Free Tools for Communicators

Communications can be a pivotal medium for many organizations when promoting work to the masses. The Heising-Simons Foundation recognizes that capacity and resources can be a problem for many Grantees that are looking to bring awareness to important issues. To help provide support around this, the Foundation has developed a list of free communication tools and guides that Grantees have access to.

Additionally, the Foundation will be offering services to help Grantees with obtaining media lists tailored to include journalists working in a specific issue-focused beat. If you are interested in utilizing this option, please contact Erin Talbert-Brust at

  • Audio Transcriptions
    • ai – is a speech-to-text software for creating shareable audio files and transcripts of audio uploaded to the platform.
  • Books
    • The Digital Plan 2nd Edition – offers insight into ways organizations can strategically plan a successful campaign.
      • This resource is only free under the Kindle Unlimited plan.
    • Graphic Design
      • Canva – is a graphic design platform that can be used for creating social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content.
    • Crafting a Message
      • Free Press – provides frameworks and guides to help organizations shape issue-based narratives for journalists.
    • Social Media Scheduler
      • Later – is the all-in-one social media marketing platform that allows for planning, analyzing, and publishing content seamlessly.
      • Twitter Verified Accounts – Twitter has provided information on their website that guides users on ways they can receive the verified blue checkmark on their acconts.
    • Stock Images
      • Flickr – is an image hosting website that offers a variety of visuals that can be easily searched by a keyword.
    • Trainings
      • Adobe Education Exchange – is a learning platform and community that provides workshops, classes, and resources designed by educators.
      • Google Ads – allows registered users the option to take free courses to better help with growing an organization’s business.
      • Media Training 101 – provides a simple overview for preparing organizational spokespeople for an upcoming media interview.
      • Social Media 101 – offers step-by-step instructions on building out a social media strategy for an organization.
      • WordPress – is a free and open-source content management system written in PHP and paired with a MySQL or MariaDB database that many organizations host their website on.
    • Video Editors
      • Lightworks – allows for organizations out in the field to quickly edit video clips using a mobile device.
    • Writing and Editing
      • Grammarly – is a cross-platform cloud-based writing assistant that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, clarity, engagement, and mistakes in delivery in real-time.


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