Notables, March 2019

This is a collection of links, resources, and other notable content I think more people should know about…

The Toolbox Toolbox is a massive collection of resources for brainstorms, product design, user experience design, business strategy, and more. It’s a really useful resource for designers, marketers, and strategists.

One of my favorite tools is the Business Model Canvas, a tool I originally found in a great book called Business Model Generation. The Canvas is a really useful framework for thinking through how you describe and design what’s unique about your business or products. The original canvas inspired a wide range of others, which Andi Roberts has collected here: The Canvas Collection. And if you want an easy way to create your own canvas, CNVS is one of the best tools available.

For branding nerds, I highly recommend How to Build a Brand, a series of 8 posts by Felicia C. Sullivan that’s a deep dive into everything that goes into building a great brand. I’ve read a lot of books on branding – I’d choose this series over almost any book.

For non-branding nerds, I’m working on an article that covers the basics of branding, informed by the questions I hear from the nonprofits and startups I work with. If you have questions, get in touch!

Noted for Nonprofits

As many in the nonprofit world know, a lot of services offer discounts for nonprofits. In some of my recent projects, I’ve found some especially notable discounts:

  • Stripe is an online payment platform (think: collecting donations online) with some of the lowest transaction fees available, at 2.9%. But for nonprofits, that fee is even lower: 2.2%. To get the discount, email Stripe at [email protected] with a request for the discount. Include your EIN number, a determination letter stating that you’re a 501(c)3, and the email address associated with your Stripe account. Let me know if you have questions or need help with the process.
  • Salesforce offers a Nonprofit Success Pack that’s free for your first 10 users. If you need more licenses, the fees are deeply discounted. It’s everything you want from the Salesforce platform with added features made for nonprofits, like donor management and fundraising reports. Check out the Salesforce Nonprofit page for more information.
  • For nonprofits looking for tools to create social content, Canva is one of the best tools available. They offer a free nonprofit subscription. If you’re working with a designer, they can create branded templates in Canva, then anyone on your team can use those templates to easily create social content that looks great and helps to build your brand. Get in touch with me if you have questions or need help creating your templates!

For Designers

There are so, so many resources available for designers. Here are two of my current favorite color tools:

  • ColorHexa is a tool that generates matching color palettes, shades and tints, and color blindness simulations.
  • PALX is made for UI and UX designers. This is one of my new favorite tools for creating extensive color palettes that harmonize with brand colors.

And if you’re a UI, UX, or web designer looking for new design tools, I highly recommend Figma. I wrote an article about why I like it so much, and it’s gotten way better since then. If you use Sketch, but need a tool with built-in prototyping, collaboration, and more, you might love Figma, too.

Last but not least, if you like to work with ambient background sounds, I’ve been enjoying this Blade Runner 2049 ambient soundscape:

It’s select music from the soundtrack slowed down 600–800% and overlaid with rain sounds, chimes, and more. The creator wrote a really detailed post covering why and how this came to be.

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