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How nonprofits can maximize their impact in a visual era

We’re proud to empower over half a million nonprofits with free visual communication tools to supercharge their impact. Here are some of the most effective ways nonprofits can use Canva.

We’ve always had an ambitious vision behind Canva, known as our Two-Step Plan(opens in a new tab or window) – Step One: build one of the world's most valuable companies, and Step Two(opens in a new tab or window): do the most good we can. Although a diverse range of work goes into our commitment to being a force for good, one of the most significant ways we design real change is through our free Canva for Nonprofits(opens in a new tab or window) program.

We know great design isn't just about aesthetics or an awe factor; it's the ability to drive meaningful change for people and communities. Design tools, and the skills to use these most effectively, are crucial to creating this change while capturing human attention in an increasingly visual world(opens in a new tab or window). That’s why we empower over 585,000 nonprofits globally(opens in a new tab or window) with visual communication tools to tell their story, amplify their impact, and achieve their goals.

Here are some of the best ways nonprofits can use Canva to maximize their impact in a visual era.

Photo of two people wearing Canva made volunteer t shirts. In the background there is an office with posters on the wall, made in Canva. These posters are designed for driving change.

Adopt a visual-first approach

Visual storytelling is a powerful way to build empathy with your audience, grow your community, and muster support for your cause – and our 2023 Visual Economy Report(opens in a new tab or window) found that customers now expect a brand’s content to be as visually appealing as their favorite social media platform.

Adopting a visual-first approach is no longer simply seen as best practice but a critical strategy for success – but producing a range of visual assets to suit different platforms can be challenging for lean nonprofit teams.

Image of a Canva designed social media tile saying 'Call for Volunteers'. The visual is blue with a speakerphone with flowers coming out of it.

We’ve got plenty of nonprofit resources(opens in a new tab or window) to help make a difference, alongside thousands of ready-made templates(opens in a new tab or window) to customize to help you tick off all your jobs to be done:

No matter your organization’s goal,
you’ll find a template(opens in a new tab or window) that’s fit for purpose.

Manage your brand in one place

Establishing your brand’s visual identity is a critical step for building awareness and credibility, and having access to one centralized hub(opens in a new tab or window) to store brand colors, logos, fonts, and more is an easy way to maintain a unified look across every new design. Whether you're starting from scratch or updating your existing assets, Canva’s Brand Kit(opens in a new tab or window) can help you establish brand consistency for all your collateral across every touchpoint.

Choose from millions of images

Not every organization has the funds or resources for content and photography shoots, which is why Canva’s photo editor(opens in a new tab or window) is home to millions of free, high-quality stock photos(opens in a new tab or window) and assets. We strive for Canva to be a true celebration of diversity(opens in a new tab or window), and although this is a lifelong journey, we’re continuously updating our content library with photography and illustrations highlighting underrepresented communities around the world. Search by theme or category to uncover seemingly endless options to dial up the wow factor in your designs or communicate a story in an impactful way.

Image of a range of different diverse photos from Canva's diverse content library

Need to enhance an image or make precise edits? No problem! Canva’s AI-powered photo editor(opens in a new tab or window) makes complex edits simple, from adding filters(opens in a new tab or window) or moving elements(opens in a new tab or window) to removing backgrounds(opens in a new tab or window) and expanding photos(opens in a new tab or window).

Easily build your own website

Whether you’re looking to share your organization’s unique story, increase event or fundraising awareness, or house valuable resources and guides for your community, gone are the days of needing to be a specialist developer or coder to be able to make a website. With Canva, you can easily build a beautiful, interactive, and intuitive website(opens in a new tab or window) in just a few clicks – and we’ve got a range of nonprofit templates ready for you to customize(opens in a new tab or window).

The drag-and-drop editor makes adding images, graphics, and text to your website effortless, and once live, analyzing its progress has never been easier. Canva’s website insights(opens in a new tab or window) take the guesswork out of future decisions by letting you know how it’s tracking, where your views and traffic are coming from, and how your engagement stacks up.

Print your designs

Bringing your designs to life couldn’t be easier with Canva Print(opens in a new tab or window). From flyers, banners, and signage to stickers, water bottles, and clothing, you can transform your designs into a wide range of high-quality items delivered right to your door.

It’s printing you can feel good(opens in a new tab or window) about, too – for every print order placed with Canva, we plant a tree(opens in a new tab or window).

Supercharge your teamwork

Canva isn’t just for external materials – in fact, the Visual Suite(opens in a new tab or window) is built for team collaboration through every stage of your workflow. Use Docs(opens in a new tab or window) and Presentations(opens in a new tab or window) for workshopping and planning, Whiteboards(opens in a new tab or window) for brainstorming or ideas mapping, and even Websites(opens in a new tab or window) for internal updates and sources of truth.

Image of a laptop showing a map design made in Canva

With staff working remotely across the country, Canva has become a critical tool for Wilderness Society(opens in a new tab or window) to create, engage, and collaborate. From using Brand Kit(opens in a new tab or window) to allow teams to easily access brand information to create materials at speed, to developing social media assets resulting in millions of engagements, to producing many successful campaigns in-house, Canva has become their primary tool.

Green quote card from Micaela Jemison, Manager of Content and Collaboration at Wilderness Society. The quote says: Canva has become our primary design tool and a huge part of our day-to-day business is now done in Canva, from digital advertising and petitions to designs for our website, emails, social media and internal reports.

Tell impactful stories with data

Data storytelling(opens in a new tab or window) is a powerful way to showcase your impact – from fundraising efforts and number tickers to visualizing households reached or even global heat maps to better tell your story. We’ve got a range of different visualization tools built into Canva to communicate your data in richer and engaging ways, from presentations and websites to even your social media content.

Keep learning and growing your skills

We love hearing stories of impact from our nonprofit community, and we’re always listening for ways we can improve your experience in Canva.

Stay up to date on the latest ways nonprofits can use Canva(opens in a new tab or window) with our Design School(opens in a new tab or window) tutorials and courses, or gain inspiration from your changemaker counterparts in our Case Studies(opens in a new tab or window) hub. You can also connect with your community in the Canva for Nonprofits Facebook Group(opens in a new tab or window) for regular updates and ideas sharing.

Ready to make a difference with Canva? Get started with Canva for Nonprofits(opens in a new tab or window) for free.

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Robyn leads Canva’s Social Impact work, identifying partnerships and programs that bring the best of Canva to help solve global challenges in the most impactful way possible.


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