By: Katelyn Foehner
Big Buzz Idea Group
As many nonprofit executive leaders know, your title encompasses much more than what it states. Many executive directors serve as not only the ED but the bookkeeper, event planner, communications guru and everything in between. Finding easier ways to get the job done is essential to fulfilling all your tasks.
Insert Canva into the equation to save stress, time and money. Canva is a free-to-use online design platform. While many people use it to create images for social media, Canva can be used to create t-shirt designs, invitations, blog banners, business cards, and much more. Best of all, did I mention that the website is FREE?
Here are three reasons why your organization should use Canva.
The possibilities are endless. As someone who employs Canva solely for social media posts, I only use three or four templates. I was stunned to learn that Canva has over 8,000 templates for presentations, posters, flyers and much more. You can use a blank-slate template and customize it with the background, text and elements of your choice, or save time and use one of their custom templates that can be filled in and edited to your choosing. They do have templates in various categories ranging from advocacy, education, special events and more, which are ideal for nonprofit organizations that have a specialized social cause. Simply choose one and tweak it to fit your needs.
There are also thousands of elements that can be added to designs, such as shapes, stickers, charts, lines and drawn objects. There are also hundreds of font options, as well as font combinations, which (as a font lover) I am obsessed with.
Another great feature: Canva offers thousands of free stock photos AND videos! We all know how tight budgets can be, and iStock usage fees add up. Canva’s photos are high quality, as are the video clips, which can be inserted into your design and edited as needed. You can add text and different elements into the photos and videos, fidget with the positioning and much more. For most of our clientele’s social media, we try to use real photos, but in the instance that we don’t have one, Canva is a great alternative. The best part about their free photos is that they don’t look like the standard, posed stock photo. They look authentic.
When finished, you can easily save your designs as a PNG, JPG, PDF standard, PDF print or video. The possibilities are truly endless for using Canva. If only we got paid to endorse them!
Free, Free, Free! While there is an upgrade to a Canva Pro account, it isn’t necessary; each design template is free, and most of the elements are free, and the quality is exceptional. If you’re using Canva for basic needs like creating a social media post, all you need are the free elements. Canva has many options for almost anything you can think of. You can also upload your own photos for free and insert them into your designs. If you want to go the creative route, add in a free gif or two to spice up your social channels. If social media isn’t a priority, Canva offers hundreds of free templates for other uses and applications. Here at Big Buzz Idea Group, we believe that nonprofit storytelling is a powerful marketing strategy, and Canva can help you tell your story. Simply plug in the statistics and photos, and your story unveils – whether it’s in a presentation for your Board members, an infographic for an Annual Appeal campaign or as invitations for a fundraising event, the end result is polished and professional. And free.
Anyone can use it. When I first started at Big Buzz, I had never heard of Canva. All I knew was that the program was used by a previous employee to create social media posts and that I was going to have to teach myself how to use it. Fortunately, it’s a super simple platform that is very user friendly since most everything is self-explanatory. For those who struggle with technology, they offer two-minute video tutorials that are very helpful when learning the program. If you’ve never used Canva, I highly suggest watching the videos to familiarize yourself with the basics of the program, design tips, Canva Pro and you can even create a brand kit. For smaller organizations with no budget for design, this is an amazing tool. Whether you’re a staff of one or twenty, anyone can achieve your organization’s design goals with Canva.
Feeling creative yet? Whether you’re familiar with Canva or not, it’s a game-changing resource that goes well beyond the simple design element. It’s great to use for creating designs but it opens up a whole new world of possibilities for your organization. And I did mention it’s free, right?