Leveraging Google Grants for Your Nonprofit

google grants

If your nonprofit is not using Google Grants, you’re missing out. A Google Grant is a large, free source of inbound traffic and advertising that could make a significant impact on your organization’s awareness reach, online fundraising, and volunteer pool.

Make this opportunity part of your digital fundraising strategy for 2018 and beyond. Learn how to leverage Google Grants, and why it’s important for your nonprofit.

What Are Google Grants?

Google Grants provide eligible nonprofits up to $10,000 of free advertising per month from Google AdWords. You should already be using Google Analytics, and coupling it with conver-sion tracking will help you monitor exactly how your ad campaigns are doing, and whom they’re reaching.

Google AdWords ads appear on Google search engine results pages above (and sometimes be-low) the organic search results. These ads offer a lot of exposure to nonprofits.

To qualify for a Google Grant, your nonprofit must be registered as a charitable organization (501(c)(3)), registered with Techsoup (a company that validates charitable status), in agree-ment with Google’s requirements. You must also run a legitimate website. The grants come from the Google for Nonprofits program.

How Do Google Grants Fit into a Digital Fundraising Strategy?

According to Jeff Stanger, Chief Executive at Cause Geek, digital fundraising should be easy to measure, easily show return on investment, and easily show causation versus correlation. By accomplishing these goals, nonprofits will increase email subscribers, monthly donations, and volunteers.

Google Grants for Google AdWords fit into these goals perfectly. By having your nonprofit’s website appear on Page 1 of Google along with organic search results, additional eyeballs trans-lates into increased awareness for your cause—and you can track every single metric using Google Analytics and conversion tracking. It’s a great way to monitor the return on investment and causation versus correlation.

Google’s metrics will show you what’s working and what’s not, so you can maximize your Google Grant and your entire digital fundraising strategy.

A Case Study from Google

On the Google Ad Grants site, they explore the success of GlobalGiving’s grant. This nonprof-it’s goal was to increase visits to their page, expand their impact to new countries, and drive online donations.

“After trying traditional marketing efforts, GlobalGiving turned to Google Ad Grants in 2008 to drive qualified traffic to their website and ultimately increase donations to their variety of projects,” explains Google.

GlobalGiving used metrics and conversion tracking to compare their performance data with industry and consumer trends, and to show which of their campaigns and projects were popular with viewers, to inform future fundraising goals and strategies.

According to Google, GlobalGiving’s website traffic is up over 400% from when they first joined Ad Grants in 2008.

“Google Ad Grants has helped drive more than 350,000 visitors to our site, bringing an addi-tional $440,000 from more than 5,000 donations – and all without any cost to our organization,” says Kevin Conroy, Chief Product Office, GlobalGiving.

Clearly, Ad Grants, and the AdWords campaigns that the grant funds, can make a big difference for a nonprofit.

Your nonprofit organization can meet its goals, much like GlobalGiving, with the combination of a Google Grant, and excellent ad management. GlobalGiving used tracking and metrics to maximize its grant and advertising dollars.

Make the Most of Your Google Ad Grant

While many nonprofits are eligible for Google Ad Grants, not all organizations are using this extensive amount of in-kind funding to its full benefit. You can take full advantage of your Google Ad Grant with a well managed AdWords campaign. I strongly recommend extending your grant value with professional management (and I can help pair you with a team that’s perfectly suited for your organization).

A professional AdWords team knows exactly how to best utilize the Google Grant and get your organization the most value. This will translate into maximizing donations and volunteer re-cruitment, as well as ensuring that you’re meeting all of your goals and building internal capac-ity at the same time.

AdWords professionals understand keyword research and which terms to use in an ad campaign in order to get the highest quality clicks. They can also write the best ad copy to drive interest, and generate clickthroughs, based on your ideal donor demographics.

In addition to knowing how to cater your ads to your target demographic using ad settings, a seasoned professional will waste no time in maximizing your ad to its highest potential, reach-ing the right donors and volunteers at the right time.

After creating the perfect ad, the management team can track all of the metrics to ensure that your ad is doing exactly what it’s intended to do.

Google Analytics has a lot of information and options hidden within it. When you engage an expert to manage this aspect of your digital fundraising strategy, you’ll unlock a lot of knowledge that can help your internal communications and development teams down the road. To start, you’ll save time and effort, with great results.

Google Ad Grants offer a great opportunity for eligible nonprofits. Given that you do not have to pay for the advertising in-kind, you should strongly consider using some of your budget to hire out ad management expertise that can take your AdWords campaign to the next level and beyond.

Author: Kelly Campbell
Kelly Campbell is an Agency Leader Transformation Coach based in New York. The former owner of a cause marketing agency for 14 years, she helps creative leaders transform their businesses and their lives—focusing on the 5 P's: purpose, people, positioning, pipeline and profitability. She speaks at agency growth conferences across the country, has been featured in The New York Times, Woman Entrepreneur and Forbes, gets vulnerable on Medium, and is currently authoring her first book on reframing leadership. She is the host of THRIVE: Your Agency Resource, a bi-weekly video podcast sponsored by Workamajig that helps agency owners navigate personal and professional growth.

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