These days, nonprofits of all types face increasing challenges to support their mission. Despite the many creative fundraising methods they employ, many, if not most are hard-pressed to find additional and cost-effective ways to attract volunteers, elicit donations and create impactful exposure for their cause. It continues to be a struggle as most are stretched thin with limited resources and operate under significant financial constraints. ?However, there is one resource that a lot of nonprofits may not be familiar with that can offer them an effective way to increase their visibility – and best of all – it won’t cost them anything. It comes from Google in the form of an ad grant designed exclusively for nonprofits that provides free in-kind advertising to qualifying organizations. Under a Google ad grant program, accepted 501 (C) (3) nonprofits are allotted a $10,000 monthly grant to advertise on Google AdWords.
However, if an organization is classified as tax-exempt, like a church, it would still need a 501(c) 3 status from the IRS to qualify for the program. Many organizations will not be eligible including those affiliated with government as well as hospitals and health care organizations, schools and childcare providers. (Although some of them might qualify under a Google education program grant)
Organizations can use the grant to build AdWords campaigns to promote their organization and extend their reach across Google search result pages for free. The recurring monthly grant is equivalent to $329 per day in free marketing dollars.
Nonprofits that are accepted in the program should be aware of certain parameters for the ads which include:
- A maximum cost per click (CPC) of $2.00
- Can only be used for text ads
- Will appear only in the search engine result pages
- Ads must link to one nonprofit website domain
- Will always show below any paid advertiser
Even with Google’s restrictions, nonprofits have the potential to drive thousands of new visitors to their website each month. There really is no risk, so it amounts to a great way to reach potential donors, volunteers, and others when those people are searching specifically on Google – the largest search engine platform in the world. Nonprofits will have to be creative in order to capitalize on the funds available since they will be competing for search terms with traditional advertisers. Still, by developing an effective strategy, choosing relevant keywords and creating multiple ads, organizations can position themselves to bring greater awareness to their efforts and needs. They can also keep track and solicit online donations, newsletter sign-ups, and volunteer registrations more effectively.
With 3 billion searches a day on Google, many nonprofits are missing a golden opportunity to market their mission and boost their organization’s online visibility. It’s a program that every nonprofit should consider because of the potential marketing benefits.