Calling Non-Profits: Google Wants to Help You Change the World!

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By Reese Mercer

For those who participate in non-profits and charities, we admire the important work you–and your organizations–perform, google nonprofit screenshotoften in spite of chronic resource shortages and funding.

For many of you, it’s an ongoing struggle for visibility, awareness and relevance to constituents and donors–while keeping important programs alive and bringing vital services to your communities.

To help give agencies more lift, in 2011 Google launched “Google for Non-Profits.” The program lends a helping-hand to non-profits when it comes to increasing their online footprint – through digital communications and collaboration, advertising and donor development.

One non-profit benefiting from Google’s effort is BrightSide Animal Center. CM at BSAC smBrightSide is a ‘high-save’ animal shelter that provides resources, support and innovative solutions to families and their relationships with their pets. Underfunding, and a recent name change, had made it difficult for the organization to get visibility and reach their target constituents in traditional marketing ways.

So earlier this year, BrightSide (through the help of Conversion Max) successfully tapped into the Google program. To Google’s credit, the process couldn’t have been easier or more straightforward. After completing a five minute online application and a few back/forth emails with Google, approval was granted to us within in a matter of weeks.

In the United States, Google for Non-Profits is open to most registered 501c3 charities, excluding those with a mission of government services, health care or education.

After the one-time application and acceptance, approved non-profits can receive ongoing access to four different Google products: Youtube, Earth, Apps and AdWords. With AdWords, non-profits get access to a $10,000 monthly in-kind advertising grant, or an “allowance” for online advertising–which is a beautiful thing!

An important caveat, though, is AdWords can be daunting to implement for some. Since it is an incredibly powerful platform with endless possibilities to create very targeted advertising campaigns with deep analysis, it can take time to learn and master it.  For non-profits who are unfamiliar with the platform, I strongly recommend that you seek guidance and support from a paid professional, in order to correctly establish campaigns and ads that get results.

As a non-profit, you should also be prepared that your new Google AdWords account will bring heightened visibility and increased interest from a much larger Internet audience. Also know that it can take many months to see campaign’s full benefit–but once things kick in, you will be glad for the time invested.

BrightSide Hits Nice Stride

Now in it’s fourth month using Google AdWords grant, BrightSide’s visitor traffic and brand awareness has hit a nice stride. Thanks to Google, we have brought an additional 22% of new visitors to their website. More brand awareness, more visitors and more donors are giving the means for dedicated staff and volunteers to carry out their important mission.

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Reese Mercer

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