This is particularly true for those charities who want to improve their marketing and do their best to reach out to as many supporters and contributors too. The helping hand that Google can offer comes in the form of Google Ad Grants for Charities, so to learn more about what this is and how it can help, let’s take a look in more detail.
Why do charities need to market themselves?
One of the first questions that you may ask is why exactly a charity needs marketing. Marketing is all about making sales isn’t it? Well, of course this is true, but marketing isn’t just about making someone want to buy your product or use your service, it is also about buying into your brand.
For a charity, their success comes from having people support their cause. This isn’t just financially, but this is also in getting their name out there and spreading their message too. This is something that marketing can help do and is the main reason why a charity needs to market itself as best that it can.
A marketing strategy can be hard to put together for a charity and the way it will look will really depend on the unique goals that the business has in mind. The charity may want to try their best to recruit volunteers, they may want to increase awareness of their mission and what they want to achieve and they may also want to raise donations and long-term financial support too.
What are Google Ad Grants?
So, now you know more about marketing and why it is something that charities need, you might want to learn more about where Google Ads fits into this.
Google Ad Grants are set up by the Ads part of the business and is a version that is designed specifically for non-profit organisations to use.
It is there to ensure that those charities and organisations are able to communicate their message, their vision and their needs to as many people as possible, all without having to use any of their precious charity funds to do this. There are currently more than 20,000 non-profit organisations who receive grants from Google and these are spread across 50 countries around the world.
If you are able to qualify for a grant as a non-profit organisation then you will be able to receive £8,000 per month of Google Ads advertising each and every month. You will be responsible for managing the grant money and using it correctly, or you could, if you prefer find a PPC agency who is going to be able to do this for you.
Eligibility for a Google Ad Grant
In order to apply for Google Ad Grant you are going to need to fit within their eligibility criteria and these criteria not only need to be met during the application period, but also throughout the entire year that the grant is active.
The first eligibility point is that they need to be active, that they need to be registered and that they need to also hold a valid charity status. If the charity is located in either England or Wales then they must be registered with HMRC or the Charity Commission for England and Wales. If they are located in Northern Ireland then they need to be registered with HMRC and those in Scotland will need to be registered with HMRC or the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.
Another eligibility point to be considered is that your charity must be based in a country where the grants are available, however, it is important to remember that these grants are available all around the year.
In order to apply the charity must agree to all the required certifications of the grant and they need to be able to agree to all the required certifications of the grant, this includes how the funds are used from the grant.
The charity will also need to have a website that is active, that is functioning and that provides a high level of detail in the content that relates to the organisation.
There are certain non-profit organisations who are not able to apply for a grant from Google. This includes medical groups, hospitals, government organisations, schools, childcare centres, universities and other academic institutions.
Set up a Google Non-Profits account
If you fit in with the eligibility criteria, then the next stage is to actually apply for an account with Google for Non-Profits. Once you have had it confirmed that you are a part of the programme, you will receive free access to some of the premium Google product, all of which can then be used to both advertise and promote your organisation.
Whilst the main plus point of having a Non-Profit account is that you are going to be able to use Google to promote your organisation the best that you can. This is all by using keywords and also coming up with appealing ads which are going to highlight exactly what you have done and of course, what you want to do in the future.
Along this functionality, you can also use Google for Non-Profit to track online donations that are made, file and compile volunteer registrations as well as signs up for any newsletters that you send out. Of course, the main thing that you are likely to want to access is Google Ads, but as a part of having one of these accounts you can also get access Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar and also YouTube for Non-Profits.
Choose between Ads and Ads Express
When it comes to having a Google Non-Profit account you can either select a Google Ads account or an Ads Express account. Which one that you go for will really depend on what you need and what you are looking for.
If you are happy to manage your own ad campaign and you feel that you can utilise all the tools that are open to you, then you can choose AdWords. Through this you will be able to access a range of tools, all of which are designed to optimise your advertising campaigns and really boost your business.
