Getting Started with Google for Non-Profits

What Benefits are Available to Charities and other Non-profits?

Google offers a range of services, which can be of huge benefit to charities in the UK. Most of these services are business services that could be costly, but are offered for free; saving a great deal of money. Let’s take a look at the offering to give you a head start on using Google for Non-profits.

Are you Eligible?

The Google for Non-profits offering is open to organisations with valid charity status, meaning they are registered with the Charity Commission of England & Wales and have a registered charity number. Governmental organisations are not eligible for the scheme.

What you Will Need Upfront

To register, you will need your charity number. Additionally, have ready-to-hand your charity phone number, registered address and website URL. And that’s it.

Now, head over to the Non-Profit site to register. It takes roughly 5 minutes for the initial registration. Once you’ve submitted the application, it may take 3 days for approval. However, the process usually has a quick turn-a-round. I know that when I submitted an application for my charity, it was granted the same day.

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The Tools Available to Non-Profits

Upon registration there are several tools available for non-profits. Which digital marketing tools can benefit your organisation?

Google Apps

Google apps are an excellent set of tools that many small to medium businesses are using as a way to manage company emails, due to the simple cloud based solutions and affordable costs. Google now offer the apps suite of tools, including custom email addresses, managed through Gmail, for fee for non-profits.

The approval process for using Google apps is pretty straightforward and the link becomes available to you once your non-profit account has been approved.

Having access to Google Apps means you can manage each member of your non-profit’s email accounts from one simple cloud based dashboard and it even allows you to replace @gmail.com with your own domain name. Each user is presented with 30GB of free Google Drive storage too! What could be better?

For my charity, this has been particularly useful as I am able to provide each new volunteer with a unique email address, as well as creating an email forwarding address that is singular to large fundraising events such as, “raceforlife@”, which directs emails to only those individuals working on that particular event. Being a largely web-based charity, having Google Drive and Google Hangouts for free to manage our collaborative work has been amazing.

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Google Grants

Google Grants allows you to take advantage of a free AdWords budget of up to $10,000 per month. However, there are limitations to the scheme, such as the inability to appear on the search partner or display networks, as well as having a maximum bid of $2 per click. This means, you shouldn’t bid on $100 payday loan keyword for a laugh.

The process of applying to Google Grants is a little more complicated than for Google Apps. However, if you stick to Google’s Guide you should be just fine. Although, one thing to note, is that setting up a new AdWords account with your charity email address should be done through this link, rather than by navigating to the standard AdWords set up pages, as this allows you to skip the billing section.

During this application process you will need to create your first advert. This will demonstrate your ability to create a properly structured ad. Google won’t give you a $10k a month budget for free if your ad isn’t well thought out, so it’s a good idea to create a well targeted first ad with a relevant landing page.

For tips on effective PPC management, read this article by my colleague, Colin. If you are relatively new to AdWords, it’s a good idea to gain an understanding of Quality Score.

Ideas for Campaigns

Once your AdWords accounts has been approved, you can start creating some amazing ads. Here are a few quick ideas to get you started:

  • For small charities, create location specific ads to encourage local fundraisers to consider your charity
  • Create location specific corporate sponsorship ads to encourage businesses to partner with your charity
  • If you are a charitable trust, create grant applications as specific to your cause

How are you using Google for Non-Profits? Let us know your top tips in the comments to help others grow their non-profit using Google services.

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