Lisa Habersack
by Lisa Habersack

5 Ways Google Grants is More Powerful than You Thought

We’ve already discussed how one of your nonprofit’s biggest mistakes could be not using Google Grants.  Yes, managing Google Grants properly will accomplish obvious objectives like increasing your web traffic, raising your level of exposure, and if you’re really great at it—increasing donations.

But what really makes Google Grants really powerful is its potential to do more than achieve these obvious outcomes. In this post we’ll encourage you to think big about creative ways you can use your Google Grant that you may have never considered before.  

Do more with your Google Grant. 

Securing a Google Grant and using it to get an increase in web traffic creates a domino effect, opening up the potential for your nonprofit to grow in exciting new ways. In order to tackle these objectives with success, make sure you know how your Google Grant can be improved in order to refine and improve your results over time.

Did you know that Google Grants can help your nonprofit do these things?

1. Reach new audiences: It’s tough to get the story of your nonprofit in front of people who aren’t already familiar with you. Maybe you’ve already saturated your local market with in-person events and local media, and you want to reach more potential supporters state-wide or even nationally. Google Grants is unique in that you can target the ad to display to users in the geographic area you define. In addition to geographic selection, you can advertise with keywords that represent the needs and interests of the new audience group you want to target.

For example, maybe you’re a children’s education organization who is expanding to offer new services to teenagers. The search terms used to reach teenagers and their parents will be very different from those interested in services for children. Google Grants is the perfect mechanism for thinking about who you want to reach that you’re having trouble reaching otherwise. With the right strategy in place for after the click, you ensure that the audience will stick around for continued engagement and learning about your work.

2. Recruit and connect with volunteers: With Google Grants, you’ll be able to create ads using keywords geared towards attracting volunteers to your nonprofit. You’ll be able to draw in people who are specifically looking for volunteer opportunities in the nonprofit sector based in your local area, or those who are interested in volunteering for your cause. Volunteers who are brought to your nonprofit through these ads and your website are those who were actively looking to contribute in their own way to your specific mission, meaning they are more likely to sign up and more likely to become engaged volunteers in the long run.

3. Jumpstart an advocacy campaign: Is your nonprofit working to bring a specific issue to the forefront of citizens’ minds? Are you looking for a way to increase the visibility of your advocacy campaign? In conjunction with strategic partnerships with similar organizations, blog posts, and a social media plan, Google Grants is a smart tool for increasing the reach of your message to a wider andbmore engaged audience.

Effective keywords are ones that real people are searching every day—that means rather than your nonprofit’s name or industry jargon, thematic words and phrases like “healthy water” or “upcycle” have good results. This is important because these are exactly the kinds of words you’d want to be using to create an effective campaign for change.  

Pro Tip: Make sure to leverage the interest of these likeminded individuals by inviting them to share information about your campaign through clear, easy social share links on your landing page.

4. Connect with the individuals in need of your services: Consider the Redwood Women’s Shelter, for example, which helps abused women and children. This organization found that their target group, abused women and children, use the internet as a tool to acquire service information and reach out for assistance. Redwood Women’s Shelter used Google Grants to advertise a 24/7 crisis hotline. Are you ready to hear the incredible results?

75% of women who call and receive assistance through that hotline were led there through the ad that was created using Google Grants. This kind of outreach can be extremely critical to your overall impact, maybe even more influential that the outreach that brings you clicks, donors, and volunteers. Through Google Grants, you could have the opportunity to actively engage with those groups in need directly in ways you couldn’t before. Make sure your ad is there to answer the call of those you serve, when they need it most.

5. Build your newsletter list: This benefit is important, but often overlooked! By building your newsletter list, you increase the audience for all of your most important content—from calls for donations to event invitations and more. How can you use Google Grants to build your newsletter list?

While we don’t recommend building an ad around subscribing to a newsletter, (we’ve never searched about subscribing to a nonprofit newsletter, have you?) we highly recommend including a compelling call to sign up at the bottom of your landing page. If the landing page was useful and delivered on the information promised through the ad, users will be more inclined to see you as a source for valuable content and sign up to stay engaged.

Another success story

In addition to Redwood Women’s Shelter and the other nonprofits who have seen a return on their Google Grant investment, America’s Charities has also seen steady numbers. Presented in their article “Optimizing Your Nonprofit’s Impact Using Google Adwords Grant” by Sarah Ford, America’s Charities in 2012, prior to applying for their Google Grant the following year, saw 4,000-9,000 page views per month and 39,000 total visitors to their website. Following their Google Grant approval in 2013, America’s Charities doubled their monthly page views and tripled the number of visitors to their website.

With proper management and a dedication to maximizing their use of their Google Grant, they were able to qualify for a $40,000 per month Nonprofit Adwords grant in 2014. Their numbers continued to show growth with web traffic 5x greater and website visitors 4x more than in 2012. At the start of the first quarter of 2015, they reported website traffic up 243% compared to the same time period in 2014 with website visitors up 247%. Are you convinced yet?

Side note: Ever heard of Google's nonprofit program?

Did you know Google provides nonprofits with $10,000 per month in free advertising credit? This program is known as Google Grants and it's available to almost every 501c3 nonprofit organization. We've put together a free live one on one demo. All you have to do is click the button below.

Lisa Habersack

Lisa Habersack
Lisa is an award-winning social impact storyteller with 10 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. She helps nonprofits—ranging from start-ups to international development agencies—tell stories that inspire, engage, and connect. Learn more at www.lisahabersack.com.

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