25 Nonprofit Tools to Reach More Members and Raise More Money

Terry Ibele 09 March 2016 5 comments

nonprofit tools members moneyThis is a guest post by Alexa Lemzy of TextMagic.

As a nonprofit manager, you’re always searching for free, or inexpensive ways to broaden your reach, attract new members, and collect more donations.

You have a list of strategies up your sleeve, but some of them aren’t working the same way they used to. Maybe it’s time to evaluate and refine them.

One area to consider is your online presence and network. With the speed that online technology moves at, it’s a good idea to keep on top of the latest trends. 

Take a look at this list of great online tools and tactics that every nonprofit manager should definitely take advantage of:

Email Marketing Software

This is an essential for any nonprofit. It's what you'll use as your first resource of communication. It's best to shop around for the software that fits your nonprofit's size, budget and needs. Some software companies offer discounts to nonprofits, so be sure to ask. Here are some email marketing tools to consider:

  • Get Response. Get Response offers an email creator, autoresponders, landing pages and webinars as well as list imports, A/B testing, and contract segmenting.
  • Vertical Response. Vertical Response offers free templates, autoresponders, and integrates with mobile devices and apps. They offer 10,000 email credits to nonprofits each month for free, or 15% off the monthly subscription.
  • Wild Apricot. Using Wild Apricot’s membership management software, you can instantly pull records for every person who’s ever interacted with your organization.

Social Media

Social Media is what everyone's talking about, but is all the hype really worth the effort? We say, yes! Plus it's simple to take advantage of the easy access and popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.:

  • Creating a Facebook page for your nonprofit will allow people to follow you as well as post, share and comment about your project. Facebook's Insights section can give you valuable information on how many people you're reaching, their age, geographical location, gender and lots of other potentially important demographics. In 2016, they're slotted to introduce their new Fundraiser/Donate button that you can add right to your page.
  • If you open a Twitter account, make sure to create a hashtag so that supporters can easily track and share information about your nonprofit.
  • LinkedIn can be another valuable social media platform to use. You can share news and promote your nonprofit on your profile and you can also reach out to professionals, donors or those with similar nonprofits who may be interested in helping with funding. 

Google For Nonprofits

Google offers a variety of wonderful free tools. Take a look at the some of the advantages Google offers specifically for nonprofits:

  • Google Ad Grants. Offers up to $10,000/month of AdWords advertising in order to promote your nonprofit's website, track donations, newsletter sign-ups, volunteer registrations and more.
  • YouTube Nonprofit Program. Provides a donation module so viewers can donate to your nonprofit straight from YouTube. Provides Call-To-Action overlays that allow viewers to donate, link to your website or find out more about your nonprofit.
  • Google Earth Outreach. Allows you to create a customized map of your project or a narrative Google Earth movie to make available on YouTube. 
  • Google Generosity. A mobile fundraising app that helps you promote your projects and raise funds. It also links to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more. 
  • Google Apps for Nonprofits. Unlimited email accounts for your staff with your branded domain, and cloud storage of 30GB. Plus you can collaborate through Google Docs, use Google Forms to create event sign-ups, assessment sheets, etc., manage appointments in Google Calendar and more. 

Fundraising Apps

There are a number of apps already out there that have been built specifically to help you meet your fundraising goals. Here's a short list of some good ones we've reviewed. 

  • Givelify. An easy-to-use donation app. A fun, extra for this app is the “Givelithon” feature, which is a live donation campaign that allows donors to watch and track donations come in. 
  • Givolio. A donation app that allows donors to export their giving history and print out tax reports.
  • Apple Pay. Though not specifically for nonprofits, Apple Pay is sure to become one of the most popular payment methods for iOS users. They promise safety and security and a one-touch payment system. 
  • One Today. It is a fundraising app that features various nonprofits and allows app users to give $1 to the nonprofit of their choice.

