TANGO Partners Perspective – July 2020
Maximizing Value With Google’s Free Services
Eric Heineman, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Cause Inspired Media
As the nonprofit industry enters into a new decade they also enter unchartered waters of digital media being accessed by people more than ever before. That means nonprofits need to pivot to a strong and effective digital presence which includes digital marketing and creative ways to communicate with their team. Much of this involves taking advantage of free or low-cost programs and services aimed at helping nonprofits communicate their important message to an interested audience. Google actually offers quite a few free tools that have been developed in order to help save your nonprofit money and increase the value of your digital efforts.
Let’s explore Google’s most important free services, and highlight their value to nonprofits.
The Google Ad Grant
Google donates a $10,000 advertising credit to any registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization each month that can be used to direct meaningful traffic to their website. It’s those Google search results you see at the top and bottom of the page with the little “ad” icon next to them. The Google Ad Grant is considered one of the most important tools that a nonprofit has to achieve its goals on a digital platform. With proper management and optimization of the Google Ad Grant, your website traffic can be directed to your most important goals, spreading awareness of your cause, and increasing the scope of your mission.
G Suite for Nonprofits
G Suite is a set of integrated cloud-based applications that allow organizations to use their own domain to be more productive, collaborative, and secure. G Suite includes helpful features designed to help organizations communicate and collaborate efficiently from any location. These features include Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Calendar, Hangouts Meet, Gmail, and more.
G Suite can save your nonprofit time and energy by organizing all of your digital resources in one place, and creating efficient means of communication. Here’s a break-down:
- Google Drive can help employees and volunteers easily access and securely share files with other team members, donors, or board members in real-time, from any location.
- Google’s helpful Calendar tool can help your team collaborate on projects or fundraisers from wherever they’re working, regardless of time-zone.
- The Hangouts Meet tool gives your team the opportunity to connect face-to-face from any location, even while they’re on the go.
- Google Slides and Google Docs can help you increase the professional look and feel of your fundraising materials and/or grant proposals with ease by offering intelligent layout suggestions.
- Unlike Microsoft Outlook, the fact that G Suite is entirely cloud-based, and is relatively decentralized lends itself to easy mobile use, and minimal IT or administrative involvement, although user permissions can be centrally managed if your nonprofit chooses.
YouTube Nonprofit Program
To better connect with supporters, volunteers, and donors, Google offers qualifying 501(c)(3) organizations the free YouTube Nonprofit Program. Google’s free YouTube Giving tools can help your nonprofit capture international viewer support by allowing your audience to donate directly through your videos. Nonprofits can also use what is referred to as “Link Anywhere Cards” and similar annotations to make it easier for those interested to give their support, visit your website, or simply learn more about your mission.
By tapping into YouTube’s global audience, your nonprofit can not only save money but inspire empathy for your cause on an international scale. Here is a break-down of the value YouTube can bring your nonprofit:
- YouTube offers nonprofit organizations a free space to house unlimited video content free of charge. Many other popular video platforms, including Vimeo, charge nonprofits a fee, starting at $7 per month, to store their video content.
- YouTube covers all transaction fees, so 100% of the money donated through the platform will go directly to your nonprofit.
- YouTube allows your nonprofit to broaden its reach to an audience of over one billion people in approximately 88 countries (that’s almost one-third of all the people on the internet).
- YouTube offers a free Creator Academy designed to help nonprofit users set up their account, create videos, get discovered by a relevant audience, and more.
Google Earth Outreach
Designed to “bring your nonprofit’s story to life,” Google Earth Outreach enables nonprofits to track and share their impact with compelling data visualizations. Google Earth’s mapping tools offer a wide array of dynamic features that will allow your nonprofit to create rich visualizations that feature your engaging data. Google Street View can also allow organizations to take potential and current supporters ‘on location’ by collecting and showcasing street-level 360° imagery of their work throughout the globe.
Showcasing data in a way that is compelling and visual helps potential donors and supporters comprehend your organization’s impact. Just like with video, the more that your audience is able to visualize what your nonprofit is doing, the more likely they will be to support your mission. With this in mind, let’s explore the value that Google Earth Outreach can bring to your nonprofit:
- Google Earth Outreach allows your nonprofit to save time and money by publishing custom, simple maps that visualize data on your nonprofit’s website for free using the My Maps’ collaborative tools.
- For example, Google Earth Outreach enables your nonprofit to encourage donations and support by creating a map where people can see how their donation or contribution is making a difference.
- Google Earth Outreach can also help you connect people in your community to programs and resources that they need quickly and without cost.
These are just a few of the services that Google offers to nonprofit organizations free of charge. While some features may seem more important to your organization than others, keep in mind that for-profit organizations will often pay a high premium for the same, if not lower-quality features. Each of these helpful tools can help build your organization’s digital presence, expand your audience, and increase the impact of your mission.
We are here to help, so feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about the free services Google offers to your organization.
Check out our exclusive offerings to TANGO Members by clicking here.