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Episode 001: Our Secret Ingredients: The Best No-Cost, Low-Cost Marketing Tools Show Notes

Let’s start by answering the question of why “digital” or “online” marketing?

Many nonprofits are adopting new marketing technology, expanding digital assets and shifting those advertising dollars to social media advertising and PPC but the world we’re marketing within has already moved on.

That’s why you need an ADVOCATE. Melanie and Christine are just the ticket. They’re here to help you navigate the digital landscape so that you know where to go and what to do to effectively communicate your brand and mission to existing and new donors and volunteers.


Wouldn’t it be nice to know what others are saying about your organization? SocialMention is a must for monitoring user-generated content. It’s a free service that allows you to type in a keyword to see things like the likelihood of the word being discussed whether that’s in a positive or negative vein. SocialMention is also a great source for determining if the key words you use in your content will resonate with readers.


2) Canva

Melanie, do you know the worst thing in the world that a marketer can do? It’s the use of handwritten signs and posters! The next worst thing is boring printed materials using a Times font. has these drop-in templates that allows you to change the image, font, and color.

Canva makes it super simple to design posters, brochures, signs, and even professional-looking annual reports. The cost for Canva is $12.95 a month.



Typically, the best delivery method for statistics and numbers in an infographic. has free basic service to help you create infographics, charts, and graphs or you can subscribe to or you can get more robust features for $19 a month billed annually. P.S. They have a great blog.


4) Rawshorts

We’re going to talk more about the power of storytelling and the power of video in future episodes of The Cause Café but if you have a great little message or story ready to go now, check out

It’s a sweet little animation tool that will make you look like the hero that you are. There is a free, very limited version of Rawshorts but I recommend using the pay-per-export plan that’s $120 for 10 exports.


5) Office Max/Office Depot Print Center

The OfficeMax/Office Depot Print Center is one of my top-secret, low-cost printing options. But it’s not just that these guys can print anything, or collate it, or even, trim and cut your printed collateral from digital files that you send, you can save a substantial amount of money using an SPC Card. SPC is an acronym for Store Purchasing Card. You can save big – for example an 8.5” x 11” full-color sign is normally .68 cents, with the SPC Card I get it for 22 cents.

And please, don’t use your rotary paper cutter, Office Max charges a dollar a cut so if you have 500 sheets printed and needed all four sides trimmed, you would pay $4… totally worth it.

If you belong to a chamber of commerce (and you should belong to a chamber of commerce) they typically have a partnership with Office Max and can issue you an SPC card. If not, we have added an application for you to the Show Notes.

Extra Side Note: You cannot use any other coupons or offers with the SPC Card but trust me on this, I’ve yet to see another discount that beats the one offered with the card.  Side note: Unless you have a week to turn around a print project, do not opt into the delivery option.


6) Udemy

True story. When I was a partner in an advertising firm, I was often involved in pitching our ideas and strategies to new prospective clients. And as much as I would research and read new trends about current marketing ideas, I’d inevitably get a marketing director with a double-degree who would ask, “Are you familiar with XYZ and could you implement it?” All eyes where on me… and my answer would always be, “By the next time we talk, we will be ready to talk about and implement XYZ.”

Then I would race back to the office, jump on the computer and research until 2 in the morning. I would have loved a resource like Udemy back in the day. With 55,000 courses, Udemy is the world’s largest online learning marketplace.

Just this morning, I looked up WordPress Starter 2015: Create Your Own Website. You can take this online, slide share course for $10.

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