I made a post some time recently about using Etsy to reduce graphic design costs. It's a great option for some shops but after writing that post, a friend and colleague pointed me to Canva.com. It is by-far the best tools for amateurs to produce quality graphic design that I've seen. In just a few weeks, it has become indispensable to me, both personally and professionally.
For example, we are using Canva at the school I currently work for to produce graphics for a social media campaign around a challenge grant. We update the numbers regularly. This would be something we might have to pay a graphic designers for each image but we do all of this in-house now. Not only are we saving money but we can produce top-quality images fast and have the ability to produce more in quantity and variety than ever before. (And Canva isn't just for digital images. You can download print-quality images and send those to the print shop.)
I also use Canva to produce images for my blog and the cover of my e-book. It's been fun learning this tool and everything it can do. Best of all, Canva is largely free to use. There are some valuable features available via their paid product: Canva for Work. If you want to share images and work on them with colleagues or save your brand fonts and colors, Canva for Work is only $19 or so per month.
Canva makes money by selling the images on their site for $1 each. I've used a few but not many. I find it equally easy to snap pictures of things that would make interesting backgrounds on my phone and then use those. I don't make any money in recommending Canva. I just felt that as a follow-up to my previous article, I should alert my readership to this amazing resource that makes our work so much easier.
PS - Canva has a great app that makes it seamless to move images on and off your phone. So, if you use instagram quite a bit for fundraising, this a big advantage.
In my current job, I have to be very budget conscious and protective of my own time. I am pretty much a one person shop but we do a number of events of various size throughout the year. I was spending too much money ordering invitations online from sites like Paperless Post. I would have to wait 10 days to get the materials before I could stuff envelopes and the designs were not customizable enough for my taste.
I knew we could do better. I searched for "corporate invitations" on Etsy and after a bit of searching I found Eden Creative Studios. I liked the style of her print-your-own invitations. I sent her a message letting her know I needed 8 different custom versions of her templates. She customized them and gave me a 20% discount for paying for them all at once.
Four custom save-the-dates and four custom invitations cost my organization only $144! We did a few drafts back and forth, getting it exactly how I liked it and then she sent me PDFs (for sending to the print shop) and JPEGs (for use in HTML emails).
I sent the designs to a local print shop and starting stuffing within 2 days of sending the invitations to print. I've gotten lots of compliments on how the cards look from donors and friends of the school. If you are a small shop with graphic design needs, you can get beautiful work done on Etsy and save your institution some money.
You can see redacted versions of some of the invitations and save-the-dates that Eden did for my organization in the slideshow above.
Jessica Cloud, CFRE
I've been called the Tasmanian Devil of fundraising and I'm here to talk shop with you.