I have launched my Non-Profit website, Now what? – It may be time to apply for a Google Grant
More business’ are going digital and online. Everyone & everything is going mobile so online opportunities present themselves allowing local NGO’s to showcase their ideas, products, and create brand awareness through online (and mobile) searches, social media, YouTube, Apps, e-mail and other online marketing areas.
Organizations have started to realise the need to shift, adapt, implement and capitalize on as many of these options as they have at their disposal to supplement their current marketing. And with paid marketing (Google Ads), they have the ability to compete with other organizations in their respective industries.
There is another niche that is not explored as much. Non-Profit organisations are a beautiful part of our humanity who have their own, different ways of focusing on improving quality of life and providing solutions for the less fortunate. But while they rely on donors, contributions, volunteers, word of mouth and donations, not all (especially smaller NGO’s) have the ability or budget to hire online marketing teams or fund paid advertising for campaigns to get their brand online and reach an even broader audience with their work. Google has created an incredible solution and its entirely free.
What is Google for Non-Profits?
Google for Non-Profits has been around for quite a few years now, originally called “Google Grants” it offered eligible NGO’s and NPO’s the same, but limited, power of Google AdWords to advertise and run campaigns on Google. The offer is a monthly budget of $10 000 to spend only on Google Search/Tex ads, and use other tools to drive effective campaigns. In order to get started, you are required to check that you are firstly eligible (see here) and then register here.
*Please note: though eligibility may vary entirely based on Google’s discretion for education-based NGO’s Google also offers: Google For Education for schools & universities that may not qualify
NGO’s that are eligible and registered are then able to create & run ad campaigns, and may do so independently or even get an agency to set up and run the campaigns for them. At Casson media as part of our social responsibility initiative, we have taken on the building of websites and eventual setup and management of Google Ad Grants for a few NGO’s in varying industries for free. After creating the campaign(s) you are then able to track performance and even utilise Google other tools: Google Analytics, Tag Manager, Google Optimize & Search console as well.
Changes & Updates
Over the years, particularly between 2018-2019, changes were introduced to Google Ad Grants that not only improved how it delivered advertising but increased the chances of Non-Profit organizations to perform better in their online search presence. Some examples being that the $2 maximum CPC was lifted and automatically increased within keywords, when “Maximize Conversions” automated bidding was selected, allowing campaigns to compete better and also make the most of the underspent $10 000 monthly budget.
However, due to the increase of registered NGO’s Google hoped to improve the quality of campaigns by effectively requiring the overall Click Through Rate (CTR) to be no less than 5% and for keywords to have a quality score of no less than 3/10 in order for the Grant to remain active. Those who failed to meet these requirements by the cut off date inevitably had their Google Ad Grants accounts de-activated and, needed to redo their campaigns and get a manual Google verification in order to re-activate them.
More recently Google for Non-Profits has continued to improve its offering further by introducing other Google Products to our disposal alongside Google Ad Grants such as: YouTube For Non-Profits, GSuite for Non-Profits, Google Earth & Maps and Google Donation Tools, all invaluable resources.