You can also choose to have an Ads Express account which is where your ad campaigns are dealt with automatically. You pick your audience, you write some info about your organisation and you also set a daily budget. Then you leave it and Google will do the rest.
What can you do with the grant?
Now you know more about the grants and the Non-Profits account that you can apply for, well, now you are going to want to know more about how the grants actually work. The idea behind them is that you use the money within the grant in order to advertise your campaigns. This in turn will raise awareness of your organisation and what you want to do.
You cannot use the grant finding money to advertise anything that could be seen as commercial activity. Which includes items that can be purchased or promoting a store where things can be bought. Any keywords that you choose will also need to be bid on and you will be able to explain the reason behind why you picked that particular keyword.
Think about keywords
Once you have this in mind then the time has come to start actually giving more thought to the keywords that you might want to use for your ad copy. You need to use language that is going to be persuasive but that will still sound appealing, you also want to make sure that you do not copy any competitors out there, you should, instead, learn from experience and also be happy to make sure that you stand out from the crowd.
It is always worthwhile taking a look at the type of keywords that your competitors are bidding on, which will give you some idea of what you should be focusing on and perhaps some of the words which are best left alone.
If you are stuck on which keywords to choose, then Google Trends will definitely give you the insight into which to choose.
Put together your message
Once you have the keywords in mind that you want to use, then you need to think about the message that you want to create and the impact you want to have on your audience too. The message you portray needs to be relevant, it needs to be meaningful and most of all, it needs to be effective in appealing to those who can turn into supporters of your cause.
You need to make sure that you balance the idea of keywords (which will help people to find your content) and actually writing good quality content too. It is best to aim for just one keyword when you are creating marketing copy, otherwise the content will be keyword stuffed and it will lose its message.
It is always a good idea to try your best to see what ad appeals best to your target audience, it is good practice to create three distinct ads for each keyword that you pick, checking out which one appeals the most and which is giving the best amount of clicks for the money that you have received within the grant.
You always, and we repeat always, need to ensure that any copy that you have created reads well and that it doesn’t have any errors in the text which could be seen as unprofessional. You also should focus on having a call to action, which is when you tell the person reading it, what they need to do next.
Don’t just be limited to one approach
When you have put so much time and effort into putting together your ad and your message, then you want to be able to use it to reach as many people as possible. Desktop users are a good part of that audience, but you should absolutely use your money to focus on those who are going to be viewing your website from a mobile.
Always monitor your performance
It is great to think about keywords and put together high quality content for your non-profit organisation, however, the work doesn’t stop there. You also need to make sure that you are keeping an eye on how you perform too.
You need to know what has worked and what hasn’t as this will help you to either carry on down the right path, or perhaps think about changing your tact to have the best outcome possible.
Ensure that you maintain your eligibility status
Another thing that is vitally important for you to do is to ensure that your eligibility status is maintained too. All of the ads that you are running must have a link that will take the visitor to the URL for your organisation, the one that got your application approved.
You also need to ensure that you are logging into your Ads account on a regular basis, if you are not doing this then you may find that Google may pause it, maybe even without telling you.
It is also vital that any ads that you place truly reflect the mission that your organisation is trying to achieve. You can advertise your products that you sell, only if the profits from these products are 100% going to your initiative. Your ads should never point to pages that are from other websites.
You also must ensure that your ads do not offer any financial based products, such as credit cards or mortgages. The ads also cannot ask for donations that relate to large items such as cars or property donations.
Finally you must ensure that only Google Ads are used on your website, you must not use any other form of ads including Google ones.
As you can see, there is plenty to think about if you are planning on applying for a grant for your charity or organisation. However, despite the effort and planning, we can promise you that it is always going to be worth it in the long-term and will absolutely help to spread the word about what you want to achieve for your cause.
If you are a charity who would like to discuss the possibility of working in association with our specialist PPC for Nonprofit team then please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!