Infographics—a visual that displays numbers, charts, or just words to help present a message—can be a very useful part of a nonprofit's communication mix. They can help convince supporters to support a particular campaign or present information to help constituents. Straightforward infographics can even be an easy and interesting way to just keep in touch with constituents over time—for example, between campaigns or specific asks.
Five years ago or so, everyone was talking about infographics. While they’re not so frequently discussed anymore, they’re still quite relevant, and have in fact gotten considerably easier to create thanks to a set of do-it-yourself infographics tools that let you start with a template and go from there.
No infographic is going to be particularly helpful to your organization without a basic grounding in communication fundamentals. Who's your audience? What will be interesting to them? What story are you trying to tell? What do you want your audience to do after seeing your infographic? With those fundamentals in hand, these tools can help you create a graphic that’s professional and reasonably polished without the help of a graphic designer.
Below we'll take a quick look at some of those tools to get you started. (Want to learn more about infographics? We're offering a four-part webinar called The Complete Infographic Toolkit for Nonprofits, and it's not too late to sign up.)
It may sound silly, but PowerPoint can be a surprisingly useful tool to create simple “meme-like” infographics. After all, what are these graphics but an image with text or numbers over them? And PowerPoint provides functionality you might not aware of, including basic ability to crop and color correct images, add transparent gradients, and export into multiple image formats. Even better, a number of organizations offer free infographic templates you can use. This Hubspot collection is a great place to start.
It’s certainly not worth buying PowerPoint just to create infographics, but if you already have it, it’s worth exploring what you can do.
Canva has been around for quite some time as an online tool to allow you to easily create both infographics and other graphics from templates, including invitations, fliers, and more. You start by picking a template and then modify it by adding your own text, images, and icons. The templates are straightforward to work with, but the further you want to go from the template, the harder things become. This can be a good thing, as it prevents you from going too far afield with the polish of your design, for instance. But it can also limit your ability to create exactly what you want.
Like most of these tools, Canva has a free version, but to be able to take advantage of the considerably library of built in icons and photos, you have to pay a monthly fee of $12.95/month.
Visme is conceptually similar to Canva. It's an online tool that’s designed to let you create infographics starting from templates. It allows you more flexibility, with the ability to add custom blocks to existing layouts, or even start from scratch. But some of the templates are a little less polished than Canva or some of these other tools.
Some templates, icons and photos are free, but it’s $39/month (or $25/month billed annually) for wider access.
There’s a lot of these tools now, many of which are similar to each other. If you have an idea in mind for what you would like a specific infographic to look like, it can make sense to surf different tools to see which might give you a starting template that matches your needs. In addition to the tools, you might also consider the following:
- Venngage. Similar in concept to Canva, with some well designed templates. $19/month in order to download an image out of Venngage.
- Easel.ly. Only $4/month. Lots of polished templates but a little less easy to use.
- Picktochart. Similar to the others. $24/ month for full access.
Did we mention we’re offering a four-part class about infographics? The third session has a lot more about about these tools, including how to decide if a do-it-yourself tool is right for you, and demos of several of the tools. Join us!
The Complete Infographic Toolkit for Nonprofits
Four Thursdays, February 6-27, 1-2:30 PM Eastern