Many association marketers have told us they wish they had a tool like Photoshop so they can put together stunning newsletters and promotional images, and quickly make simple edits to graphics. But unfortunately, a Photoshop license is an expense that most associations will forego – especially if it’s not a tool that someone will use frequently.

Thankfully, there are a few free resources available that will at least help with the basic functionality you would get out of Photoshop. We’ve tried these ones ourselves – take a look!

If you’re familiar with Photoshop already, Pixlr should be right up your alley. Upon launching the editor, you’ll notice a lot of familiar features! You can download the app right to your desktop, and they even have a mobile version if you need to edit photos on the go. (Say, during your next event?) For those who need a little more than what the free version offers, you can use their paid version for just $5/month.

Looking for something a little more simple? Canva has thousands of free graphic templates that are well designed and easy to edit. This tool is especially handy for those of us who aren’t designers by trade, but need to quickly put together an image that will grab attention. Tip: Have a reoccurring event? Save your designs within Canva so you can revisit them to make quick edits and keep continuity year after year!

Fotor is the best of both worlds with Pixlr and Canva functionality – just a slightly more basic version of each. What’s different about Fotor is, it also comes with a collage tool you can use to easily splice photos together in a visually appealing way. (How cool would that look in your newsletters?!)

Free stock photos
To find some images to use in any of these editors, there are a number of websites that offer access to free stock photos. It may take a little more digging to find what you want than on a website of paid images, but the free ones are just as high quality and beautifully taken! Get started by checking out Flickr, Unsplash, and Pexels.

Stock photo in-website editors
Back to editors for a moment – does your association ever pay for stock photos? If so, many websites like Shutterstock and iStock have built in editors where you can do the basics – resizing, cropping, adding effects, layering, etc. Be sure to check out those capabilities before you make a purchase and download the image as is!

Marketing is SO important to your organization – people can’t join if they don’t know you exist! And the marketing you do really needs to stand out these days. For more tips and tricks on association marketing, get your free download of The Small-Staff Guide to Association Marketing.