The Holy Grail of Nonprofit Tips ✨
Get all of the information you need to efficiently manage your nonprofit with our monthly newsletter.

Everything You Need To Know About Filling Out Your Nonprofit Canva Application


Graphic design for nonprofits is just one of the many responsibilities that falls on the shoulders of nonprofit leaders. And where does great design come from? Proper tools. Canva is a great option for nonprofits, as they a version made (for free) just to help those who help others. To give you some time back in your day to tackle other efforts that support your mission and brand, we have decrypted Canva’s lengthy application process for you. 

We cover the basic do’s and don'ts of constructing a clear application and how to tackle the submission process in order to give you every chance possible of being accepted on your first try.


What Is Canva For Nonprofits?

Canva is an online tool that makes graphic design easy for nonprofits. Canva offers a step up from free stock images for many nonprofits by putting millions of images and other graphic elements, along with thousands of fonts and templates, at your fingertips. Use them for the creation of social media graphics and content, presentations, and more to support any marketing campaign.

a-guide-to-your-canva-nonprofit-application-what-isRyan is ready to learn all about Canva!

Numerous canva packages exist. Nonprofits that meet the eligibility requirements can apply to take advantage of the pro version of Canva, which is different from the free version of Canva available to anyone. If you have an existing canva account, here is how upgrading to Canva for nonprofits offers added functionality compared to the company’s free version:

Free Version

Nonprofit Version

250,000+ templates

420,000+ templates

Hundreds of thousands photos and graphics

75 million+ images

100+ design types

3.5+ million graphic elements

5GB of cloud storage

3,000+ fonts


Set and forget band colors, fonts, and logos


Magic resize


Unlimited folders and 100GB storage


Animations and GIFs



What Can You Use Canva For?

Canva is well known for its user-friendly nature, making it easy (and fun) for the whole team without a lot of training. Its intuitive design makes it easy for anyone, whether they are well versed in graphic design principles or not, to jump right in to create media spanning from photo editing to creating design features to aid website development. This only scratches the surface of what is available. Some of its most popular uses include:

Flyer Design

Flyers and brochures can be an integral part of running a nonprofit. Whether it is to spread awareness or simply advertise your nonprofit, creating an eye-catching flyer is easier with a user-friendly interface like Canva where users can select pre-designed templates with the right dimensions and drag and drop design graphic content.

Social Media Posts

Social media advertising is becoming increasingly difficult. In order to catch your target audience’s eye, it is important to create a snappy, visually appealing post. Canva allows you to create both still images and videos for whatever you decide your organization needs.

Website Development

We have all been here before. We find a cool new org and we are excited to see their website. We visit the official website and are immediately turned off. Instead of learning about the mission and feeling invigorated to get involved, we are left wondering whether someone is about to try to steal our credit card information. Using a modern and visually appealing website can make all the difference.

Infographic Design

We all love infographics. They can be an especially valuable tool when running a nonprofit. Canva makes infographic design quick and easy while providing templates to ensure they are visually captivating.

Newsletter Design

If you send out a regular newsletter, try rehauling the design with Canva. Rather than using a still version of your favorite Getty image for nonprofits, the embedded tools make it possible for your nonprofit to take a graphic from a free image bank, or even your nonprofit logo, and make content come alive through gifs and other animation features. Now you can send out newsletters accompanied with images of your team without worrying about how to wrap text for optimum reader ease.

a-guide-to-your-canva-nonprofit-application-flyerMatt is hard at work designing a new flyer!

Presentation Design

Presentations are especially handy in the nonprofit world. Whether your nonprofit needs funds from donors or you are trying to explain to a group of caring individuals what the benefits of wildlife conservation are to onboard them as volunteers, presentation tools go a long way to upgrade your existing PowerPoint skills to keep attendees engaged.

Pro Tip: If you are looking for additional tips to create moving presentations, check out our Prezi presentation example. Combine what you create in Canva with a Prezi free trial to wow any audience.


The Application Process

The application process of Canva for nonprofits can be a bit time-consuming. However, we are here to walk you through the process to get you through in record speed. Take a deep breath and dive in with us.

Check Eligibility

The first step in applying as a nonprofit is to verify your nonprofit status with Canva. First things first, in order to meet the eligibility guidelines, your business must have 501c3 designation. Businesses with 501c4 or 501c6 designation, K-12 schools, colleges, universities, trade associations that do not have charitable aims, political organizations, and individuals are not eligible for Canva nonprofit.

However, registered nonprofits, churches, social impact organizations that have a community benefit, public health organizations, and government organizations that assist with public health are all eligible for Canva’s nonprofit program. Go ahead and advance to the next round!

Gather Documentation

Depending on what kind of nonprofit you run, and the country in which you operate, you will need different documentation to show that you meet the eligibility requirements

If your nonprofit is under a group exemption (for example, a church), you must still need to obtain recognition of a 501c3 tax exemption from the IRS.

If your nonprofit is a social impact organization, you must provide your organization’s governing documents (e.g., articles of incorporation and nonprofit bylaws) that state your mission and how all activities through your organization or charity are in line with your mission statement. 

nonprofit-canva-application-documentsEmily is ready to apply for her nonprofit Canva status!

If the nonprofit does not make a profit, the documents provided must clearly state and illustrate how all activities done are focused on achieving this mission rather than turning a profit. However, if your organization does make a profit, the documentation provided must clearly showcase that all activities are focused on achieving the mission, as opposed to solely creating a profit. In addition, you must also provide financial documents to show that the majority of the profits made are rerouted to helping the public/community mission.

Lastly, if your nonprofit is a public health organization, you must provide evidence of your public health status.

Create Your Account

Now that you have your documents all in order, the next step is to create your account! We recommend using your nonprofit’s email account. You can also link your account through Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, or even Clever. Go with what works best for you and your company.

Fill Out & Submit Your Application

Filling out the application form is quick and easy. All you need to do is provide your full name, your organization’s name (and website, if you are so inclined), the size of your organization, the country it is based in, and the type of nonprofit it is. You will then be asked to submit the documentation you need, which you already have gathered because you plan ahead. All you have left to do is submit, and you will hear back in about 7-10 days!


Springly is trusted by over 20,000 nonprofits to help them run their organizations on a daily basis. Try it, test it, love it with a 14-day free trial!

Communication & Marketing