Are you Doing Nonprofit Graphic Design on a Shoestring?

Well, isn’t everyone?

Let me give you some free tools you can use to make your annual report sparkle, and your e-newsletter shine!

Two words.


What is Gimp?
A free software program that lets you create all kinds of fun effects. You can download it and use it on any operating system.

What are brushes?

Brushes are add-ons to gimp that allow you to draw, instead of a line, a big pattern, a flower, a solar system, a piece of tape, a whole bunch of things!

Here’s an example of Sketchpad, a free Google Chrome app and what it can do.

They will make you look like you own one of those really fancy programs, or have access to a super expensive design firm.

So where do you go for brushes? Click here. Deviantart has a whole community for Gimp Brushes.

Online Tools for MORE nonprofit graphic design fun!

Where else can you go? Try Google chrome, a web browser that has apps inside it that you can run and use on your pictures.

Such as

This is such a fun drawing tool!

Deviantart Muro
You have to get a deviantart account, but since that’s free, it’s no big deal.

Example of Harmony drawing tool in Google Chrome Apps

This has so many beautiful patterns, and geometric designs, you could spend quite a bit of time in here just exploring.

Advanced Image Editor by Aviary
This helps you edit photographs.

here’s a full list of graphic design and art tools on google apps

If you want some color schemes to work with
Editing photographs

One of the cheapest and quickest ways to make your website look special and different is through a unique font.

If you’d like a place to find free fonts to jazz up your annual reports and other items you’re designing,
check out,, and

They have lots of good fonts.

Also, if you are looking for good web fonts try Typekit.

Typekit web fonts

What Typekit does is install a bit of javascript in the header of your website, and then it allows you to use prettier fonts than the standard font package that you normally can use, (such as Georgia, Courier, Times New Roman, Arial and Verdana.) This is not an affiliate link, and none of the links on this page are. Just so you know. No axe to grind here. These are all free tools.

Do you have any graphic design tips you’d like to share? Please weigh in below!

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