I have had the opportunity to be involved with many nonprofit organizations and I plan on keeping that way for as long as I possibly can. If you’re like me you know that nothing beats the feeling helping a good cause and the friendships and relationships you develop along the way. I’m sure you also know that there are many challenges that you face as a nonprofit. Most of those challenges come from a lack of money. Ultimately every cent you raise goes to your cause and this is how it should be, but sometimes you wish that you could spend that money to make things easier. You wish you could splurge on technology or maybe spend a ton of money in advertising. This is where Google for Nonprofits comes into play. Google for Nonprofits is not a silver bullet to solve every challenge that your nonprofit faces but it is certainly a program I wish I had known about sooner, and one that I will be using as much as possible in the future.
Google for Nonprofits in a Nutshell
There are four ways you can benefit from Google for Nonprofits
- Cloud services and communication
- Fund raising
- Telling your story
1. Cloud Services and Communication
“The world is run by those who show up.” I’m not sure who said that first but it couldn’t be more accurate. Unfortunately with nonprofits not everyone can show up at the same time or in the same place. The Google for Nonprofits program is very helpful when you are unable to be in the same place at the same time by allowing your organization the ability to collaborate through Google Apps for Nonprofits. Google Apps for Nonprofits gives you access to Gmail and Google Drive. Between the two of them you will have 30GB of storage for documents. Gmail not only has a large storage capacity it is a quality email platform. The real magic comes with Google Drive. When you are creating documents in Google Drive you can give others access to the document. This allows you to not only share the document easily and quickly but this allows for collaboration as you create the document. Google described it best with this commercial.[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0hHaQgdypI[/youtube]
I’m sure that all of you know about or have seen AdWords (these are the ads that appear above and beside your Google search results). When you are accepted to use Google for Nonprofits you are then given a Google Grant. A Google Grant is an in kind donation that Google makes to nonprofits so they can use AdWords to spread their message. These grants can be up to $10,000 a month in AdWords. In my mind this is enough of a reason to get in on the Google for Nonprofit program. Again Google has a great video that will help you get the idea.[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuDoyPW9ArA[/youtube]
Use Google Analytics on your website to fine tune your AdWords campaign. Get the most out of every penny that Google gives you!
3. Fund Raising
Many of us have probably used or seen Google Checkout when making on online transaction. For those of you who don’t know it is a way to securely make a transaction on line. In most cases the business owner will pay a commission to Google with every transaction. When you use this tool with Google for Nonprofits it is free to your organization. This means that you can accept donations on the internet and your organization gets to keep every penny. In addition to that you can use YouTube for Nonprofits which allows you to place a call to action ad overlay on your videos. You guessed it, there’s a super cool video that will tell you more about this one too…[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpKAtk5C0lM[/youtube]
Use video! Almost anybody can make one. Take video of a fundraiser, or video at an event. It’s powerful cheap and easy to do.
4. Telling Your Story
Many nonprofits are raising money in the neighborhoods that they live and work in, but helping people on the other side of the globe. In these situations there are very effective ways to tell your story. One of them is video, which we covered above, and the other is through the use of maps. Maps are no longer just two dimensional static images. Maps are now highly interactive computer programs. Think about it, the new Google Maps will feature real time cloud cover (I KNOW! IT’S AWESOME!). This is where Google Earth Outreach comes into play. If you need to tell a compelling story or illustrate the impact that your organization can have Google Earth Outreach is another tool that will help you do it. Let’s roll the vidoe…[youtube width=”640″ height=”360″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZGniniFLzs[/youtube]
If you are presenting to an organization or large group on behalf of your nonprofit use maps to help you tell the story.
Running a nonprofit is a challenging but very worthwhile and rewarding undertaking. Using Google for Nonprofits will help you develop a strong presence on the internet, it will help you tell your story, it will help you raise more money, and finally help you communicate more efficiently. My recommendation is to take advantage of all the help you can get. If you want to check out the program in depth you can go to the Google for Nonprofits page.
Have you used Google for Nonprofits? Are you struggling to see the advantages? Let’s start a conversation in the comments section below.