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10 Free and Discount Nonprofit Marketing Tools

Posted on March 24, 2016 by

I’ve been involved in marketing nonprofit organizations for over 10 years, currently serving as Vice President on a nonprofit board. The challenge I always face is how to reach the largest audience with a limited budget. Luckily there are many marketing solutions from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and LinkedIn available for free or at discounted rates to charities and non-profit organizations. I’ve tried all of these solutions, and they have made a significant contribution towards the growth of the organizations I have worked with, while saving thousands of dollars in marketing and communication costs.

Taking advantage of these nine solutions can expose your organization to new audiences and generate more donations.


Google Ad Grants

The #1 most effective free nonprofit marketing solution available is Google Ad Grants, available through the Google For Nonprofits program.

The program offers $10,000 USD per month of in-kind advertising in Google AdWords; these are the ads that appear on the top of any Google search result.

These ads are displayed through an ad action, with all advertisers bidding the maximum they are willing to spend for every click on their ads. The Google Grant bid is capped at $2 USD making it difficult to compete with some paid advertisers and utilize the full budget available. To maximize the budget and get the full value of the program, the AdWords account should be set up utilizing all best practices including ad extensions. Nevertheless, the grant provides an incredible value. We recently set up this program for one of our clients at zag creative and saw some phenomenal results. The client received over 50,000 ad impressions leading to over 3,000 clicks at a value of over $2,000 Canadian in only one month.

If you need help applying, setting up or managing a Google Ad Grant, get in touch with us at zag creative, we’d be happy to help.

Visit Google Ad Grants for more information.


 YouTube Nonprofit Program

YouTube is another product offered with the Google for Nonprofits program. The main benefit offered by this feature is the ability to add call-to-action overlays on your videos. This can help you generate more visits to your website from a video. You can also add cards to your video to generate donations or link anywhere to a website.

Visit YouTube Nonprofit for more information.


Google Apps for Nonprofits

I always recommend that organizations, regardless of size, use a branded email address that matches your website (ex: This is an easy way to give your organization a more professional image.

Creating a custom Gmail address through Google Apps for Business will cost you about $5 per user per month. Fortunately, Google offers non-profit organizations unlimited email accounts, with 30GB of storage per account for free. In addition, you’ll get access to Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Calendar, Google Groups, and video conference calls for up to 15 participants.

Visit Google Apps for more information.


Office 365 Nonprofit

Office 365 is another email option and the largest competitor to Google Apps for Business. They also offer unlimited users but with 50 GB of storage. Office 365 has several advantages over Google Apps, such as shared contact groups, shared inboxes, meeting rooms, online versions of Microsoft Office, and a SharePoint intranet. The main disadvantage is that the webmail user interface is not as intuitive as Gmail.

If you need help deciding which email system will be best for your non-profit or assistance in setting it up, zag creative is happy to help.

Visit Office 365 Nonprofit for more information.


TechSoup Canada

To signup for Google Nonprofits, you’ll need to be registered for TechSoup Canada, a nonprofit that partners with top software companies to provide free software licenses to nonprofit organizations.

In addition to qualifying organizations for Google Nonprofits, TechSoup offers donated software from leading companies such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Intuit QuickBooks, Sage 50 (Formerly Simply Accounting), as well as software specifically designed for nonprofits such as Sumac Contact Relationship Management.

Visit TechSoup Canada for more information.


Vistaprint Non Profits

Printing your marketing material can be another expensive need for any nonprofit. Vistaprint is an online printing company that fast and reasonably priced printing. Before you place your order, reach out to their customer support and they will likely offer you a discount such as 33% off + free economy shipping on paid orders.

Visit Vistaprint for more information.


MailChimp and Constant Contact for Nonprofits

Keeping in touch with your supporters is vital in managing a nonprofit organization. One of the easiest and cost effective ways to do this is through an e-newsletter. Two of the leading providers of e-newsletters are MailChimp and Constant Contact. MailChimp claims that over 200,000 nonprofits are already using Mailchimp and offers a 15% discount. Constant Contact offers a 20% discount with pre-paying for 6 months and a 30% discount when pre-paying for a 12 month subscription.

Not sure which platform is best for your organization? zag creative can help you decide as well as with setup and template design.

