Last Wednesday we hosted a free info session on how non-profits can utilize the Google For Nonprofits program and what kind of benefits they get when they become a nonprofit partner with Google. Here's a recap of some of the most appealing benefits your organization can tap into as soon as you're approved!
One of the most exciting parts of being a part of the Google For Nonprofits program is the Google Grants part. With Google grants, your organization can get up to $10K per month in free advertising on Google.com (called Adwords). This means that based on your key words and targeting, you can create an ad for your organization that appears next to Google search results. $10K goes a long way, my friends. And remember, this is FREE.
Your organization can also get premium branding capabilities on your YouTube channel for free, which we learned is a service some for-profit companies pay up to $70K per year for. Other benefits include:
· Ability to upload longer, larger video files
· Embed a Google Checkout button on page to drive fundraising
· To include a “Call to action” in your videos via an in-video ad overlay or video annotations
The Houston Zoo fully utilizes their premium branding options on their YouTube channel. Check it out:
Google Apps – free communication, collaboration & publishing tools
If you already use Google apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Groups for your personal use then you already know how handy they are. When your nonprofit becomes part of the Google For Nonprofits program, you get to utilize all those same Google features but with your organization’s branding.
For example, Fresh Arts is part of the program and so I log into Gmail with my @fresharts.org work email address and get to use all the awesome Gmail features (and more) that I love about my personal Gmail account. You'll see our company logo in the top left corner.
Google Docs allows you to create or upload a document or spreadsheet so that you can access important files from anywhere you have internet access. You can share any file with others so they can view and/or make edits and you can see in real-time when others are viewing and making edits to the file.
Have you used Google Forms yet? You can create a custom form and collect the responses. We use Google Forms for part of our ARC Exhibition proposal process. Once an applicant submits his/her form responses, those responses are added to a spreadsheet format for us to easily view and sort through.
Do I really need to say anything about Google Calendars? They are the best. Hands down. Plus, you can embed a Google Calendar into your website that updates in real-time when you add or change an event.
You can also explore creating a basic website through Google Sites to share info on a secure company intranet, collaborate on a team project, or plan meetings & activities.
Another really cool tool that you get to use for free when you’re part of the Google For Nonprofit program is Google’s Website Optimizer. Website Optimizer is an easy-to-use tool for testing site content to help increase your site effectiveness, which leads to higher conversion rates. Put in plain English, if your website has the right content (words), it will rank higher in web searches and if the call to action is easy to find and compelling enough, more people will be likely to take that action (say, purchasing tickets to your next show or donating money to your org).
Note: Starting August 1, 2012, Website Optimizer will no longer be available as a standalone product but will instead be integrated with Google Analytics as Content Experiments. To use Content Experiments, log into Analytics, open Standard Reporting, and in the Content section, click Experiments.
If you’re not already using Google Analytics to track and analyze your website traffic, you are truly missing out! Analytics is totally free to anyone with a website and is absolutely an invaluable tool.
Google Alerts is another no-brainer and it’s free and easy to set up. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries. You should definitely have a Google Alert for your name and your company's name so you are notified any time your name appears in the news or online for another reason.
For additional resources about different elements of the Google for Nonprofits program, visit the Google for Nonprofits YouTube channel
To apply for the Google For Nonprofits program, visit www.google.com/nonprofits. You'll need a company Google account and verification of your 501(c)3 status with the IRS to get started. Once you’ve submitted your application, it takes about 30 days to be approved.
We're big fans of the enhanced features and benefits we get by being part of the Google For Nonprofits program, which is why we wanted to share with you!