6 Great Facts About What Google Grants Can Do For Your Charity  
Sunday, September 9, 2012 at 1:31AM
Karen Luttrell

Thanks to Simon Choy and Charles Dieu of ConnectAd for this guest post. They are sharing more tips and info at a Sept. 18 Toronto Cause to Market meetup.

Google Grants is a beneficial program that gives eligible charities up to $10,000 worth of free online advertising every month on a recurring basis without a fixed end date. Here are 6 great facts about Google Grants that all charities should hear before applying for a Google Grant.

1. Get A Huge Marketing Budget For No Cost

It's no secret that one of the biggest challenges for charities is funding. With all the costs associated with running your organization and fulfilling your charitable mission, finding ways to be cost efficient is critical. That's why getting $10,000 per month in FREE online advertising via Google Grants is so incredible. As a business owner I would be salivating over the opportunity to have a marketing budget of potentially $120,000 every year for no monetary cost or risk. Especially for smaller charities, having such a huge marketing budget can get you exposure without dipping into donation revenues.

2. Make An Immediate Search Impact

If you research into developing your online presence, you’ll probably run across the term SEO which stands for “Search Engine Optimization”. SEO refers to the things you do in order to make your website appear higher in search results. Actually implementing SEO is tough and there’s an entire industry dedicated to the task. It takes a lot of work and time in order to realize the gains, but if you’re successful the results are dramatic. Google Grants, on the other hand, fits into a category called SEM or “Search Engine Marketing”. SEM refers to the things you do to advertise your site online. It also takes work but what’s different is that it has an immediate search impact meaning that right away your website could appear at the top of search results (in the area reserved for sponsored links). Had you done it through SEO, it could be six months before you make it to just the first page of search engine results.

3. Help Increase Online Fundraising

Google Grants can help increase your online fundraising. One example of how Google Grants can achieve this is by causing your charity's website to show up in an ad whenever someone searches "where to donate" to a particular cause. Another example is if your charity is running a fundraising event like a concert, you can use Google Grants to publicize the occasion to those searching for an event like that. Full disclaimer, every charity will see different increases to online fundraising. How much impact it has depends on many factors, like what your cause is (some are easier to fundraise for than others) and how good your site is at encouraging people to donate. Still, it can only help your charity raise more, and given that online fundraising is one of the fastest growing donation channels, it's worthwhile to bolster it any way you can.

4. Generate Interest in Events People Want to Attend
There are a lot of creative fundraising ideas and a whole field on event fundraising. In fact, chances are you or your charity has already run a fundraising event before. Google Grants can be fantastic for driving traffic to these events based on interest for that kind of event alone. For example, say you're hosting a charity kid's concert in Toronto where the proceeds support the cause. You can include keywords like "Toronto Concert" or "Kids Concert" to target an audience that may be interested in the concert alone, regardless of whether they know of your organization. This opens up the possibilities to tap into high trafficked keywords and drive attendance up, which will do wonders for your fundraising.

5. Raise Awareness of Your Informational or Educational Content
If your informational or educational content has been well put together, they often become rich sources of keywords for the Google Grants campaign helping increase traffic and ad spend on your site dramatically. With the traffic volume you can generate through this content, the idea is to lead those visitors into other desirable areas of your site, the donations page for example.

6. Connect With Volunteers Looking For Opportunities
Volunteering is another key resource for many charities. Particularly if you're looking for young volunteers who not only are hungry for hours (think school requirements) but who are also tech-savvy, Google Grants is a perfect outlet. Similar to donations, look to advertise keywords like "volunteer" to your cause. In this case, make sure your geographic targeting is set as specific to the local areas where you accept volunteers. However, unlike donations or information that can be delivered or shared virtually, volunteerism often includes a physical aspect and so you want to make it relevant to searchers.

This guest post was provided by Simon Choy and Charles Dieu, founders of the social enterprise ConnectAd. They help charities gain maximum impact from their Google Grants. Simon and Charles will share tips and success stories at a September 18 Toronto Cause to Market Meetup, where staff from People for Education will also explain how they increased web traffic and raised awareness with Google Grants. 

Article originally appeared on Karen Luttrell Communications (http://luttrellcommunications.com/).
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