8 Essential Marketing Tools, Tech, and Software for Nonprofits
Nonprofit organizations face unique marketing and sales challenges on tight budgets—so choosing the right tools and software is essential.
For nonprofits, marketing can be especially stressful, as organizations must find ways to stand out in crowded, competitive markets while managing the constantly evolving landscape.
HubSpot is one of the most popular tools in a modern marketing tech stack, for good reason. Touted as an all-in-one digital platform, HubSpot features a plethora of marketing tools for inbound marketing, outbound marketing, customer relationship management, sales, operations, and more.
The sheer number of tools can seem intimidating, but it helps to break down the tools by the five hubs: Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, CMS Hub, Customer Service Hub, and Operations Hub. HubSpot offers many free tools from each hub, like a calendar scheduling tool and basic email marketing, although those often feature HubSpot branding.
Let’s break down a bit of what each hub offers.
HubSpot Marketing Hub:
- Email marketing
- Landing pages
- Social media management
- Customizable forms
- Analytics dashboards
- Video hosting
- SEO tools
- Content creation tools
HubSpot Sales Hub:
- Contact management
- Quotes and deal pipeline
- Electronic signatures
- Email sequences with smart send times
- Predictive lead scoring
- Sales automation
HubSpot CMS Hub:
- Drag-and-drop webpage editor
- SEO recommendations
- Live chat
- Security monitoring
- Dynamic content
HubSpot Customer Service Hub:
- Basic bots
- Email scheduling
- Service automation
- Customer feedback
- Video creation
- Knowledge base
- Custom support fields
HubSpot Operations Hub:
- Data and historical sync
- App Marketplace integration
- Workflow extensions
- Team management and permissions
Over 4,000 nonprofits around the world utilize HubSpot for Nonprofits. Qualified organizations get a 40% discount on their subscription.
Vaulted is proud to be a HubSpot Partner. We can help you make the most of your HubSpot tools through HubSpot audits, onboarding, implementation , and more.
When it comes to email marketing automation, Intuit Mailchimp is the biggest name out there. Mailchimp offers email marketing that includes automation, segmentation, and personalization, along with customizable templates, customer journeys, detailed reporting, transactional emails, and more.
Mailchimp has expanded beyond email, though, with digital ads, landing pages, social media management, websites, online stores, appointment scheduling, and content creation. Mailchimp also integrates with a huge range of software and platforms that are vital to the day-to-day operations of many nonprofit organizations.
Mailchimp can be a great option for a nonprofit marketing team that’s doing it themselves, thanks to their extensive Marketing Library teeming with resources and guides.
Mailchimp offers several tiers of plans, including a free tier, with discounts available for nonprofits.
In the digital world, Salesforce is a behemoth like no other, with companies of all sizes using various tools from the company. Above all, Salesforce is a CRM, or customer relationship management system, which facilitates the relationships between an organization and its prospects and customers through project management, messaging, and more. Salesforce has expanded to include digital platforms that cover nearly every aspect of a company’s operations, from commerce cloud to Slack for messaging and marketing tools.
Nonprofit Success Pack
Salesforce tailors its offerings to nonprofit organizations with Salesforce for Nonprofits, and its Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) features key tools for fundraising, program management, and marketing. Salesforce reported that their nonprofit users saw 130% increase in total online giving.
Salesforce does require much more thorough onboarding and implementation than other platforms, which may be an important consideration for nonprofit teams that have limited time on their hands. Salesforce can be integrated with platforms of all types through custom integrations or through their AppExchange, which connects data through just a few clicks.
4. Google for Nonprofits
Google is one of the most powerful operators in the digital marketing sphere, featuring both paid advertising through search ads and display networks as well as organic search results. Most businesses spend time curating an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy to attempt to manage and improve their ranking on Google search results pages, and many marketing team supplement that work with Google Ads.
Luckily for nonprofit organizations, there is Google for Nonprofits, which includes Google Ad Grants. Google for Nonprofits can “[s]pread the word about your nonprofit’s mission, engage new supporters, fundraise in more ways online,” according to its website.
Google Ad Grants
Google Ad Grants give qualified organizations up to $10,000 per month in in-kind advertising on Google Search. That’s up to $10,000 worth of search engine marketing ads that appear alongside competitor ads, at no cost to your organization. These ads can drive more traffic to your website, increase conversions, and raise awareness for your cause.
While Google does offer a large library of learning modules, the platform can still be overwhelming to a nonprofit marketing team. Vaulted can help, providing the expertise to optimize your in-kind advertising and make the most of the grant.
In addition to Google Ad Grants, Google for Nonprofits includes the following programs:
- Google Workspace for Nonprofits
- YouTube Nonprofit Program
- Google Earth and Maps
Looker Studio (formerly Google DataStudio)
Every marketing team knows the struggle of showing your results, since marketing can be inherently tricky to track success and goals. For nonprofit marketing, that challenge can be even greater with multiple groups seeking proof of success for every dollar spent on marketing. Thus, these marketing teams often need to put together a dashboard or report that shows key performance indicators (KPIs).
Looker Studio, formerly called Google DataStudio, is a great option for a free, interactive reporting platform. Looker Studio can easily connect to 21 direct data sources, like your Google Ads, plus hundreds of Partner Connectors that bring in data from other platforms and sources.
You can create visualizations including:
- Bar charts
- Area charts
- Bubble maps
- Heat maps
- Pivot tables
- And more
These visualizations can be displayed with multiple controls, such as a date range selector, allowing users to easily view different sets of data. This means you can deliver interactive data instead of static data. Your reports can be shared with automation or embedded into webpages.
If your organization puts together events, you’ll definitely want to find the right platform to manage ticketing and organization, like Eventbrite, a popular event management software. Eventbrite products include payment systems, mobile ticket apps, community engagement tools, QR codes for check-in, and more.
