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Five free marketing tools for charities

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20 June 2024

by Jodie Hoskin

Marketing Manager at Media Trust.

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Article

There are hundreds of tools out there for charities looking to create high-quality content and campaigns. Here are five free tried and tested marketing tools that we think stand out from the crowd.

Here at Media Trust, we know first-hand the importance of equipping charity sector staff with cost-effective, user-friendly, and accessible online tools that help tell vital stories. Whether the story is about a new life-changing service or a great testimonial from a beneficiary, it’s crucial that charities know what tools are out there to help them communicate their message. 

There are many marketing tools available that can help make impactful content, design, and advertising campaigns a reality for charities of all sizes. Here are five free tried and tested marketing tools that we think stand out from the crowd.  

Canva 

There’s no denying the value of engaging, visual, and thought-provoking graphics, and images for charities. If you sit within a micro or small-sized charity and need a simple way to edit images and create social media graphics, then Canva is for you. 

Canva offers all qualifying non-profits their unique Canva Premium tool for free. Charities can set up team accounts, embed their charity colours and fonts into the brand kit, and create templates to save time and resources. 

Canva doesn’t require you to be an expert in graphic design, which is why so many charities rely on this online tool for their social media and website assets. If you’re a complete beginner, or want to top-up your skills, Canva’s online design school is a great place to start.  

Find out more and see if your charity is eligible at Canva’s website. 

Linktree 

As many readers may already know, the term ‘link in bio’ is very popular on platforms such as X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram where character limits are in place and captions do not have clickable links. 

Linktree simplifies the process by having one short link that can be placed in any social media bio or caption that takes you to a Linktree landing page which charities can customise. Think donation pages, event links, website content and latest news posts; all in one place.  

Need an example? Take a look at Media Trust’s Linktree page. 

Via Linktree, you can: 

  • Track clicks on specific links 
  • Format your Linktree page to suit your charity’s style and branding 
  • Update your links easily to ensure followers are seeing your most recent fundraisers, campaigns and content 

The team a Linktree offer charities a pro account completely free of charge, allowing charities to create their own bespoke Linktree landing page at no cost. 

Find out more about signing up for a charity account at Linktree’s website. 

Google Ad Grants 

Have you ever wondered where your charity is being featured on online search results? With the help of Google Ad Grants, charities can access a free marketing budget to help match their cause to keywords searched via Google. 

Charities can use Google Ad Grants to target specific locations and keywords to drive visitors and engagement to their websites. Many charities use their Ad Grants to: 

  • Increase online traffic 
  • Recruit volunteers 
  • Generate individual giving and donations 
  • Raise awareness of key topics 
  • Market and publicise events 

Each qualifying non-profit has access to up to £7,500 per month of search ads shown on Google. For charities with a limited marketing and communications budget, using the Google Ad Grants scheme is a great way to start building an online advertising presence.  

To find out more about eligibility and how to access the Google Ad Grants scheme via the Google Grants website. 

Answer the Public 

It’s no secret that charities are creating new and engaging content despite limited time, staff, and budget. It’s therefore vital that every piece of content meets our audience’s needs. But how can we be sure what our audiences are interested in? 

Enter: Answer the Public. 

Answer the Public is a free online marketing tool that provides valuable insights into what people are searching for online. 

By knowing what people across the UK are searching for, staff working in communications and marketing across the charity sector can tailor their content accordingly. 

Regardless of whether you work in a medium-sized mental health charity or in a grassroots climate action group, utilising the Answer the Public search function can  identify the search queries people have about your cause. These insights can support you in creating content ranging from social media posts to captivating press articles, ready to resonate directly with your audience. 

Results are displayed in visually engaging ways via ‘search clouds’, allowing users to easily navigate the key questions that people are asking related to their chosen keyword and cause. 

The basic version of Answer the Public is free to use and offers up to three keyword searches a day at no cost. Start searching on Answer the Public today via their website. 

Copy AI 

Charities often need to create a significant amount of content over short spaces of time. Yet, research* shows that around 57% of small and medium-sized charities have only one person responsible for communications.  

Copy AI offers huge benefits for small and medium-sized charities who need clear, impactful, and persuasive copy to attract the attention of potential funders, donors, and service users. The chat function can quickly generate content ideas for your charity’s email newsletters copy or website text, allowing staff to make continuous edits and ask questions along the way. 

Many of us in the marketing and communications world have shared concerns about using AI in content creation. After all, isn’t writing copy at the heart of our jobs? But rather than diminishing the impact of our roles, AI tools like Copy AI can save us precious time and energy, allowing staff to focus on other parts of the job. 

The platform is free to use at the basic user level, allowing users to generate up to 2,000 words per month. Find out more about whether Copy AI can support your charity at their website. 

*Report from Institute of Fundraising and the Small Charities Coalition 

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