Grants Annoucements

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    Ask the Google Ad Grants team a question and check out our
    Throughout 2018 we had the pleasure of meeting more of our 45,000 Ad Grantees. We heard that you’d like more support. Below, you’ll find resources, tips and case studies to help you connect with people online through Ad Grants. Resources Ask us anything here, on our active online community We activated new community forums in 5 languages (French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, and our newly launched English community (BETA). Check it out, and let us know your feedback!)  We welcome your questions and will respond directly to you!  Common FAQs are here.   Learn how to improve click through rate or fix common tracking problems with how-to videos From Ad Grants 101 to selecting keywords to fixing common tracking problems to understanding Smart Bidding, we have 25 educational videos in a variety of languages on our YouTube channel.   Consider partnering with an agency in Ad Grants’ Certified Professionals Community Certified Professionals are agencies and consultants who offer Ad Grants expertise and nonprofit sector specialization to help Grantees use Ad Grants effectively. Find a Certified Professional from a list of 28 certified partners serving nonprofits globally. Get started with an agency guide to navigate the process of selecting and working with the right partner.   Get hands-on help and tailored campaign recommendations from digital marketing students 500 Ad Grantees have worked with teams of digital marketing students through the Ad Grants’ Online Marketing Challenge. Sign up through this form.     Going to NTEN conference in Portland? Please let us know - we’d love to connect!  The Ad Grants team will be available for questions, feedback and account troubleshooting. Don’t miss the New Era of Google Ad Grants Session, Weds March 13 at 3:15pm PST.   Look out for invitations to hands-on workshops by opting into “Special Offers” email notifications Last year, we hosted 11 hands-on workshops at Google offices and met Ad Grantees around the world at 12 conferences. Connect with the Ad Grants team by opting into email notifications and our posts on our online community.     Tips Understand what happens after someone clicks on your ads Setting up good conversion tracking is critical to effective online ads. Clicks measure traffic to your site whereas conversions measure impact. Do people stay on your site? Do they take the actions you’d like them to?  With conversion tracking, you may: Focus your effort on the most important keywords that drive results Bid higher with Maximize Conversions Smart Bidding Unlock features like conversion based ad rotation to automatically show your most effective ads See insights like how your online ads compare to your other marketing efforts to help decision-making.   If you use Google Analytics already, it’s easy to get started. Link it to your Google Ad Grants account and import your goals. If your goal is to raise awareness through content, use a Google Analytics Smart Goal. Other options, like time on site, pages per visit, and views on a common webpage tend to be duplicative of one another and are less likely to give you meaningful results. You can always check the number of pageviews on Google Analytics though.   For most other goals, track when someone lands on a confirmation or thank you page or if not possible, track the button that clicks to that last step using Google Analytics Event Tracking.   If you’re already tracking, understand the value of each conversion If you’re tracking an action that has monetary value such as a membership fee, a ticket sale, or a donation, differentiate your conversions by their value with Google Analytics’ Ecommerce tracking. If you use a third party to process donations, you can also track how much your ads contribute. For example, we have guides for linking donation partners like Classy, Blackbaud Luminate, or Frontstream Artez.   If you’re already tracking, use conversion tracking features to understand the big picture If you use the default 30 day conversion window, adjust it to 90 days. Most nonprofits have a longer conversion cycles to engage, volunteer, and donate. If you use the default attribution model of Last Click, adjust it to Time Decay (or Data-driven if you have enough conversion data). Time Decay or Data-driven gives credit to the ads shown throughout your customer’s journey.   Bid more for clicks that take action on your site using Maximize conversions Smart bidding When you have conversion tracking set up, enable Maximize conversions Smart bidding. It automatically sets the right bid for each auction to get you more conversions. In Ad Grants, it’s especially useful because conversion-based Smart bidding may exceed manual bid limits.   Earn website visitors’ trust to take action on your site by securing your entire site with HTTPS Your audience expects a secure and private online experience when using your website, especially when considering signing up for email or making a donation. Secure your entire site with HTTPS, a secure connection so no one else can view or modify your site for some.  Our Webmaster forum can help with questions.   Use Ad Grants’ policies as a guide to optimize your account performance Our policies offer guidance on regular optimization techniques, such as building out your keyword lists into multi-word phrases, pausing low-quality keywords, and improving keywords or ads with low CTR. For example, your collective ads now have an average 12% CTR to earn people’s clicks!  This video gives an overview of Ad Grants policies. If your monthly policy compliance report identified an issue in your account and you need help to resolve it, contact the Ad Grants customer service team directly through this form.     Case studies   To Write Love On Her Arms uses Ad Grants to generate income from their online store “Using our Google Ad Grant, we were able to raise over $174,000 in online revenue in a year. This has had a huge impact on our work with those struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicidal thoughts.” - Lindsay Kolsch, Co-Executive Director, To Write Love On Her Arms. Read more.   Ad Grants helped DonorsChoose.org to raise $497,000 of donations “We have seen continued growth and improvement to primary conversion tracking goals, thanks to a strategic use of Ad Grants. In just a year, we’ve raised an additional $497,000 through our ads. With our lean marketing budget, I wouldn’t have fathomed these kinds of results if it weren’t for Ad Grants.” - Yangsin Lau Vazquez, Growth Marketing Lead. Read more.   All Hands and Hearts uses Ad Grants’ Smart Bidding to raise 39% more donations at a tenth of the cost “Utilizing Maximize conversions has dramatically increased results for our over 100 nonprofit Google Ad Grants accounts at Community boost. Sometimes I can’t help but daydream about how many lives are being saved or enriched by this amazing marketing tactic.” - Cameron Ripley, CEO of Community Boost Consulting. Read more.   Samaritans uses Ad Grants to test marketing strategies for effective paid ads during fundraisers “We recommend other nonprofits use Google Analytics and conversion tracking to understand that supplementing an Ad Grants account with a paid Google Ads account is worth the investment,” says Michael Keating, Communications Manager. Read more.   How has your nonprofit used Google Ad Grants to further your mission? We want to hear from you! Share your story here.   Thank you for the work you do! From the Ad Grants team and many volunteers at Google: Ammar, Chris, Geraldine, Janelle, Ky, Michelle, Pauline, Samra, Sara, Shannon, Zach
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    Introducing Ad Grants Community Manager!
