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Google Grants for 501(c)(3) Organizations


We can't deny that Google is a part of our everyday lives. It is absolutely amazing that really not that long ago there was no Google. In 2006 the verb "Google" was even added to the dictionary. If you think about it...that's kind of crazy!

People hear on a very frequent basis how much money Google makes and how much their stock is worth. It's great that they are doing well. I'm a huge Google fan and hope for their continued success. What people don't hear much about is what Google does to help our communities. While there are several philanthropic things Google does, I want to touch on just one...Google Grants.

Google Grants is an awesome opportunity for 501(c)(3) organizations. Approved organizations can spend up to $10,000 per month in Google AdWords. Yes, $10,000 per month! That is huge!!!!

Technical Jargon Aside, What Does This Mean?

You choose the keywords in which your ad is servedIt means that if you are an organization that can take advantage of the program you can increase traffic to your website significantly. If done right, this means more people hear your story, more people understand your mission, and hopefully more support from your related communities. If you don't understand how AdWords works here is a quick rundown:

  1. You choose the message in the ad that is being served
  2. You choose what page on your website the visitor arrives on
  3. You can make sure that your ads are being shown in the areas that make sense geographically
  4. Each time your ad is clicked, it accrues a cost. With Google Grants you'll have a set budget that needs to be adhered to.

How is AdWords Different from the "Normal" Google Search Results?

AdWords are the sponsored ads that are listed on the top, sides, and sometimes bottom of the "normal" search results. Advertisers pay to be in these spots, but do not pay to be in the "normal" or organic search results. Ranking well in organic search is terrific and will also help you get more traffic to your site...but it also requires effort. It requires writing good content, having a website that Google can understand, inbound links to your website, and usually some sort of search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Sponsored ads, also known as Pay-Per-Click, is almost immediate. Once your campaigns are built and your ads are turned on, hopefully you will start getting traffic. Even better you can get traffic for terms that you may never be able to rank for in the organic search results. Often it takes a long time to rank well in the organic search, especially without an effort to do so.

A Few Tips for Non-profits Using Google Grants

  1. Don't think of it as free money and spend it just to spend it. Think of it as a great opportunity. Your AdWords account should be run like the money was coming directly from your bank account. Your organization will benefit greatly if you keep this top-of-mind.
  2. Adhere to the Google Grants guidelines. This includes continued management, settings, spending limits, messages, etc.
  3. Make sure your website is in order. We tell businesses and organizations that often times your website is the first impression that a person gets of you. Make it count!
  4. Remember user experience. Send your visitors to the information that they are looking for...not just your home page. It will help you be more competitive with your Google Grants budget and it will make the website users happy. For more info on this, check out our previous blog post about sending PPC visitors to the right landing pages.

That is a quick summary of Google Grants for you. We'll provide more info, tips, guidelines on this in some later posts. Stay tuned!