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Google for Non-Profits: Help for Those Who Help Others

Google for Non-Profits
There are a lot of organizations that devote themselves to help other people and don’t want to profit from it. They exist and survive on donations from people that believe in their cause, and grants from the government and other businesses. With the reach of digital marketing and various internet tools you would hope there was a way for these non-profit organizations to benefit from these tools. Thanks to Google it is possible.

Google’s AdWords Express and Ad Grants

You are probably thinking this must be new because you haven’t heard of such a program. The fact is Google started Google Ad Grants 13 years ago. The purpose of the program is to give nonprofits free advertising online to reach out to people around the world promoting their cause. Since nonprofits have to stretch their budgets to work as efficiently as possible, Google created AdWords Express for the Ad Grants program and launched it in 2015. AdWords Express, as you may know, is a nearly self-running version of AdWords so time and resources to manage the online advertising aren’t taking away from the real purpose of the organization.

Google Ad Grants offers $10,000 per month in-kind advertising to qualified nonprofit organizations. There are criteria that must be met and not all types of nonprofits qualify. The Ad Grants program was established in 2003 and is live in 53 countries. To date, there are 20K+ Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) around the world and Google has donated a total of $3B of in-kind advertising. Along with the Google Ad Grants program, organizations have free access to Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive, and YouTube for Nonprofits

The Google Ad Grants program has several restrictions in place. First, the $10K monthly budget equates to a daily spend of $329. There is also a $2.00 limit on CPC and you can only use keyword targeted campaigns on the Search Network. You cannot use the Display Network or Search Partners. With a paid AdWords account, you can adjust your bids to boost your ad placement without a ceiling, on how much you can bid. With the Google Ad Grants program, you have to make the $2.00 bid work for you. Look at your ads; are they relevant to what you are promoting? Are your keywords working for you or against you? These are the same steps that you use with a regular account with limitations, only there is one difference; Google is covering your cost.

Since Google is covering your cost you do not need to fill in the billing information when creating your account for both AdWords and AdWords Express. When you get the email to fill in the billing information you can ignore it. How great is that?


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YouTube’s Nonprofit Program

The Ad Grants program is not the only product available for nonprofit organizations through Google, to promote the cause. The YouTube Nonprofit Program gives you the chance to tell your story through video around the world. With one billion YouTube monthly viewers, organizations of all sizes can take advantage of an audience that can grow your support base both financially and with volunteers.

First, you need to create a YouTube channel for your organization. Once you have been approved for Google for Nonprofits you have to enroll for each program individually. YouTube gives you the chance to raise money with donation cards that viewers fill out from the video. In some situations, giving viewers multiple options or choices is a good idea but here, Google suggests that only one donation card be used in each video so the viewer isn’t overwhelmed. Common sense tells you to keep the donation card relevant to your cause and the content of the video.

Along with donation cards YouTube has Link Anywhere Cards to send viewers to specific landing pages, YouTube Channels, and more. Google will guide you through the process. YouTube Spaces is a video through Google for Nonprofits. To qualify for YouTube Spaces you must have a minimum 1,000 subscribers and your channels must not have copyrights and terms of use strikes. There are locations around the world that are used for this service so it may not be advantageous to use this offering.

Google Earth Outreach

Another product available is Google Earth Outreach. Have you been on Google Earth and watched any of the tours? You can see tours of France and the Eiffel Tower or Mt. Fuji among others. You can create a 10 minute video showing sites where your work is being done, the people you are serving, and the benefit of your work. The visual effects of a video can produce great results when presented properly. Google Earth Outreach is more than just Google Earth, it is also Google Earth Engine bringing the world’s satellite imagery and makes it available online. With Google My Maps, you can create custom maps and publish them online. These are just a few of the options available through Google Earth Outreach.

Google One Today

Google One Today takes your cause into the palm of the public’s hand with mobile apps. Users download the app and projects are displayed daily, based on the user’s interests. Users can donate to projects they like and share them with their friends. As each person shares your project, the more widespread your story becomes, and the more opportunities you get to raise donations to fund your programs and get more people involved.

As users start to make pledges, it doesn’t mean you have started collecting the funds. Donations towards the pledge are accumulated for a month before the user is sent a reminder of the balance. Once the pledge is paid off, only then will the funds be distributed to your program.

So, if you are with a nonprofit organization and could use a little help with a little financial support to spread the word, Google for Nonprofits has programs that you can benefit from. The end result can only be worth the time it takes to do a little research.

– Gary Harvison, PPC Manager

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