Canva for Nonprofits: How to Build Great Nonprofit Images

Digital Media

Canva is a simple online graphic design tool that lets you design graphics for different uses for your non-profit. This is a great resource if you don’t have experience in graphic design because Canva makes it easy to create images with easy-to-use tools.

Canva’s free plan gives you access to over 8,000 templates, fonts, graphics, photos, and the ability to upload your own images. The “Canva for Work” paid plan grants access to even more features, like 300,000 photos, illustrations, and templates, as well as the ability to upload custom fonts and color palettes for your brand. The best part about Canva for Work is that it’s free for eligible nonprofits! All you have to do is apply and wait for approval (approval not guaranteed).

Once you set-up your account, you’ll need to learn how to use it—we’re here to help. From design tips to free templates, we have the necessary resources to get you up and running on Canva.


Getting Started

When you log into your Canva account, you’ll see various design options to use. You can choose to:

  • Create a design with custom dimensions. This is great if you have very specific image requirements to work with.
  • Use a pre-made template which is helpful if you need design inspiration.
  • Search for a specific type of template like an “Instagram post” or “Facebook cover.”
    • Hitting “Create a Design” will show a drop-down menu from the search bar with various template options.
  • Browse through thousands of templates by clicking “Find templates”


Social media graphic template


Social Media Graphic Guide + Template

Get fully-customizable social media design templates on Canva!

Uploading Your Brand Kit

With Canva for Work, you can upload your organization’s brand assets to have on-tap for design. If you have custom or particular fonts, colors, or logos for your organization, you can upload them into Canva and use to make custom-branded images. With this feature, you can easily create a template that includes your organization’s branding and make it easy for anybody in your company to create branded images. You can learn more about how to upload your brand kit here.

Working in Canva

Now it’s time to put to work all the tools we discussed. You can find templates along with other graphic elements on the left side of the screen and choose from Canva’s free or paid graphics, icons, shapes, and backgrounds. To edit individual elements of your image, just click on the element and you can change the color, opacity, and size. You can also create multiple image files at one time by clicking the Page option and adding more pages.

canva for nonprofits

Start designing!

Now that you know how to get started in Canva, you’re ready to start designing. If you want a little more help, Canva offers awesome free courses that can guide you through building stunning graphics.

Bonus: Nonprofit Annual Report Template in Canva

nonprofit annual report template

Your organization does great work. Show donors, boards, and the public what is happening behind the scenes using a dynamic and customizable annual report template that we crafted to help you show your org’s impact.


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