You no longer need to be a graphic designer to create quality images for your nonprofit, thanks to Canva. You can easily create professional visuals to help spread your message with your community, both in person and online.
There are incredible templates, tools, and resources available for nonprofits these days, Canva being one of the best and most popular since their launch in 2012. The basic version is free, but there is also a paid “Pro” version available that many businesses and educational professionals use.
If you are a nonprofit, you are in luck! The pro version is available to you free of charge.
In this article, we will answer the following questions to help your nonprofit get started:
What is Canva?
Canva is a graphic design platform that allows users to create all different types of graphics online. You can create trendy, professional images for your organization, or even just for yourself! As it says on their website, "Design Anything!" Having a solid visual brand for your nonprofit is an essential part of a good communication strategy.
They offer thousands of templates to help you get inspired and easily customize your graphics.
You can create things like:
- Social media posts
- Business cards
- Permission slips
Canva has the added benefit of being a collaborative tool. Several users can work simultaneously on the same account, and you can invite any other Canva user to make edits on your images.
How Do You Use Canva?
One of the benefits of Canva is its simplicity. With the easy-to-use drag and drop functionality, everyone on your team can create professional graphics that communicate your organization's mission.
When you begin creating a document, you have the possibility to start from a predefined format, or you can define the dimensions yourself. You can start with any template specifically designed for the image you are looking to create. From there, you can simply add the elements according to your inspiration!
For example: You have a fundraiser coming up and you want to design a fun and engaging poster.
Go to the Templates section and do a quick search, as shown below.
Once you find a design you like, you can get started by customizing colors, fonts, graphic, adding content, elements, and more.
Once you are satisfied with your creation, you can download your poster in the format you choose (JPG, PNG, PDF) and voila! You have your poster ready to print, post, and share.
If you are a beginner to Canva or if you are just looking to gain some extra skills and knowledge, there are plenty of resources you can take advantage of.
We suggest you go to the section "Getting started with Canva" and go through the videos to give you a good idea of the platform. It should look something like this:
Go deeper by poking around and see what you find relevant. They even host courses and tutorials! Check out the Design School Page to learn more.
With Canva Pro, you also have access to resources to further your graphic design skills. These resources include:
- Font combinations
- Photo editor
- Color wheel
- Palette generator
- Logo maker
- Teaching materials
- Ideas and inspiration
Is My Nonprofit Eligible?
Canva offers a free registration process for your nonprofit to receive Canva Pro with the Canva For Nonprofits program. They do, however, have some criteria for eligibility.
If you are outside of the United States, head over to this link to check your eligibility. If not, this is all you need to know to be accepted to the program:
- Organizations must have a 501(c)3 designation
- Organizations must have a recognized charitable organization status/ documentation
- Public health organizations and government entities assisting with public health (at the discretion of Canva) are eligible
- Organizations under group exemption (i.e. Churches) must still obtain recognition of 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS to be eligible
- Cannot be a K-12 school, college, or university
- Cannot be a fiscally sponsored organization
- Cannot be a political or labor organization
- Cannot be an individual
If you fall within these guidelines, we suggest you give Canva a try!
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