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Train Campaign Tools & Materials

This toolkit was developed to help other grassroots rail initiatives.

First, a note about nonprofit status. The Barrington Institute is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and therefore donations to the Train Campaign, its main current project, are tax-deductible.

To establish a nonprofit entity generally requires a lawyer and costs several thousand dollars. It does, however, make it possible to get reduced prices on some equipment and services, and to apply to charitable grants and funds such as Amazon Smile. We have specified when a service we use has nonprofit pricing.

Online Tools

WordPress.com – website services

Like many companies, we use the free open-source website platform WordPress. Our web hosting space is provided by Berkshire Publishing Group, but there is an option to host a site at WordPress.com, too. There are many other options for setting up a website, some of them easier to use, but WordPress gives us a wide variety of options and integrates well with other services we use.

Mailchimp.com – email communication

Mailchimp is a well-known email management system that synchronizes with WordPress and other apps. Nonprofits get a 15% discount, and Mailchimp is free if you have a mailing list under 2,000. (We used the free version for years.)

Canva.com – graphic design tool

This is a terrific online graphic design program that makes it possible for someone with a good eye and reasaonable tech skills, but no graphic design training, to create professional looking graphic elements. We consider it essential, and there is a special nonprofit rate.


Maps are extremely important in communicating about train service. We use the following:

  • Google Maps
  • GISCorps volunteers

PayPal, Donorbox, Stripe – donation systems

These payment system make it easy for people to support an organization, and they are relatively easy to set up with a bank account number. Nonprofit status means a lower commission charge.

Idealist.org – staff and volunteer recruitment

We have used Idealist to recruit our excellent summer interns. Nonprofit  organizations only.

Amazon Smile charity link

Use this link when you purchase from Amazon (if you do – we’ll understand if you do not!): https://smile.amazon.com/ch/20-1670260

Train Campaign Graphics

We’re happy to share design components and the files for our promotional and educational materials. If you use them, we’d appreciate a line of credit on your website.

Take-one “train ticket” cards

Download high-resolution (for printing)

Design components that you can use and adapt

If you have questions, please drop us a line: thetraincampaign@gmail.com