How Google Grants Can Help Your Nonprofit Grow
Whether you are a stat-up or have been driving impact in your field for decades, you are likely looking to expand the impact of your nonprofit in sustainable ways. Google Grants can help you do that. With its free advertising credit for qualifying nonprofits, Google Grants can help your nonprofit grow by enabling you to increase public exposure to important communications and fundraising tools. Below are 5 key aspects of your organization that can benefit and grow through your strategic use of the Google Grants program.
1. Increase your donor base
We don’t have to tell you twice—there can never be such a thing as too many donors or too many donations! Just ask the ALS Foundation, who raised over $115 million in eight weeks and discovered a new ALS gene thanks to an incredibly successful online fundraising campaign in 2014.
While it’s not a smart idea to base your Google Grants ad around donations (people often search for ideas, not nonprofits), you can still approach the Google Grants process with donations in mind.
Ads will bring your target audience to your landing page where you will deliver compelling information that is relevant to what they were searching for. If you do a great job of delivering on your promise, you can invite them to support your work as a direct call-to-action at the bottom of your landing page, or simply invite them into your ultimate donation funnel by encouraging them to learn more about your work. Just remember, however, that keeping your donor base happy and loyal to your nonprofit will be up to you.
2. Cultivate your email list
When users are brought to your landing page, whether it’s a simple, concise story or a hard hitting listing of statistics related to your cause, they should be invited to join others in being a part of your nonprofit’s email contact list. By having access to this personal bit of information, you’ll grow your network and will be able to appeal directly to your contact list for donations, ask for their help in upcoming campaigns, or invite them to participate in a fundraising event.
Pro Tip: Consider segmenting your email lists so that when users sign up, they can opt into the types of content that are most relevant for them. For example, if they are not local, they may like to opt out of your many event invites. Or, if you offer multiple lines of programming for different target audiences, they may just want to stay in-the-know on issues relevant to them. We all get too much email—help your supporters out by allowing them to opt-in to the emails that are valuable to them.
3. Grow your team
Google Grants will help you target and find people who are interested in your nonprofit and/or your cause, making things a lot easier when looking for volunteers or posting a new job opening in your nonprofit. Rather than finding someone through a generic employment listing page, you’ll know you’re recruiting people who are enthusiastic about your nonprofit and its mission. Your nonprofit will be able to do more because you’ll have people in your arsenal who actually want to be there, and you’ll have more hands on deck.
Pro Tip: If you decide to use your Google Grant for hiring and recruiting new team members while also listing the job in more conventional places online, ask your applicants how they heard about the opportunity to see who was truly searching for an opportunity just like the one you’re offering.
4. Hook newsletter subscribers
The point of your newsletter is to provide another place for your audience to engage with your nonprofit over a long-term timeline rather than a “one and done” interaction. Your newsletter is meant to keep subscribers connected to you by giving them detailed updates on your organization, such as the success of your latest fundraising event or how many donations were collected the past month.
Your newsletter is also a good place to do storytelling, such as highlighting a group in need that was recently helped by your nonprofit organization or including a testimonial from a person who has been helped by your organization before. Stories help keep your content interesting and compelling from a human perspective as we all have full inboxes and content needs to wow us to get us to click.
Google Grants will help bring your content to potential newsletter subscribers, but it’s up to you to develop a newsletter strategy that keeps them engaged and far away from the “unsubscribe” button. Your newsletter can be one of the several segmented email lists that users can sign up for. Be sure to promise potential registrants what type of information they can expect to learn by signing up—then deliver on it.
5. Crank up your blog readership
While the newsletter is a bit more like a blurb or quick summary of what’s going on with your nonprofit, the blog is where you can really expand creatively in terms of content. The blog can be used in a variety of ways, such as educating readers and building awareness for current events or issues that are related to your cause. Learn 4 Proven Ways to Make Your Nonprofit Blog More Interesting and How to Use Data to Tell Your Nonprofit’s Story Online.
Google Grants can bring interested users to your blog, which will help build your following if you give them a place to sign up to receive blog updates. Blogging will also bring attention to your nonprofit by offering the type of frequently-updated, comprehensive content that search engines prioritize. Bringing your audience to you for valuable content, rather than you paying to market to them, is what the highly-popular trend of inbound marketing is all about.
In the end, these five things work together to foster two critical factors in helping your nonprofit grow: connection and engagement. It’s important to remember, however, that without fantastic content, your efforts to use Google Grants to increase your donor base, cultivate your email list, grow your team, hook newsletter subscribers, and crank up your blog readership will fall short. Be sure that your organization is investing effort both in managing Google Grants strategically and developing compelling stories, videos, and other communications products you feature online.