Visit MailChimp or Constant Contact for more information.


LinkedIn for Nonprofits

LinkedIn offers resources on how nonprofits can leverage the professional capabilities of the platform, as well as discounts for job postings.

If you’re searching for skilled volunteers and board members for you nonprofit, LinkedIn offers 90% off a 30-day job post. The website claims that over 10 million members have shown interest to volunteer or serve on a board through LinkedIn.

If you’re hiring a paid position, LinkedIn offer 50% off a job post, which regularly costs over $200. LinkedIn job posts can be an effective hiring method by reaching over 400 million professionals worldwide.

Visit LinkedIn for Nonprofits for more information.


Facebook for Nonprofit

Unfortunately Facebook does not currently provide any in-kind advertising or exclusive features for nonprofits.

Facebook, however, does offer specific advice and resources on how nonprofits can benefit from using Facebook on their Facebook for Nonprofits website. They also have a “Donate” call to action for Facebook pages with a nonprofit category.

Facebook is currently testing, with select charities in the US, the ability to donate right within Facebook. You can check this feature out by clicking on the Donate button on the World Wildlife Fund’s Facebook Page. We’re hoping that this expands to more charities and countries in the near future.

Visit Facebook for Nonprofit for more information.

Canva for Nonprofits

We have used Canva for several of our clients and its a great low-cost and easy to use platform for web and social media graphics. Canva supports nonprofits by providing free access to “Canva for Work”, their premium model, to all eligible nonprofit organizations.

Visit Canva for Nonprofits for more information.

Using these 10 marketing tools, your nonprofit can significantly increase its reach and save money at the same time. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions or need any help with your nonprofit.



3 New Facebook Ad Formats You Should Know About to Grow Your Business

Posted on October 29, 2015 by

There have been a lot of changes to Facebook’s advertising platform over the last few months, as Facebook tries to compete with Google AdWords in the display advertising market. The zag creative interactive marketing team is always monitoring and testing the latest innovations in digital advertising to get the best bang for our clients’ buck. Here are three of the latest innovations in Facebook advertising that you should be aware of.

Instagram Ads

Facebook, who owns Instagram, has been slowly rolling out Instagram advertising to select agencies and at the end of September they opened it up to everyone. Instagram integrates seamlessly with Facebook’s existing ad platform, it allows for all of the same demographic, interest and behavioural targeting. Instagram has over 400 million users and they claim that ad recall from sponsored Instagram posts was 2.8x higher than other online advertising.

As an active Facebook agency advertiser, zag creative was given early access to test out the platform with some of our clients and the results were impressive! For one client, engagement through post likes showed a 188% increase compared to likes on similar sponsored posts on Facebook and new followers to the page were also significantly higher. We were able to generate the best engagement and the lowest cost per click with interesting photo creative. Overall, the cost per clicks showed a 64% decrease compared to similar Facebook newsfeed ads. As the popularity and competition of Instagram advertising increases, we expect the cost to go up, but we’re enjoying it while it lasts.

Click to Website Video Ads

Another significant change to Facebook advertising this month was the ability to add videos in a Click To Website ad format. We’ve seen some great results from Facebook Video Ads with videos views costing as low as 2 cents, while this provided great branding for our clients, it did not provide as many clicks to the website as the Click to Website ads. This change brings the best of both worlds, with auto playing video to catch the attention of the user, as well as the easy click to the website for more information.

Lead Ads

Another ad type that was made available to all advertisers this month was Lead ads. We believe lead ads are going to be a game changer in the lead generation industry. The ads make the mobile signup process easier by automatically populating contact information that people have given Facebook, like email addresses. It previously took significant resources to develop a website that would collect the name and email address of potential customers. The Lead ad makes this process seamless and highly effective. If you are a business that collects contact information from potential customers for you to follow up with, we recommend giving this ad type a try. Facebook has built this ad type with the user’s privacy in mind. Users have the option to edit their contact information, which isn’t sent to the advertiser until the user clicks “submit”. Advertisers must also agree that they will not sell or share this contact information to another party.

If you have any questions about Facebook advertising, or if you’re interested in growing your business through Facebook advertising, we’d love to hear from you.

Get in touch with us!