If your organization is a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status like we work with at Puzzle Pieces, Google has some amazing free tools for you. Under what it has named “Google for Nonprofits”, the tech giant offers free or special access to G Suite, Google Ads, YouTube, Google Earth and a special app for nonprofits called “One Today”.
The aim of this offer is to provide Google apps for nonprofits that can help them run smarter and drive more donations. One of the most convincing reasons to make the switch? $10,000 in Google Ads credits! A month!
G Suite for Nonprofits
Most people are familiar with Gmail, but Google offers a lot more within G Suites to help the productivity of any organization skyrocket. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides are usually the most utilized apps and are all part of Google Drive. These are on-par with Microsoft Suites, plus they allow people within your organization to collaborate and edit documents in real time.
Also included are:
- Unlimited Gmail user accounts, with an email address custom to your organization
- Google Calendar – Integrated with Gmail, making the process of adding events easy
- Google Forms – Create surveys, questionnaires and more
- Google Sites – Create your own web pages with drag and drop designing
- Google Admin – Manage information, users, access and more in G Suites
- Google Vault – Manage and archive data across G Suites
G Suites is an undeniably powerful set of apps, but it can also be daunting if you’re not already familiar. While transitioning from other tools can be hard, Google makes the learning curve as painless as possible with lots of documentation, tutorials and videos. In the long run, transitioning to G Suites is worth it for one very important reason – collaboration. The synchronization of the tools offered can connect your team members like never before and streamline outdated processes.
Google Ad Grants
Google Ads are the ads that appear next to the search results when you search in Google, called “PPC” (pay-per-click) in the SEO and marketing industry. Google Ads is an all-but-guaranteed way to drive traffic to your website, but a lot of smaller organizations can’t afford to use this tool to its full potential. The average monthly cost for a small business can be anywhere from $500 to $3000, making Google for Nonprofits offer of $10,000 per month in ad credits a pretty convincing reason to sign up.
As far as the small print involved with this offer – there are some, but very minor, limitations. Ads only run on Google.com (not Google Search partners) and ads can’t contain any images or videos. What you do get is the full powerhouse of Google Ads platform for researching, creating and managing your campaigns.
- Drive new traffic to your website
- Promote upcoming programs and events
- Encourage donations
- Attract new email subscribers
- Learn more about your audience and their behavior for better targeting
As with any new software, there’s a lot to learn about running a successful campaign in Google Ads. A marketing savvy member of your team can get Google Ads certified, but many businesses choose to outsource their campaigns due to the level of experience that can be required. To that end, keep a lookout for an upcoming blog post from Puzzle Pieces that will delve further into how Google Ad Grants can dramatically boost awareness and engagement for your cause.
YouTube Nonprofit Program
As our culture becomes increasingly digital, using video to reach your audience is becoming more and more of a necessity. Unfortunately, sometimes nonprofits don’t have the time, budgeted or expertise to create the caliber of videos that they would like to. Enter YouTube Nonprofit Program, which aims to help nonprofits develop their video and YouTube skills, all at no charge.
Main features include:
- No fees on any donations made through your YouTube channel
- Link Anywhere Cards – Small pop-up boxes that appear throughout your video and give your viewers a call to action, like a suggestion to visit your website or donation page.
- YouTube Spaces – If your page has 1000 subscribers, you can use YouTube’s production studios (located in Los Angeles and NYC) to learn about video production, attend events and even produce video content for your organization – FOR FREE!
If your organization has any experience with the YouTube Nonprofit Program or is about to, Puzzle Pieces would love to be part of your journey. Drop us a line!
Google Earth Outreach
This feature of Google for Nonprofits probably applies to a much smaller number of nonprofits, but for those few it might be revolutionary. Google Earth Outreach gives nonprofits access to the Premium Google Maps API, which gives them access to geographical information all over the world. An organization integrate Google’s data into their website to:
- Display customized maps on your website of areas where your organization does work
- Use the Premium Google Maps API to create maps and plot data for internal purposes such as research or case studies
- Integrate Google Maps into your organization’s software
- Want to learn more about Google Earth Outreach? Let Puzzle Pieces know, and we might dedicate a future blog post to it.
One Today by Google
This relatively new mobile app (2018) was developed by Google specifically for nonprofits. Organizations develop their profiles and campaigns to entice users to donate, while Google works their magic to promote nonprofits to users based on their preferences. Hopefully this will become one of the most powerful Google apps for nonprofits, because it connects donors to each other as a community on a dedicated platform.
This app taps into the social media aspect of charitable donation, maximizing the potential for your cause to go viral within that community. Tied to this is also a feature of the app where users can make a donation in friends’ names, which is intended to spread awareness and hopefully inspire people to pay it forward. Whether it’s altruism or good old-fashioned peer pressure, if it works, it helps.
- 100% of donations go to the nonprofits
- Donations can be as little as $1
- Automatic receipting
- Shareable campaigns for your social media
Determine Your Eligibility
Now that you’ve learned a little about all the features, it’s time to get over to the website and determine your 501(3)(c) organization’s eligibility for Google for Nonprofits. Don’t worry, Google offers clear explanations and resources to both determine eligibility and guide you through the application process.
If you’re considering transitioning to Google for Nonprofits and want to maximize your success with Google Ad Grants, Puzzle Pieces can help. Our SEO expertise can help your organization create ad campaigns that can build brand awareness, drive traffic and generate more donations. Keep an eye out for our next blog post, a more in-depth look at all that Google Ad Grants has to offer.