Started by Google in 2003, Google Grants helps nonprofit organizations raise money and promote their missions and initiatives on Google. I think Google Grants is one of the biggest missed opportunities in nonprofit fundraising today. But what is Google Grants?
Essentially it’s a nonprofit edition of Google AdWords, Google’s online Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising tool. Canadian registered charities can receive up to $10,000 per month in free advertising within the Google AdWords search engine marketing platform called the Google Display Network. That’s ten thousand reasons to apply for Google Grants today!
How to use free PPC
Organizations selected for the program can use the free PPC advertisements to promote their organization’s website, raise awareness for their cause, recruit volunteers, attract new donors, market fundraising events and more. Google estimates around 6,000 nonprofit organizations are currently in the Google Grants program.
Check out this example of a PPC ad that appears anytime a web visitor types the keywords “Hurricane Sandy Relief” into Google’s search box. It’s very likely that the featured organization, the American Red Cross, is in the program.
Google doesn’t accept every organization into the Google Grants program. Government organizations, community groups that require a membership, or organizations already using Google Adsense are not eligible. Another caveat: Google will not accept organizations with websites of poor quality, which they define as having a vague mission statement and a poor user experience.
Any organization that is accepted must manage its own Adwords program, which means it must create the ads and select the most relevant search keywords to attract visitors to their website. The ads, which can be text only, must link to a page on the organization’s website, and the keywords must be relevant to their cause. During the program, an organization can’t show revenue-generating ads, such as Google AdSense or affiliate advertising links. An organization remains part of the grant program as long as it keeps its AdWords account active.
While Google for Nonprofits is open only to organizations based in the United States, Google Grants is open to organizations based in 28 countries, including Canada. Canadian charities can check out these guidelines to get started.
Daniel J. Gonzalez resides in Lake Oswego, OR and is an online marketing manager with Sage Nonprofit. He is responsible for the management of all product websites, SEO and PPC campaigns. Daniel has over 13 years of experience in online marketing, SEO/SEM, lead generation and online advertising. Daniel is also a contributing blogger on Sage Nonprofit’s blog SageWords.net. Contact Daniel by email or @djgonzalez on Twitter.