Finding compelling images on a nonprofit or limited budget can be tricky. And when you’re an honest person (high five for not stealing from other artists), it can be hard to fill up your social media queue or find the perfect images for your design project.
There are hundreds of royalty-free and free-for-commercial-use image websites out there. Here are some of my favorites:
Rich and non-cheesy stock images. I do well here when I’m searching for images for my teen or millennial focused accounts. Easy to use searching
Large selection of quality images. I like that their search platform shows things that are close to your keyword when it runs out images with your target word. Sometimes it’s a miss, but occasionally it’s really helpful.
Not always the first place I go, but frequently they have options that my other go-to’s don’t. They also have some graphics/illustrations, which is helpful.
Similar to Pexels and Unsplash, but frequently locates an off-topic kind of picture I need. Has more artistic options and random artsy stock images, which I appreciate.
Check our their Whimsical category for fun and inspiration. I like this site when I’m looking for something off-the-wall and quirky.
Need Christian content? Freely is your place. Some traditional, some modern, lots of worship and music options.
Looking for an image of a specific location or historic event? This is always my first (and last) stop.
Sign up for their emails and you’ll get a weekly message on Mondays with 6 free items of the week. They can include photos, templates, fonts, illustrations, and more.
Great if you’re running digital marketing for an outdoorsy operation or just need a killer cloud photo to use for texture.
Perfect for when you’re posting about a specific location, but can’t afford to send yourself half way around the world to photograph said location (I’ve tried — it’s never in the budget).
Typical disclaimer: Be smart online. Don’t steal things. I’m not a lawyer and can’t verify that every image on every one of these sites is legit. Websites may also change their licensing or policies after this article has been posted.