By Katy Snyder, JVA Consulting
While most of us think of Google as our go-to search engine, and many of us use Google Email (gmail) or Google Calendars on a regular basis, Google also has a lesser-known alter ego—Google for Nonprofits. Google for Nonprofits is a Web site aimed at the sector, which showcases a variety of applications that are well-known in the for-profit sector, but may be more of a mystery to nonprofits.
To make the wealth of resources Google has available easier to navigate, Google has organized them into three categories of interest to nonprofits: reaching more donors; improving operations; and raising awareness. Some of the applications are offered for free, much as they are to for-profit users, while others must be purchased. Examples of free apps are Google Analytics, which can be used to monitor traffic to your Web site, and Google Blogger, which lets you blog and keep track of traffic to your blog.
In addition to applications, Google For Nonprofits also offers competitive grants to nonprofits. Grant recipients are set up with a free Google AdWords account that allows them to create ads that pop up when people use Google to search for keywords that are related to what the organization does. Google estimates the value of an AdWords account to be up to $10,000 per month. Google grant recipients also get free access to Google Check-out for Nonprofits, a transaction-processing application to add to your Web site to process donations. Another perk of this grant? Nonprofits have ongoing access to their free AdWords account as long as they are actively engaged in using it.
To be eligible for a Google grant, your organization must be a 501(c)(3); Google will also look at your Web site as part of its decision-making, so make sure it is up to date. Click here for more details and to apply.