Making your charity ready to face the challenges of the new digital world can be tricky – especially if you’re unaware of the tools available to help you meet the demands of this new landscape. Establishing a strong online presence is hard, but signing up for Google for nonprofits can make getting your appeals out to the right people a whole lot easier. Being arguably the most influential company on the web, this chance to take advantage of their services and expertise is one that eligible organisations simply cannot afford to miss out on if they want to fully maximise their potential online.
Completely free to sign up for and use, the Google for nonprofits scheme started in the US a few years back, but was finally brought to the UK in 2013. The project allows registered charities to gain access to premium products offered by Google for free. Given that private enterprise and members of the public can be forced to shell out thousands of pounds for the exact same things provided through the scheme, there is very little reason not to get involved. Even if you feel that the benefits to your own organisation may be limited, the benefits that can be gained from using only one of these schemes can be enormous. See what you can get below.
Included with Google for nonprofits
Google Apps for nonprofits
- Gmail for your website’s personal e-mail addresses, with unlimited accounts
- Google Drive/Docs, so you can share and collaborate on documents from anywhere in the world
- Google Calendar, allowing everyone in your organisation to stay up-to-speed on what’s happening
- …and more, including Hangouts, Contacts and Blogger
Google AdWords grant
- A grant that gives you up to $10,000 per year to spend on Google Adwords (size of grant will vary depending on the size and needs of each organisation)
- Allows bids of up to $2 per click for each targetted keyword
- Allows you to promote your appeals, causes of your charity itself to users of Google search.
- Text ads only, shown in Google searches
YouTube for nonprofits
- Gives the chance to super-charge your YouTube channel to maximise the impact of your video content
- Allows Call To Action buttons to be overlaid on the top of existing videos – driving people to donate straight from viewing
- Complete customisation of your charity’s YouTube channel with logo and branding, as well as a donate button on the channel itself.
Google Earth outreach
- Gives the chance to create custom maps to highlight your cause, with a typical example taking less than 10 minutes
- Access to create Google Earth narrative videos that can be uploaded directly to YouTube
- Collect data from staff and volunteers in the field to further increase the impact of your appeals
- Tutorials on how to use Google Earth as a charity
Is my charity eligible to sign up for Google for nonprofits?
Google’s eligibility rules for their nonprofit scheme are relatively straightforward, in that any independent organisation with a Registered Charity Number should be able to apply. Unfortunately, this does not extend to Community Interest Companies (CICs) or other not-for-profit bodies. It is important to point out that each registered charity is only eligible to apply to be involved with the scheme once.
One thing that the Google for nonprofits team do specify is that they reserve the right to deny any organisation that they want from participating in the scheme, as well as stating that they can expel a charity at any time at their own discretion.
- Anyone looking to apply should be recognised by the Charity Commission for England & Wales
- Organisations must have been recognised as having demonstrated public benefit
- Charities applying must have a Registered Charity Number
- Government bodies or organisations,
(includes hospitals and health care centres)
- Schools, childcare centres and or any academic centre
- CICs or any other non-for-profit that doesn’t have a Registered Charity Number