Create an App for Your Organization

Creating your own app has a lot of benefits. Studies show that 51% of internet traffic is now being conducted by mobile phones. An app has the benefit of reaching more users and allowing for donations and communications to be conducted through the app, rather than through various platforms:

  • Appery.io. Easy-to-use drag & drop app creation system has several different plans for apps depending on your needs. 
  • Buzztouch. An app creator that works with iOS and Android. It's open source and economically priced with a subscription of $15/month for unlimited apps.

Text Messaging Campaigns

Text messages have a huge benefit that no other medium has yet to come close to: they have a 98% open rate, as opposed to emails which only have a 22% open rate. Also, most text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received. Though text marketing has been seen as a tool for businesses, there's no reason why nonprofits can't benefit from it. Nonprofits, who use texting, report increased attendance at events and increased response for fundraising drives.

A couple of texting providers to consider:

  • ClubTexting. A texting app with special features for social groups and nonprofits. You can integrate it into your CRM, segment applicants and send reminders about volunteer activities and any events you organize.
  • Text Magic. A text messaging service for any type of business, foundation, or association. It allows you to craft personalized text messages, schedule and send out alerts. You can check out the stories of their nonprofit customers in their Case Studies.

Event Management Systems

It's a great idea to coordinate your events online. Not only will promotion be easier (you can share your event page through email, or Facebook), but you won't have to worry about processing all the registrations and payments yourself. If you're not doing so already, you'll need a way to coordinate your events, and there are lots of great tools for that. Here are some to check out:

  • Wild Apricot. Wild Apricot makes it easy to put your event listing on the web. Within a few minutes you can create a detailed listing with an event description, images and online registration form. You can even set up automated email messages to remind registrants of the upcoming event, or if they haven’t yet paid.
  • Eventbrite. Allows you to create and advertise your event in minutes. Your invitees can even pay online, and you can share your events on social media. A tracking system allows you to see how many people have registered and you can manage your tickets at the door. 
  • Eventzilla. Mobile friendly events website that makes it possible to sell tickets anywhere. Pay with PayPal, Stripe or WePay. 

Online Collaboration Tools

Collaborating online can speed up the process! Sharing information and communicating through email alone is only so efficient. There are a number of online tools available that were built specifically for making sharing easier. Check out these three:

  • HipChat. Have access to video calling and screen sharing with this group and private chat tool. You can use it on your mobile with an app, and it works with Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Linux.
  • Noodle. Allows you to share ideas, post documents, merge schedules, upload photos and collaborate on projects. 
  • Google Drive. With up to 15 GB of free online storage, Google Drive makes it easy store and share any files.

As you build your online presence and network for your nonprofit, these apps and tools will help you collaborate, effectively manage events and increase your donations. And, if you're looking for even more helpful tools, check out Wild Apricot's Nonprofit Tool Encyclopedia of 199 amazing free or cheap nonprofit software tools.


Alexa nonprofit tools members moneyAlexa Lemzy is the customer support specialist and blog editor at TextMagic. She is an expert in customer communication and community building, and is interested in current mobile marketing solutions. You can check out Alexa’s Twitter.

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Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Posted by Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

Published Wednesday, 09 March 2016 at 8:30 AM

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Comments

  • Matt Chandler said:

    Wednesday, 09 March 2016 at 12:14 PM
    Thanks for including Givelify in this great list.

    --Matt Chandler, Director of Digital Marketing, Givelify
  • Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

    Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot] said:

    Thursday, 10 March 2016 at 9:35 AM
    Hi Matt, no problem, I'll let Alexa know.
  • Alexa Lemzy said:

    Thursday, 10 March 2016 at 9:42 AM
    Hi Matt, my pleasure! You've developed a great and helpful product.
  • Garima said:

    Wednesday, 14 September 2016 at 2:42 AM
    A big thank you and a big hug for compiling this list. It's immensely helpful.
  • Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot]

    Terry Ibele [Learning Apricot] said:

    Wednesday, 14 September 2016 at 7:00 AM
    Hi Garima,

    Glad you've found it useful.
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