox

Illustrate your data with your own custom graphs, charts, maps and more. Yes, you can change the colors to match the style of your own documents and presentations.

2) Meeting Minutes

This simple document template for recording the minutes of meetings is suitable for any type of organization that holds formal committee or board meetings. It should be a help for those who are new to the Secretary position.

And if you're looking for some greater knowledge on how to take better meeting minutes, we've written a whole guide on how to write effective meeting minutes.

Meeting Minutes Checklist


3) Meeting Agenda Template

A very simple document to help you prep for your next board meeting and update your team of the agenda.

4) Communication Plan

Keep your project team all on the same page with a shared communication plan. When everyone knows what to expect, when, and what they are expected to provide, you can drastically cut down on potential misunderstandings and get the work done more efficiently. 

5) Holiday Card

Send your members holiday greetings with this easy-to-edit and print using this holiday card template.

6) Event Feedback Survey

This event feedback survey lets event organizers collect feedback from multiple-choice satisfaction levels to text-box comments and notes, such as suggestions for things that could be changed or improved the next time around.

7) Volunteer Survey

This survey tool allows organizations to survey their volunteers about their interests, skills, talents, and availability.

8) Online Petition

Creating an online petition for your cause just can’t get any easier than with this very basic Forms template. Edit to add your own petition text, and Google Forms will collect the responses. (To learn more, see Data Collection Made Easier with Google Forms and Spreadsheets.)

9) Business Plan with Social Impact Statement

This template is a complete business plan – and though it’s obviously designed for use in for-profit organizations, many non-profits will find the format useful as well. It includes sections for an Executive Summary, Industry Analysis, Marketing Plan, Competitive Analysis, Financials, and a Social Return On Investment Statement.

10) Invoicing Template

Send a professional looking invoice to all your clients with this easy-to-edit template.

google docs templates

11) Board Member Accountability Form

This form compiled by The Management Center is designed to help board members remain accountable to each other and the organization they serve.

12) Biweekly Timecard

Designed for small businesses, this timecard template will be equally handy for small non-profit organizations to keep track of employee hours. The spreadsheet will automatically calculate overtime and pay for each employee, but you might also want to use this to track the contributions of individual volunteers.

13) International Site Visitor Feedback Form

If you sometimes get blog comments or website contact through your website in a language other than your own, it can be difficult to distinguish between spam and valid feedback, or to know how to respond. Here’s a Google form with built-in “Detect language” and “Translate” formulas to translate that feedback on the fly.

14) Fixed Rate Service Calculator

This simple template will calculate the performance of anything where there is a fixed rate, different activities, and a time period. Non-profits who want to track, say, the hours of volunteer work that goes into various projects or tasks in a month, can use this template to create a graph of volunteer trending by date. And if you’re a real stats wonk, you can create more advanced charts to further analyze your volunteer activity over time and set targets for the future.

Google Docs Templates Nonprofit

15) Business Cards

You’ll find a number of business card templates in the Google Docs Template Gallery. This one, part of the “Red Blocks” style set, is an elegantly simple and professional-looking business card that should work for most organizations – just edit the text and add a logo to make it your own. Printing your business cards on an as-needed basis is not only an eco-friendly, paper-saving choice, but can save your organization both time and money when an employee or volunteer needs cards on a temporary basis or to take along to an unscheduled event.

16) Press Release Template

No fancy forms or graphics here, but a reminder of how document templates can make it easy to maintain consistent branding for your organization. Customize this simple template with your non-profit’s name, logo, and contact information, then you’ll be able to quickly create and distribute a professional-looking press release whenever your non-profit has news to share with the media.

17) Project Timeline

Project schedule template for project timeline tracking. This one is from the “Marine Theme” set which includes a variety of matching templates, but there are other looks to choose from as well.

18) Road Trip Expenses

This easy-to-use travel expenses calculator lets you quickly figure out who owes how much for what, when you’re travelling with your team. it’s set up for four people, and I like how Google explains that: “Why four? Because that's the ideal number that fits in a car, to save money, and above all, the environment.”

19) Comprehensive Travel Itinerary

Again, there’s nothing fancy here, but a very practical fill-in-the-blanks template for a travel itinerary that even sophisticated travelers will appreciate. Fill it out and share it with your colleagues and family via Google Docs, so everyone knows where you are. The template helps make sure that no vital details are left out – and it’s easy to update as needed if a flight is cancelled or your travel plans are fluid.

20) Sign-Up Sheet

This simple template lets members of your team sign up for various tasks – collaboration via Google Docs means they can see what others have already signed up for, and you’ll save a whole lot of time going back-and-forth by email. You might use this template to coordinate events, administrative tasks, etc. – even to organize the tension-fraught duty roster for your office lunchroom! Just fill in the appropriate dates, names, and tasks, then share the document with your colleagues or volunteers so they can fill in their responsibilities and contact details.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in August 2010 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.


Additional Resources for Those Interested in Google Docs Templates:

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 11:01 AM


  • Marc Baizman said:

    Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 8:25 AM

    These are great!  At YNPN Boston, we use and love Google Apps, so thanks for this awesome list of doc templates, I think we'll put the event feedback form to use right away.  :)  You guys rock!  

  • Jessica Sadoway said:

    Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 10:05 AM

    Thanks for these! There are some fun, unusual ones in here that I wouldn't have thought of.

    I would also add some policy templates (Whistleblower policy, Travel policy, etc.). These are often difficult to write from scratch because you don't know what you need to include. There's a great tool to create a social media policy, found here: <a href="http://socialmedia.policytool.net/">PolicyTool for Social Media</a>. That's a start.

  • Robert Rosenthal said:

    Thursday, 26 August 2010 at 5:41 PM

    Terrific! Definitely will share this with the VolunteerMatch community!


    Robert Rosenthal (@volmatch)

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Friday, 27 August 2010 at 5:41 AM

    Jessica, good call there! Policy development can be tough, and PolicyTool is indeed a good start -- kudos to internet/tech lawyer David Canton for helping 'rtraction' to develop it. :)  

    And for more help on social media policies for NPOs, in particular, see also:


    Marc and Robert, thanks very much -
    It was fun exploring the templates gallery to put this list together, so I'm very glad you've found it useful! :)

  • Chris  said:

    Friday, 27 August 2010 at 5:17 PM

    Nice! Very helpful... Thank you everyone for sharing.

  • Shauna said:

    Saturday, 02 October 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Unfortunately the templates I wanted I can't seem to access....

  • Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

    Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] said:

    Sunday, 03 October 2010 at 10:01 AM

    Shauna, can you give more information about which templates you're trying and what error message you're getting? I'll be glad to help you out if I can, but would need more details. :)

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