FREE Tools for the Small-Shop Fundraiser

Limited time and financial resources means nonprofits are constantly looking for ways to make their work more effective and efficient. Over the years I’ve identified a few tools that have revolutionized my work. 

And the best part? They’re all completely free (well, except for one).

Fundraising Report Card

For small shops, Fundraising Report Card will absolutely transform your reporting world. There are some limitations on number of records that you can upload, however the Dashboard outputs will simplify – and enhance – your fundraising reports. From analyzing simple stats like retention rates to more complicated analyses around lapsed donors and donation frequency, your annual fundraising plans will thank you. 


Have you ever wondered about a donor that comes across their desk and, after an hour-long Google search, you really don’t know much more? By this point you’re trying to figure out how you can move the budget around to spend upwards of $5,000 on a donor prospect tool. 

If you don’t have the wiggle room, DSGIVING is a great place to start. DSGIVING is a free prospect research tool provided by DonorSearch. While it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles that you would find in a paid subscription to DonorSearch you will gain a better understanding of a donor’s charitable and political giving. 

P.S. If your organization uses a donor management software, check with your sales rep to see if they now an offer an integration to DonorSearch. Systems, like Bloomerang, now offer this at a reasonable price.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is my go-to for quickly editing an image for a social media post. It’s literally a drag-and-drop service and is a great complement for when you just need to resize an image.

Bonus: when you upload the image there is an option to choose the various platforms where you will the image all at once. 


As many organizations pivoted operations and fundraising campaigns online we all learned the power of digital fundraising. Sometimes we need a graphic designer to create a stunning digital campaign but more often than not we need to design a quick graphic to accompany an email or social media post. Canva provides a free version that is simple to use yet results in professional-looking graphics. 

With Sprout Social and Canva your digital fundraising campaigns will never look so good AND take such little effort.


On the subject of developing quick, professional designs it’s incredibly important to ensure a color scheme aligns throughout the entire campaign, as well as your organization’s branding. Coolors is a fun tool that helps you identify complimentary palettes and actually keep track of it all. Plus, you can even identify a color palette simply by uploading a photo!

Campaign URL Builder

Once you’ve ready to launch a digital campaign, how are you measuring its efficacy? Hopefully you’re already using Google Analytics to better understand your website visitors and you’re ready to take it to the next level with Campaign URL Builder.

(If you’re not hooked into Google Analytics, check out a few articles by my gal, Ceci Dadisman, here and here.)

Campaign URL Builder allows you to add specific campaign parameters to URLs and, in other words, enables your team to actually track website and donor traffic as it relates to the campaign. I’ve been using Campaign URL Builder for over two years now and it’s a game-changer. 


A colleague of mine introduced me to Slydial and, admittedly, I was at first hesitant of using a service that delivers a personalized “ringless voicemail.” However, after a few uses I was hooked. If you’re looking to connect with a large number of donors yet simply don’t have the time to make individualized calls, this might be for you.

I know, it doesn’t sound donor-centric. Nonetheless, it’s up to you – the user – to engage a donor-centric approach and begin to establish connections with your supporters.


Have you used any of these tools before? Do you have other favorites that have saved you time/money and transformed your fundraising work?