Google Grants for good causes

The handful of companies that dominate online advertising have come under intense scrutiny lately — and rightly so. But here is one program you can feel good about and that too few organizations are taking advantage of.

While they rake in billions of dollars from online advertising, the digital wizards at Google are also quite generous. The internet behemoth has a program known as Google Ad Grants that offers eligible charitable organizations up to $10,000 of credit each month for search engine marketing (SEM) ads on the Google’s AdWords network.

Yes, ten grand every month! This funding can allow charitable organizations to reach a broader audience of potential donors, volunteers, people who benefit from charitable work and other stakeholders while saving charities’ resources for fulfilling their core mission, including delivering charitable programs and services.

Google doesn’t just offer these grants to a few dozen, or even a few hundred charitable organizations. Almost every Canadian charitable organization that meets the eligibility requirements can receive a grant.

To be eligible for a grant an organization must:

  1. Be registered as a charitable organization in Canada
  2. Register with the Canadian branch of TechSoup, a global technology hub for non-profits that helps Google to validate that applicants are indeed non-profit organizations.

Before you send your board members an ecstatic message about having solved next year’s budgetary woes, be warned: there is another eligibility requirement. The following types of charities and not-for-profit organizations are explicitly excluded from Google’s ad grant program:

  1. Governmental entities or organizations
  2. Hospitals or health care organizations
  3. Schools, academic institutions and universities (though a philanthropic arm of an educational organization may be eligible)

Does your organization qualify? If so, you can receive $10,000 of in-kind AdWord advertising each month from Google Grants. While the Google AdWords platform allows users to run ads in a variety of formats (text, display images, video), the grants can only be used for SEM ads, which are text only (no videos or images) and appear primarily on Google search results pages.

When SEM ads are properly created, however, most organizations – private companies and non-profits alike – find them to be an essential form of advertising that brings in the highest return on investment. SEM ads are crucial because they ensure that people who are actively looking for your services will reliably find you among the top two or three search results.

The Google Ad Grant program is a huge opportunity for eligible charitable organizations of any size, from small local start-ups to established national organizations.

There is one interesting catch: Google wants you to use the whole $10,000 each month, which requires a bit of digital marketing management. If you do not have an in-house digital marketing expert, Google has free online tutorials so you can learn SEM basics and learn how to use Google’s AdWords platform. Or, if you want help developing a strategy for how to best use the funds or want more tactical help in creating and managing your campaign, our team here at Halmyre offers these services.

What can you do with this information today?

Halmyre is glad to share this little-known secret. If your charity qualifies for the Google Ad Grants program, you have a huge opportunity to take advantage of free digital advertising. Go ahead and enhance your digital reach with $10,000 in AdWords credit each month from Google.

Apply for a Google Ad Grant using this online form.

Register with TechSoup here.

Ask Richard about how Halmyre can help your organization stay up to date on the latest digital marketing trends and generate a greater impact on your desired audience.

 

About Richard Gasee

Halmyre Director of Strategic Initiatives Richard Gasee is a business-based but promotionally minded marketer. He specializes in leveraging digital communities for the financial, educational and not-for-profit sectors, applying his MBA thinking to solve complex issues for our clients. Prior to joining Halmyre, Richard acquired a broad range of experiences marketing everything from charitable organizations (UNICEF) to comedy (Second City). Richard is a globetrotter who, between travel destinations, daydreams about playing shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Richard Gasee