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04 September 2018

5 Infographic Resources for your nonprofit or small business

5 Infographic Resources for your nonprofit or small business

Infographics should be a key component of any organization’s social media, outreach or marketing aims. In this article, we’ll review what they are, why they matter and where your team can find resources to help you successfully create your own.

Infographics: What They Are

Infographics can be any type of data visualization or presentation of information that you can imagine. They can range from complex large graphs and tall information-packed lists to scaled down approaches such as a basic pie chart or decoratively presented bullet points.

They make the information that you’re trying to present more easily digestible than if you simply published comparative raw numbers, percentages or ‘dry’ facts.

They are also a handy way of highlighting select, excerpted information and presenting it to your audience.

For example, you could excerpt the main points of a lengthy study or brochure and convert them into infographics. This allows everyone in your general audience to see the highlights of your work, and not just those who have the time and inclination to dig into your multi-page presentation.

Likewise, if your nonprofit or small business has key information on success rates, such as a wildly successful increase in donations, outreach or sales over the last year, infographics can be a much more informative and attractive way to present your successes. Your readers will see the numbers in scale laid out before them, instead of trying to mentally process or compare various percentages or sales figures.

Infographics are also a great way of getting your content shared more easily across the web.

Why Infographics Matter

Besides the obvious ease of sharing an infographic, what else makes them popular?

An infographic only takes a few seconds to be parsed and understood. Articles, videos, podcasts and websites take time to read, watch, and hear. Almost as soon as someone views an infographic, they get the gist of the information that is being conveyed. Visual content is processed by your brain 60,000 times faster than text. (Source: 3M Corporation and Zabisco)

Information presented visually can be more easily retained than text-only or numerical data. People find it easier to recall or remember visual information such as an image or infographic.

Almost two thirds of the population, 65%, can be classified as visual learners; people who process visual information more readily than text and audio.

Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media 3 times more than other any other type of content. (Source) Additionally, a study by Venngage, one of our infographics resources listed below, found that approximately 42% of the marketers they surveyed reported that infographics have the highest engagement level out of all of their marketing materials.

Websites who used infographics grew their traffic an average of 12% more than those who didn’t. (Source: AnsonAlex)

Making Infographics

There are numerous methods and resources you can use for your organization’s infographics.

You can choose to produce them completely in-house if you have a graphic designer on staff. Using tools such as Illustrator, PhotoShop, Sketch (for Mac) or even simpler apps such as Paint or your OS’s basic image processing program, your team can make effective infographics of varying complexity.

Your team can also decide to hire outside help, such as a service or independent graphic designer to accomplish the work.

However, your best option may lie in the growing number of online platforms that allow you to construct your infographics directly on their site and then export your finished designs. Almost all of these sites have a free version to work with, as well as a premium paid version which includes more design resources, options and support.

The Venngage poll referenced above found that:

Approximately one third of the marketers surveyed now use an online graphic design tool like the services we’ve listed below.

30% said they used an in-house designer for their infographics.

24% used a freelance designer

14% stated that they used other means for creating and curating visuals such as Instagram and Flickr.

No matter which route you take being aware of the online tools available can compliment your designer’s output and provide an easily shared and accessible platform no matter how your team works. These platforms the ability to work from predefined templates, or to create custom designs.

We’ve listed five of the best websites below which you might find useful in your quest for creating better infographics.

Online Platforms for Making Infographics

canva landing page

Canva’s interface: Load in a sample template and begin to replace the data fields and colors with your own.

Canva

Canva is one of the most popular online design tools. With free templates and an easy to use interface that includes layouts, elements, text and background options, plus the ability to upload your own images to incorporate into your design. They have five signup categories: educator/student, small or large business, nonprofit and personal. They offer free subscriptions to Canva for Work for nonprofits and have a special help section for nonprofits, as well as informative tips and hints for the other categories of users.

Pricing plans: Canva (free), Canva for Work ($12.95 per team member per month) and Canva Enterprise (includes a dedicated account manager; contact for team pricing plans)

venngage landing page

Venngage interface: choose from already existing designs

Venngage

Venngage gives you numerous categories of infographics to choose from when creating your designs, including event timelines, statistics, geographical and more. They let you choose from hundreds of charts, maps and icons. You can even import data directly from your spreadsheets into a variety of chart styles. The free plan allows you to make up to five infographics per month (with Venngage branding), while the business plan allows unlimited infographics, team collaboration, your branding and the use of many additional business and custom templates in addition to phone support and 1-on-1 consultation.

Pricing plans: a free plan, a premium plan for individuals ($19/month), and business plans (from $30-49 per month). Nonprofits and NGOs get 50% off.

snappa landing page

Some of the many Snappa templates

Snappa

With Snappa, all three of their plans give you access to over 570,000 HD photos and graphics, let you download at least 5 finished infographics a month. You can also hook up at least two social media accounts for direct sharing from within the site. You can easily resize your graphics into the optimum size for use on any of the major social networks, organize your graphics into folders and import your own custom fonts.

Pricing plans: Starter (free, 1 user), Pro ($10/month, billed annually, 1 user), Team ($20/month, billed annually, 5 users).

infogram landing page

Infogram interface allows you to choose based on chart types or existing designs

Infogram

Infogram resources include 35 interactive charts, 500+ maps, 20+ ready-made design themes, a million images and icons, team collaboration. It even includes the ability to create interactive dashboards connected to live data so that your creations stay current and up-to-date. You can export your data visualizations in three formats (PNG, PDF and GIF) or embed your graphics with their interactive HTML option. If you’re an international or multilingual organization, Infogram recently added four new languages to its interface: Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.

Pricing plans: 5 levels of pricing, monthly or annual billing options. Ranging from free to $100+/month for the Team plan which includes training, analytics, chart clickability and team functionality.

google charts landing page

Google Charts desktop view

Google charts

Google Chart tools are a completely free solution for infographics that mainly rely on data. However, unlike the resources listed above, Google Charts are geared towards developers, not regular staffers or graphic designers. It’s an interesting approach that relies on JavaScript embedded on your webpages rather than graphics that you host on your website’s servers. As with some of the other examples above, Google Charts can be highly interactive and are rendered using HTML5 and SVG technology to provide cross-browser compatibility and cross-platform portability. While their terms of service do not allow you to download or host the charts, Google encourages users that do not need the interactivity of their charts to simply take screenshots of their finished charts to use in whatever manner they see fit. Google Charts have over 15 chart types and numerous customization options. Allowing you to style the charts to match the look and feel of your website

Pricing plan: Free

Bonus tools

Additional online tools to assist you in your infographic creation include:
BeFunky
Visme
Animaker, mostly animation and video.

Wrap-Up

In conclusion, infographics are one of the best ways to get your data, ideas and information across to your audience. They are more easily digested and remembered than other formats. They are also more likely to be shared than other content types.

Almost any data visualization that you can imagine can be made into an infographic. They can come in all shapes and sizes and convey content ranging from the simple to the complex.

Whichever method your organization decides to use to produce your infographics, be it an in-house graphics person, a freelancer designer or any of the online tools listed above, the takeaway is that infographics are a great way to present your ideas and can be an important component of any organization’s content strategy.

Additional AmDee content creation resources:
Free typography resources
Free stock photo sites
Video on a budget

Jeff C.

Headshot of Jeff Creamer

Jeff Creamer is a DC-based WordPress website administrator, tutor and consultant. He has been helping small businesses and nonprofits launch and manage their WordPress sites since 2013.