How to Use Google for Non-profits

Most of us have a cause we’re passionate about–somewhere we choose to donate our time, money and resources. For some, it’s the arts community and others it’s a church, but the common denominator is giving back. We do it because we have the means to, and if we’re honest about it, because it feels good to lend a helping hand.

If you’ve done any work with nonprofits or know someone who works at a nonprofit, the biggest obstacle holding them back from saving the world is money. Oh, the things they could do if they had the budget, right? Money doesn’t grow on trees, but there are resources for nonprofits to use which makes marketing easier on a shoestring budget. Let me introduce you to Google for Nonprofits, a program designed to help nonprofits with free access to Google products.

Getting started is easy. Go to the Google for Nonprofits page. To enroll, a nonprofit must prove their tax status and provide information about their cause. After completing the simple signup form, they can pick and choose Google products which best suit their needs. The program itself is free to use, but some products like have additional restrictions and not all nonprofits will qualify for them. Eligible nonprofits can use products like AdWords and YouTube to take their marketing efforts to the next level.

Free Advertising with Google Grants

Google Grants is an amazing program which gives nonprofits can qualify for up to $10,000 a month in free AdWords credits. This is a valuable resource when a nonprofit is looking to gain exposure for their website and promote programs. Google Grants does require maintenance by the nonprofit to keep running but it’s designed for people who aren’t AdWords pros to understand. There are tutorials and videos inside the program to help the organization get up and running. Not every nonprofit is eligible, notably hospitals and health care programs, but for those qualifying groups, it can be a huge tool to gain exposure and visibility online.

Branded YouTube Channel

Companies pay big bucks for premium branded YouTube channels, but Google offers them for free to nonprofits. Premium branding allows these organizations to step up their game with customized backgrounds, banners, logos and thumbnail tiles for a polished and professional look that sets the tone of their organization and adds credibility to their cause. They will also have the ability to upload longer and larger files than a basic channel. Looking pretty is important, but nonprofits can really utilize their channel by adding donation buttons to drive fundraising efforts and call to action overlays on videos.

The Google for Nonprofits program is helpful for organizations looking for ways to maximize their online marketing efforts without dipping into their budget or taking away from their current programs. Every little bit helps when there’s the world to save.

photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video via photopin cc