Many non-profit entities I speak to in Australia and New Zealand are not aware of the full scope of credits and discounts that are available from Google, yet there are a lot of opportunities to raise awareness about your mission, generate new leads and grow your donor base.
Google for Non-Profits is Google’s program designed to help non-profit entities leverage some of the most powerful products Google has to offer. So, when put to good use it can really help your non-profit to grow, regardless of whether your NFP is ministry, humanitarian, research, or something else.
So, what does Google actually offer with Google for Nonprofits?
Save on Google Apps with G-Suite for Nonprofits
G-Suite is one of the leading business application suites, aimed at improving internal communication and collaboration. It is perhaps most widely known for the powerful cloud-based Google Mail, Google Docs and Google Drive applications, but there are many others like Google Hangouts that can help facilitate focused internal (and external) communications and Google Calendar that allows you to share calendars with employees or volunteers so everyone is on the same page.
G-Suite for Nonprofits provides free access to G-Suite Basic using your custom domain name. This is more than sufficient for most small non-profit entities and can really help get things moving with completely free office software and premium email tools.
If you need assistance with G-Suite setup or migrating your emails over, please get in touch. We can help you configure and make the most of the tools that Google has available, and Google does provide 24/7 phone, email and online customer support should you choose to go it alone.
Google Ad credits for nonprofits
I’m sure you are well aware of Google Ads, the text ads that show up above and below Google search results, and often in other parts of the internet as well. These ads are an excellent way of reaching potential donors and raising awareness of your cause. SEO is great to help get your website ranking in organic search results, but it can be a long, slow slog to rank well for, especially with increasing competition between both non-profit and for-profit entities. Ads give you the control to put your story in front of people you target when you want to be in front of them.
The thing is, Google Ads are constantly getting more expensive, especially on competitive keywords. Many non-profits, especially in the Christian ministry space, are not aware that Google offers up to $10,000 USD in-kind ad credits to qualifying non-profits through the Google Grants program. There is some confusion about whether this is available to religious non-profits, but, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria and adhere to the program policies, it definitely is open to Christian and other religious non-profits.
Just keep in mind these ad credits are for search ads only, not display ads, and there are some slightly different policies regarding the ad content compared to standard ad accounts so make sure to adhere to all the rules to get the most from the ad credits available to you.
Need help setting up and managing your ad campaigns? Get in touch.
Interactive video fundraising
YouTube has been around for a long time, and, owned by Google, it is also the second-largest search engine in the world after Google itself. The YouTube Nonprofit Program is aimed at assisting non-profit entities to leverage the tools that many vloggers and businesses are already using to increase their reach and engagement.
To be fair, some of the features are not exactly discounted or different from the public tools, like adding clickable calls to action into your videos, however, eligible nonprofits can make use of the YouTube Giving functionality to accept donations directly on their channel and videos. This feature is currently limited to U.S. users, but I’m sure we’ll see it expanding in the near future.
Visualise your impact on Google Earth and Maps
Google Maps is one of the most well-known mapping platforms, but there is a cost associated with using it in your own applications and custom data visualisations. Google for Nonprofits provides free credits for the Google Maps platform, enabling your non-profit organisation to create custom maps, overlay your mission data, demonstrate impact with 360 degree Street View environments and connect communities with the resources you offer.
What are you waiting for?
If your non-profit could benefit from these tools, and let’s be honest, the ad credits alone give you a huge leg up, you can get started by checking the eligibility criteria and if you meet those criteria, apply for the Google for Nonprofits program here.
For Australian non-profits, including Christian ministry organisations the criteria are pretty straight-forward. At the time of writing these are the criteria for Australian organisations:
- Organizations must be currently registered with Connecting Up, TechSoup Global’s regional arm.
- Organizations must be:
- deductible gift recipients (DGRs) endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) or listed by name in the tax law;
- charities registered with the Australian Charities and Nonprofits Commission (ACNC); or
- income tax-exempt not-for-profit organizations as defined by the ATO.
- Organizations must be located in Australia or one of the following territories: Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, or Norfolk Island.
And, you must not be:
- A governmental entity or organisation
- A hospital or health care organisation
- A school, academic institution, or university (philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible).
Please note, that a ministry or non-profit entity that contributes in some way to supporting health care (eg raising funds to provide treatments, disease research and awareness, and other related support) is not considered a health care organisation, so don’t let that dissuade you. A health care organisation is an entity that provides health care as the primary function (eg a GP, radiology practice, dentist etc).
And of course, don’t forget, we are here to support your non-profit all the way, so make sure to get in touch if you need any assistance.