You can create multiple ticket types, so if you have free tickets as well as various paid levels of tickets, they can all be purchased from and managed in the same place. You can also utilize Eventbrite Boost to market your event and sell more tickets.
Eventbrite can handle several of the major stressors of nonprofit event planning, including automated ticketing and event reminders for attendees. The platform also has a special Organizer App to make it easy to manage the event from a mobile device.
Eventbrite can also be used for virtual events, which are common in today’s post-pandemic world. Eventbrite focuses on creating immersive online events that feature seamless integrations with Zoom, Vimeo, Youtube, Twitch, and other platforms.
When it comes to digital marketing, graphic design is one of the most important pillars—but often also one of the most challenging. Many marketing teams rely on complex but powerful design tools like Figma and Adobe Illustrator, which may be out of reach for the typical nonprofit marketing team.
Nonprofits can use a graphic design platform like Australian-based Canva to bridge the gap between high-level graphic design and easy-to-create assets. Designs are created by modifying templates or through the intuitive drag-and-drop builder. Canva offers a free tier that includes many templates, fonts, and designs, but we recommend upgrading to Canva Pro or Canva for Teams if your nonprofit marketing team will be relying on the platform.
The Pro version offers extensive templates created both by Canva and members of the Canva community, so you’re sure to find a suitable template for your needs. You can also create a brand kit that centralizes your fonts, colors, logo, and more, which is easily accessible while you’re designing.
With Canva, you can design a multitude of assets, such as:
- Social media images
- QR codes
- Business cards
If you’re in need of graphic design support, it’s worth checking out the free offering from Canva to see if it fits the needs of your nonprofit marketing team.
Your website, ads, social media profiles, and other digital assets are highly visual in nature, therefore requiring quality images. While you probably have some images of your nonprofit organization, it’s unlikely that you’ll have as many as are needed to continually use unique images across all of your platforms.
A stock image provider, like Shutterstock, bridges that gap by offering a massive inventory of images, videos, graphics, and more. With a subscription to Shutterstock, nonprofit marketing teams can find, license, and download photos and assets for nearly any project.
Stock images have a bad reputation for being cheesy or easily identifiable, but the inventory provided by Shutterstock and similar companies has come a long way. Photos can be found that are authentic-looking, featuring diverse people, places, and activities. Shutterstock even shows how frequently a particular stock image or asset has been used, so overly popular images can be avoided.
Shutterstock even has an AI image generator. This tool, like Fotor, creates new images using artificial intelligence and a user-submitted prompt. If you can’t find the image you’re looking for, AI may be able to generate it!
If your team needs images less frequently or has a constrained budget, there are free stock image alternatives like Pexels and Unsplash. Their inventories may not be as expansive as Shutterstock, but they often feature unique and less-used assets.
8. Social Media
Social media can feel like an afterthought to an overworked marketing team; however, these platforms are an undeniable part of a successful business plan. Potential customers and your industry at large will often first interact with your brand via social media, which is, by nature, a casual and personable format.
Nonprofit marketing teams must walk a tightrope when developing a social media persona. Social media accounts must be used aptly without looking too informal, depending on the organization. Trends come and go within days or even hours, so social media must be managed with urgency and timeliness at top of mind.
Ask these questions when planning social media marketing for a nonprofit:
- Who is our target audience? Which platforms do they use?
- Should we run paid advertising campaigns on social media platforms?
- How much time can our team invest in social media?
- Should we participate in trends?
- What should our brand voice be like (if different from on other platforms)?
Let’s break down a few of the major social media platforms and how nonprofits can utilize them.
Meta (Including Facebook and Instagram)
As anyone who has seen The Social Network knows, Facebook is one of the forefathers of modern social media. Today, Facebook is managed under the umbrella company of Meta, which also owns image and video sharing app Instagram and messaging network WhatsApp. Meta claims to connect more than three billion people around the world across its platforms.
For business owners and marketing teams, Meta created Meta Business Suite. Within the Business Suite, users can:
- Post to Instagram and Facebook
- Send and manage messages
- Create targeted ads
- View analytics
- Reach new audiences
- Monetize content
Similar to Google for Nonprofits, Social Impact Partnerships at Meta are tailored programs for nonprofits to establish their pages, fundraise, gain new followers, and manage advertising.
Facebook and Instagram both provide unique networks that may or may not be right for your organization to utilize. It’s also worth noting that Meta has frequently made headlines for various practices, so your nonprofit marketing team would want to ensure to stay in the know.
Chinese-owned Tiktok is certainly the talk of the town when it comes to social media. The video-sharing mobile app is a go-to for Gen Z while being banned from employee use by some organizations and parts of government.
While most nonprofit organizations may decide to stay away from controversial Tiktok, others can find great success there, depending on the content they produce. For example, many nonprofits that work with animals, such as dog shelters and cat trap-neuter-return programs, can gain popular followings that spread awareness for their causes.
Other Social Media Platforms
Social media profiles do offer a useful place for customers to connect with feedback or seeking assistance, if the profile is closely monitored and messages are replied to.
Platforms should be selected based on current audience and desired audience, plus the type of content and advertising your marketing team produces. Other social media platforms include:
Find the Right Tech Stack for Your Nonprofit
Nonprofit marketing teams can choose from a huge range of industry-focused software as well as tailored tech solutions from larger platforms, like Google for Nonprofits. It can feel totally overwhelming to have to navigate that space while still delivering on your business goals.
At Vaulted, we can help you optimize the tools you already use and select the right ones to add to your tech stack. We focus on being nimble and aligned with your goals while acknowledging the unique challenges nonprofit organizations face.