Is your nonprofit organization considering applying for Google Ad Grants, but you aren’t sure the Grant will have a meaningful impact on your organization?
Take this quiz and find out if it could be a good fit for your organization right now!
In the meantime, here are four questions you can ask yourself that will help you determine if an investment in getting and managing the Grant may be worth it.
1. How large is our region?
Consider the area you serve and then look at where most of your donors come from. Are they spread across the US, or are they mostly in your city?
The smaller your region, the less impactful Ad Grants will be. The larger your region, the more valuable the program has the potential to be.
2. Are people searching for what we do?
Ad Grants are ads that only show up in Google search results, so the effectiveness of your campaign is determined by what people are actually searching for. It’s difficult to be discovered if no one thinks to search for what you do. Whether you want to use ads to help people find the services you offer, or you want to use ads to grow a volunteer or donor base, you need to consider if people are searching for you directly or anything related.
If they aren’t, Ad Grants might not be the best program for you.
If you’re not sure or want to know more, do some research. There are free tools that you can use to get an estimated number of searches being done on particular keywords each month.
3. How strong is our digital presence?
Ad Grants is inherently a digital platform, so the more you can offer to your website’s visitors in a digital format, the better and more effective Ad Grants will be for you. For the best outcomes, your organization should have:
- A quality website with regularly updated content
- Digital resources that cater directly to your target audience (clients, donors, volunteers)
- A concurrent email or direct mail marketing campaign
Generally, it is easier to use Ad Grants to promote products or services you offer as part of your nonprofit’s mission than it is to promote your organization as a whole. For example, if your nonprofit offers animal therapy or an inner city art program, you can drive those who are searching for these type of programs to your website, where they can then learn more about your organization.
If you have products or services like these, Ad Grants will be helpful to you. If the services you offer can be delivered digitally (online courses, meetings, etc.), and you already have, or will soon have, these resources created, Ad Grants will also be a valuable program.
It is also possible to use Ad Grants to find new supporters/donors or volunteers, but requires more online content. Your website needs to be engaging and tell your story well. Video content is essentially a requirement, and an updated blog highlighting new stories of how you work or sharing donor impact is critical. Without these, Ad Grants probably won’t help you reach the potential supporters or volunteers you’re seeking.
4. Do we have in-house expertise or some budget to hire out the management?
Google Ad Grants require a good amount of time to apply for, set up, and manage. In addition, Google has minimum standards of quality that you have to achieve, so there needs to be some know-how and effort involved. You don’t have to be an expert, and you don’t have to spend all $10,000 (in fact depending on your situation you may not be able to) to make the grant a successful and worthwhile resource for your nonprofit, but you should be prepared to put in the work.
If you don’t have someone in-house who has experience with Google ads (or who can devote the time to learn) or you lack the budget to hire an outside expert, this is probably not the best time to consider the Ad Grants program.
So, should we or shouldn’t we invest in Google Ad Grants?
If, after considering these four questions, you still aren’t sure whether Ad Grants is the right strategy for you, the best advice I can give is to take the quiz and see what result it gives you.
You can’t use a proverbial hammer to fix every problem. Rather, a box full of different tools is the best way to ensure you have the means to achieve your organization’s goals. Google Ad Grants could be just the tool you’re missing to help you reach the success you’re looking for!