Six reasons why charities should get Google Grants

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Google Grants is an amazing program that gives eligible charities up to $10,000 per month in free online advertising. Here are 6 reasons why charities need to take advantage of this opportunity and get a Google Grant.

1. You can get a huge marketing budget for no cost

It’s no secret that one of the biggest challenges for charities is funding. With all the costs associated with running the organization and fulfilling your charitable mission, finding ways to be cost efficient is critical. That’s why getting $10,000 per month in FREE online marketing via Google Grants is so incredible. As a business owner I would be salivating over the opportunity to have a marketing budget that size, nearly $120,000 every year. Especially for smaller charities, having such a huge marketing budget can get you exposure without dipping into donation dollars.

2. Google Ads work

Whenever I tell people about pay-per-click ads on Google, I often get asked whether people actually click on those things. The answer is a definitive yes. Google Ads work by charging advertisers every time someone clicks on the ad (hence why they’re called pay-per-click ads). In 2011 advertisers spent $37.9 billion on Google Ads, which amounts to a lot of clicks and eyeballs on content. While they can draw visitors in, AdWord campaigns can also be expensive. With the Google Grants program now supplying the free AdWords credits, charities can tap into this traffic-generating vehicle.

3. Everybody is going online for information

Every day we interact with devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers that connect us to the Internet. In fact, an estimated 3 billion Google searches are conducted each day. It’s evident that how people find information has and is changing away from traditional offline methods. If everyone is going to search engines like Google to find information, then to advertise yourself inside that medium makes a lot of sense. Google Grants lets you do exactly that.

4. A strong online presence is necessary for long-term survival

I wrote in another post about The Declining Role of Generation-Y in Charities. In there, I discuss why it’s so important to a charity’s survival to engage the young generation. Essentially, engaging youth both as service users and service supporters is necessary to a charity’s survival. As a technology-fed generation, connecting with them will increasingly require a strong online presence. Google Grants, among other things like social media, is another great tool to use to achieve those means, and while the opportunity is there, you should take it.

5. It makes an immediate search impact

If you research into developing your online presence, you’ll probably run across the term SEO which stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO refers to the things you do in order to make your website appear higher in search results. Actually doing SEO is tough and there’s an entire industry dedicated to the job. It takes a lot of work and time in order to realize the gains, but if you’re successful the results are dramatic. Google Grants, on the other hand, fits into a category called SEM or “Search Engine Marketing”. SEM refers to the things you do to advertise your site online. It also takes work but what’s different is that it has an immediate search impact in that right away your website could appear at the top of search results (in the area reserved for sponsored links). Had you done it through SEO, it could be six months before you make it to just the first page of search results.

6. It can increase online fundraising

Google Grants can absolutely increase your online fundraising. One example of how Google Grants can achieve this is by causing your charity’s website to show up in an ad whenever someone searches “where to donate” to a particular cause. Another example is if your charity is running a fund raising event like a concert, you can use Google Grants to publicize the occasion to those searching for an event like that. Full disclaimer, every charity will see different increases to online fundraising. How much impact it has depends on many factors, like what your cause is (some are easier to fund raise for that others) and how good your site is at encouraging people to donate. Still, it can only help your charity raise more, and given that online fundraising is one of the fastest growing donation channels, it’s worthwhile to bolster it any way you can.

This article originally appeared on the ConnectAd website and is reprinted with permission.

ConnectAd is a digital marketing agency that exclusively helps nonprofits grow their impact. Managing Ad Grants since 2010. Based out of a world-leading hub for social innovation in Toronto.

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