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How nonprofits use Canto to do more with less

by Canto  |  March 6, 2023

5 min. read
Nonprofit brand images showing approval status in a Canto library.

Canto helps nonprofits organize, find, and share impactful content — making the most of limited resources. With content workflows running like clockwork, fundraising campaigns launch faster and reach more people and staff can focus on other mission-critical work.

Here are just a handful of the many ways nonprofits use Canto to increase donations, stretch their resources, and further some incredible causes.

Habitat for Humanity Canada boosts content ROI at a national scale

People working on a partially constructed Habitat for Humanity Canada house.

Habitat for Humanity Canada relies on inspiring creative content to tell their story and bring fundraising campaigns to life. With features that squeeze more value out of every piece of content they produce, Canto has helped them maximize return on investment — reaching more donors with less effort.

Record-setting reach and engagement for fundraising campaigns

One of Habitat Canada’s biggest content challenges is supplying teams at 48 regional affiliates with on-brand content that’s easy to share. With brand assets at their fingertips in Canto, staff across the country are now sharing more content than ever.

“Our current fundraising campaign has the highest reach and engagement we’ve ever seen,” says Jack Shaw, marketing and digital strategy director. “That’s not just the storytelling. It’s because we’ve activated our entire network.”

Tens of thousands in savings

The cost-benefit value of Canto doesn’t stop at fundraising. The Habitat Canada team has become more productive across the board by taking advantage of Canto’s integrations and workflow automations.

An executive needs a success story for a presentation? They’ve got it in seconds. The team’s launching a new social media campaign? Canto’s Hootsuite integration helps them push more content out faster, increasing overall engagement.

“If you factor in all the time we’re saving across every team, Canto is saving us at least $20,000 a year — probably a lot more than that,” Jack estimates. “Plus, we’re out in market with a unified message. There’s brand alignment. We’re reaching larger audiences. All of that ultimately results in better fundraising and stronger partnerships, which allows us to serve more families.”

Learn more: How Habitat for Humanity Canada reaches more donors with Canto (starts at 29:20)

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation supercharges media outreach to inspire more donors

OMRF promotional image depicting a building with double-helix columns.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) conducts research to cure and treat diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. This lifesaving work relies on donor funding, which OMRF attracts through media outreach.

“The more times we can get in the news and in front of donors, the better,” Jenny Lee, OMRF’s creative director, explains.

Inspiring content at journalists’ fingertips

When Jenny started at OMRF, the team would distribute assets to media contacts via email. By week two on the job, she had maxed out her email storage. Now that all their media content is in Canto, OMRF can simply direct media partners to a Portal, or pull together an ad hoc collection and link to it in minutes. Journalists have on-demand access to visuals and videos that bring compelling research stories to life.

The news cycle moves fast. Now, OMRF does too.

“Canto has transformed the way we do business,” Jenny says. “What used to take us days now literally takes minutes.” As a result of their new, efficient workflows, the team can reach out to media outlets and deploy PR campaigns much faster. Ultimately, that means they reach more people and secure more funding to combat life-threatening diseases.

Learn more: How OMRF is taking fundraising to the next level

Houston Food Bank democratizes storytelling

Houston Food Bank’s small marketing team works hard to highlight the impact their programs have. But they didn’t want their communications approach to be top-down. “Everybody can be a brand ambassador, regardless of their role,” explains Maggi Massad-Paradeis, the organization’s communications manager.

Empowering staff to make their own content choices

With Canto, everyone at Houston Food Bank has access to high-quality, on-brand content they can use to showcase important work. “It’s a way to help our coworkers feel empowered to make their own choices for what they want to share,” Maggi says.

Everyone’s voice is part of the story

Houston Food Bank also uses Canto to collect images and video clips from staff across the organization. “We want everybody to be capturing things that are going on in their programs, or when they’re meeting with volunteers or donors,” Maggi says. “When they upload that content to Canto, we can share it back out easily.” With content flowing into the library from every program and initiative, everyone’s voice becomes part of the collective story.

Learn more: How a small team makes a big impact at Houston Food Bank

New World Symphony brings a hybrid team together in harmony

NWS concert in progress.

New World Symphony trains gifted young musicians for careers in classical music. Over 1,200 alumni have gone on to careers in orchestras, ensembles, and educational institutions worldwide.

Remote work? Not a problem.

The symphony’s archivist and communications team use a vast library of photos and audiovisual media to tell its story. But for remote team members, browsing the archive for the perfect image or video clip used to be nearly impossible. With Canto, that’s no longer a problem. Everyone has direct access to the entire archive — whether they’re working on-site or halfway across the country.

A collaborative workspace for a hybrid team

The hybrid team also takes advantage of Canto’s Workspace features to collaborate. Having dedicated workspaces for different creative projects makes it easy to juggle multiple projects at once and keep everyone on the same page despite the distance.

“Canto has been a game-changer for us,” says Marci Falvey, senior director of communications. “It diminishes the cons of not being in the building and takes away the distance. We’re all looking at the same assets at the same time.”

Learn more: Canto breathes new life into New World Symphony’s media archive


Want to see how Canto can help your nonprofit do more without stretching your team thin? Let us show you around with a free, personalized demo.