Google Grants for Nonprofits: Getting Started

Have you ever wondered how to get your nonprofit listed near the top of Google’s search results for a specific search term (for example, “breast cancer research foundation”)? Would you like to have your organization listed in the paid search results that run along the top and the sides of search pages? The answers to these questions is the domain of search engine marketing. Search engine marketing, or SEM, is a form of online marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages.

While paid placement may seem cost prohibitive to nonprofits, there is a way to secure in-kind paid placement for your organization through the Google Grants program.

If you’ve been recently awarded a Google Grant, Google has resources to help your organization make the most of AdWords, which include the following tips:

  1. Visit your account set-up and make changes or updates to your campaign at any time. Here are a few items we’d recommend you review right off the bat:* Keyword list: Make sure your organization name is included, as well as any relevant cause-related terms (e.g., breast cancer, childhood leukemia).
    * Ad text: Check to see how well the ads represent your mission and whether the destination URLs link to specific and highly-relevant pages on your site.
    * Ad Groups: It’s always a good idea to have your Ad Groups match the organization of your website (For example, if you accept donations, consider a ‘Donations’ Ad Group.)
  1. Remember, all Grants accounts are capped automatically at $10K/month, and all keywords are capped at a $2 maximum cost-per-click (CPC). If you have any questions about the guidelines, please visit the policy page.
  1. Once your account is set up, treat it as another channel in your marketing plan fundraising strategy. Leverage your AdWords to promote your organization’s mission by regularly updating your keywords, ad copy and destination pages.

If you would like to learn more about the program, visit the Google Grants page: http://www.google.com/grants/

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