The world around us is becoming an increasingly paperless one. Having a digital presence and using technology in the right way can make a huge difference to the work of a charity. It can help to increase presence and awareness, help promote events and campaigns more efficiently and much, much more. Pairing the fact that 57% of CEOs report that digital technologies help to reduce attrition rates with the fact that many charities lack the employees they need and deserve, the digital world never seemed so welcomed.

Charities with a digital strategy are far better placed to communicate with a wider and more engaged audience. With donors merely having to tap to donate and more and more charity shops going contactless, charitable giving is becoming easier by the day. However, this can sometimes be a costly development. To help make the transition to digital a smoother and less costly process, whatCharity have provided 5 free (and low-cost with subscriptions!) solutions to helping charities to embrace the digital world…

1. A CRM System – e.g. Hubspot

A good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can make all the difference when handling data.

Systems like Hubspot allow charities to manage business relationships and the data associated with them quickly and easily, all in one place. These services allow you to categorise contacts according to their status (e.g. volunteer, donor, business contact, beneficiary etc). You can also add notes to your colleagues and set alerts which makes communication with all stakeholders much more relevant and timely.

This eliminates the need for a lot of paperwork and keeps things as simple as possible so you can concentrate your time on the things that really matter. Just remember to comply with GDPR requirements!

The basic version of Hubspot is completely free. Check it out here.

2. Social Media Scheduling Tools – e.g. Hootsuite, SmarterQueue

Social media is the world’s fastest growing and trendiest means of communication. Using social media correctly can have massive benefits to a charity. It’s ideal for promoting your cause, developing your brand style, getting information out there about events you’re holding and keeping your followers up to date with knowledge that’s relevant to them.

If your charity is daunted by the idea of creating content and keeping up to date with posting it regularly, there are tools out there to help to manage the load.

Take Hootsuite for example, you simply choose the platforms you want to use (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest), create content (can be one-off content or regular), and schedule it for the time and date you want it to go out. Creating content and posting in one, two, three or four-week slots helps you to see the bigger picture and focus on the entire task at once.

You can even create content that can be pushed out on social media regularly without you having to think about it. This is perfect for key messages and content which you can push out frequently to help your charity promote its mission and ideas.

Visit Hootsuite or check out SmarterQueue.

3. Video Editing Tools – e.g. Blender, Shortcut, Lightworks

Videos are a great and increasingly important way of capturing people’s attention. They can be used in emails, on social media and played at events. People might be put off creating videos because they assume a professional videographer and fancy software is required to shoot, edit and complete them.

Fortunately, this is not the case. There are many free and low-cost video editing tools out there that allow you to add your logo, add text, edit the video length and much more. Simply record on your mobile phone camera and fine-tune it with an editing tool. Softwares like Blender can do all the hard work for you, requiring minimal skill and effort to create superb videos for your charity.

Of course there is still a place for professionally scripted and shot high-quality videos. But updates on your work, impact and thank you notes for donors and volunteers can be done in a more real-time, self-made, and personal way.

Find out more about Blender here, visit Shortcut here, or explore Lightworks here.

help your charity embrace digital

4. A place to source creatives – e.g. People Per Hour

Need a web designer to make changes on your website? Trying to source a copywriter for your email marketing campaigns? Looking for a graphic designer to create a logo or flyer? It can be difficult to know where to look when you need a freelancer to help with aspects of running your charity. The time it takes to create job listings and uncertainty over price can often hinder people when it comes to taking action!

People Per Hour is a fantastic website that allows you to post your job requirements for free and receive proposals from people who are able to complete your work, both remotely and on site. Hourly rates are clearly shown and you can easily speak to several candidates at once to compare their offers before committing. There’s also only a very small commission when you accept somebody’s offer.

Explore the People Per Hour platform here

5. Event Ticket Sales Platform – e.g. FIXR

FIXR is a platform that allows you to create charity events and start selling tickets in just a few minutes. Their booking platform is completely free for event organisers and booking fees are the lowest in the market.

Customers can buy tickets via the FIXR website or via apps and widgets you can embed within your own website or Facebook page. You can create your very own ticket booth on your website or Facebook page with no cost!

Check out FIXR now

Begin embracing digital today. See how these free platforms could work for your charity, and if you love them, and it’s worth it for you, try the subscription packages! Digital options can allow for both charities and users to interact more smoothly with your charity platform.

Good luck,
the whatCharity team 🙂

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