Whether you’re trying to spice up a blog post, or need some graphic elements to add to an upcoming presentation to your board, digital assets are a great addition. Unfortunately, those things have a cost – and because they’re realistically considered art, the price tag can be a bit steep.


Lucky for us, the internet exists, and there are tons of free websites that offer simple graphic design elements and editing programs for free or for basically free. Images and graphics can enhance print and digital elements, so it’s a really great idea to investigate how you can use these resources to make your pieces look more compelling and engaging. Here are a few of my favorites:


For free stock images: Unsplash


This site is AMAZING. They upload new photos each week from generous photographers who want to get their name out there. All of the photos are absolutely free (they don’t even make it a requirement for you to credit the photographer) and they’re beautiful and high-res. Stock images can be good to add a little something to a blog post, spice up a printed piece, or even select your new cover photo for Facebook. The photos are all tagged pretty well, so you can use the search function to find what you’re looking for. Bonus? You can create an account and make your own boards to save photos to.


For easy-to-use graphic design: PicMonkey


Whether you need to edit a photo, create a photo collage, design a poster, or create a digital invitation for your email marketing campaign, PicMonkey makes it easy to do. You can do a free trial for seven days and then opt for a yearly membership ($3.99/month) or a monthly membership ($7.99/month) and have complete access to all the tools. This is a great tool if you want to turn around well-designed pieces relatively quickly at an extremely inexpensive price.


For free graphic assets: DesignCuts


If you’re looking for cool illustrations, fonts, and templates, DesignCuts offers a library of free graphic assets. Mostly vector sets for Adobe Illustrator, these can range from simple digital paper patterns to beautifully illustrated fonts. Plus, they add new assets to the Freebies section each week! They also offer some tutorials in their Learning section.


For free digital storytelling: Adobe Spark


This is probably one of the internet’s greatest secrets. There are mixed reviews (because apparently there is some Adobe branding you can’t remove…though I say, challenge accepted), but it’s SO easy to create compelling photos, videos, and pages for web. Bonus? They have a mobile application so you can literally create this stuff on your phone or iPad.


What free or inexpensive graphic design tools are you using? Tell us about them in the comments!

Want some inspiration from other organizations? Visit our list of the 20 Best Nonprofit Websites and 50 Best Nonprofit Logos