By Heartburst Digital, 30 April 2019
It’s no secret that nonprofits and charities have challenges different from normal business. While multi-million dollar companies can spend tens of thousands of dollars on advertising and marketing, charities are completely reliant on a following or community to keep them afloat financially, and therefore need to be wise with how they use their donations.
With limited Government support and tight budgets this can be a continual pressure to keep your organisation at the forefront of people's minds while also appealing to their pockets. Which is why advertising is sometimes low on your list of absolute necessities.
The paradoxical dilemma, is that if you don’t advertise you can fade into obscurity, and if you do advertise your return is not guaranteed.
Is Your Organisation Buried In The Search Engine Jungle?
If an organisation can spare some budget for advertising, the greater challenge in today's world is the ability to be discovered online. If someone searches online around the topic that your cause is passionate about, would they be able to find your organisation?
So many charities that have amazing causes are not on the first page of the search results. Google search is a deep jungle, which most charities don't know how to hack their way out of to be found by potential donors.
According to the ACNC, there are approximately 56,000 charities registered in Australia alone. And with the internet as a worldwide vehicle, local charities are competing with the big international charities that have larger budgets to propel their advertising.
So how can a local Australian charity ever compete in the current internet jungle with limited cash flow and resources, but big dreams?
Well, Google have found a way to give back and have extended their philanthropy to the nonprofit sector.
Would You Like $10,000 Each Month of Free Advertising?
Imagine if you could advertise your charity in every way that you have wanted to, but without fear that you’ve wasted precious resources with little return?
Google are offering $10,000 Ad Grants to nonprofits and charities as their charitable giving arm. I’m sure the first thing that goes through your mind is “What’s the catch?”
Well there is a whole lot of criteria that you need to abide by (which I will cover next), and a limit each day to your spending, but basically Google could give you $10,000 US to spend every month on Google Ads advertising, with no end date or cost to you.
It sounds crazy, but when you’re talking about a worldwide multi-billion dollar company like Google they do have a little bit of money to throw around. And for the sceptics amongst us, any new initiative that Google is a part of raises their profile further and increases their own advertising dollar. So yes there is a benefit to Google. But it is still a great opportunity for the nonprofit sector to use a valuable resource to help further their own cause.
Google Grant Requirements
Here are some of the broad guidelines that Google requires as part of your grant:
You must hold a verified charitable status.
You must have a live professional website, with substantial content.
Your ads will be entirely text-based (no videos or images).
They’ll appear only on Google search results pages (in positions below the paid search ads, if there are paying advertisers).
All campaigns must be keyword-targeted around your cause.
Your cost-per-click (CPC) must hold a 5% click through rate.*
You’ll receive $10,000 USD of in-kind Google Ads advertising each month.
Below is an example of what this looks like for charities. The small icon next to the url which says ‘Ad’, shows that the advertisement is either a paid ad by the organisation, or by a Google Grant. Everything listed under the ads is where you will find organisations that have worked hard on their SEO but haven’t paid to advertise.
Using the Google Grant the right way can put your organisation right at the top of page one on a Google search, for as long as you meet the criteria and stay active in the Google Grant.
Last year Google updated the specific criteria for Google Grants making it essential that you have over a *5% click through rate for two consecutive months, otherwise they will pull your grant and make getting back into the program difficult.
With some of the new changes Google have made, it is essential to either have a paid SEO Manager or to outsource your Google Ad management to stay on top of the requirements. Understanding Google Ad needs some knowledge of analytics and targeted keywords, and ensuring your organisation maintains above a 5% CTR is essential in keeping your Google Grant. So it’s really important that if you don’t understand or have time to maintain Google Ads, that you get help from the professionals.
Heartburst has extensive experience in setting up grants and running campaigns, and can take the pressure off you by managing the whole process.
But Isn’t My SEO Enough?
Well yes, SEO is extremely important, but let me answer your question in another way. As I mentioned earlier, the internet is like a jungle, and your organisation is right in the middle of it. Being found is not just through one avenue, but through many. You need to cover all bases and actively show up in searches and keywords.
Being found is a result of being active. Activity involves SEO, Google Ads, regular social media posts, blog posts, and your users actively engaging with your content. All of this helps you to be found in the internet jungle.
So if you put your whole advertising dollar into one thing, your results could either succeed or fail. Which means you’re not really giving your organisation the opportunity to be found through multiple avenues, and you are limiting your potential impact.
SEO is essential and is proven to have great results. But the reality is that it does take a long time of continual management and work to get your SEO to start working for you, and then ongoing maintenance to sustain your position in a Google ranking.
So the beauty of the Google Grant, is that while you are working on your SEO, continuing your direct mail and other forms of advertising, Google Grant will send you right to the top of the search results!
Top of the class - You pass GO!
Google Grants could be one of the tools in your bag that can help to gain instant momentum and attention without you having to spend a lot of money or resources to make it happen.
So look at it as a gift from Google to your very worthy charity, and do everything you can to raise the profile and platform you’ve been given.
At Heartburst, being a digital agency who works with many nonprofits, we believe in what you are doing, and we actually exist to support and help passionate organisations like you!
We understand all this mojo and best of all we actually thrive on internet technology like this. We have a whole team of skilled professionals who understand Google Ads, Google Grants and SEO, and would love nothing more than to help you.
We can apply for the Google Grant on your behalf, set up effective Ad Grant campaigns when you’re approved and continue to maintain it for you, or at least coach you on how to use your Ads account.
If a $10,000 Google Ads Grant could make a difference to your organisation, let’s have a chat!
Contact Heartburst today and let’s get the process underway to propel your organisation forward.
[email protected] or call 1300 428 778.
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