    Hi Community,  My name is Ammar and I would like to introduce myself as your Ad Grants Community Manager.  At Google we take pride in communicating and engaging as much as much as we possibly can with our community. I have the pleasure of working with a wonderful and experienced Ad Grants team; you'll see me active on the forums assisting you with your questions and goals, and building up this community together!  In the future, I want to continue to use this forum as a place to talk about new features, policy changes, contributors, and product releases. In addition to curating blogs, tutorials, webinars, tips, and much more. If you have any question about Ad Grants, myself or the future of the project please do not hesitate to PM me.  Until then, see looking forward to connecting with everyone, on the forum!
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    Google Ad Grants: Growing Your Online Marketing Space
    Since 2003, Google Ad Grants has given over $9 billion in free advertising to over 115,000 nonprofits in more than 50 countries. The program is led by Michelle Hurtado, who started her career working in nonprofit communications and saw how online ads level the playing field and give smaller organizations a voice. Now her global team helps nonprofits raise awareness, attract donors, and help people around the world. AFP Global spoke with Hurtado about Google’s commitment to supporting nonprofits, the value of online marketing in fundraising and more. AFP: Can you give a high-level overview of Google’s work with nonprofits and commitment to the sector? As a company, Google is rooted in improving the lives of people around the world through better access. Nonprofits play such a critical role in our communities, so naturally, we bring the best of Google to support them, offering products, people, and philanthropy. For example, we amplify the vital work of nonprofits by offering numerous useful products for free, including Ad Grants. We have a robust model of employee engagement and offer thousands of hours of skilled volunteering. And we have a philanthropic arm which funds innovative projects that create a world that works better for everyone. I can also give you a sense of our commitment through Ad Grants’ story. Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google Search is critical in this. We saw how effective ads on Google Search results pages were and started Ad Grants so that resource strapped nonprofits could have good access to share information on Google.com. We’ve now been giving free Google Search ads for 16 years, directly in alignment with Google’s mission. We hope that we’re helping nonprofits grow with Google: by supporting nonprofits to raise awareness, get people involved, and fundraise, we help scale their impact. AFP: How does online marketing help nonprofits? People go online to learn, discover, find, and act. There are now four billion Internet users worldwide, and the proliferation of mobile devices means we are constantly connected. For nonprofits, this represents a huge opportunity to educate people, introduce them to resources, answer their questions, and show them how to get involved. By establishing a strong online presence, nonprofits can connect with people and share their story with the world. Marketing online helps nonprofits reach huge audiences. Google.com processes billions of searches per day. It also provides an opportunity to deliver highly targeted messages—ads that answer a person’s question on Google Search. It’s also incredibly measurable against a range of goals nonprofits care about. And lastly, it’s highly responsive and ads can go live in a few minutes, which helps nonprofits contribute to topics in the news, if they’re ready. Fundraising is also growing online. Independent studies indicate that the majority of donors now prefer to give online—this holds across age demographics and will likely grow over time. There’s opportunity online to not only increase donations but also to diversify donor bases. AFP: How does Google Ad Grants fit into an organization’s online marketing strategy? I believe Ad Grants is incredibly valuable to nonprofits, offering up to $10,000 per month in free Google Search ads. It offers nonprofits a presence online and introduces many to the power of online ads. Ad Grants should be a part of a comprehensive digital strategy including email marketing, videos, display ads, social media, as well as paid search ads to expand what’s working well in Ad Grants.  AFP: Many of our members don’t think of themselves as marketers. From your perspective, what is the difference between marketing and fundraising? How does an investment in marketing align with fundraising? Marketing and fundraising go hand in hand by introducing people to your organization and engaging them to become direct supporters. Marketing casts a wider net and Google Search offers tremendous reach to connect to people. Once they’re aware, fundraisers can start cultivating through events, email, and outreach. Fundraisers can test messaging online and use marketing performance data to identify new audiences and effective engagement paths that lead to donations. AFP: What types of nonprofits are most successful with Google Ad Grants? We are proud to serve nonprofits of all shapes and sizes at varying levels of comfort with online ads. But two things come to mind for success with Ad Grants: First, a high-quality website. With the power of the internet at their fingertips, consumers are more curious, demanding, and empowered than ever before. They expect clear, personalized answers instantly. Websites that are easy on the eyes, load quickly, and are structured well to lead people to a clear, actionable goal on each page are far more successful with online ads. If not, people are likely to bounce off a website quickly and onto the next website that can satisfy their demands. Second, nonprofits who have a clear online goal and refresh their ads are able to improve ad performance. There’s a lot of information offered in an Ad Grants account which can be used to better reach goals. But if an organization’s main goal is simply to drive traffic to their website, and the website doesn’t go much beyond getting clicks to their site, then people may bounce off the website without taking meaningful action. Keeping content fresh and actively managing Ad Grants towards goals is critical. If feasible for an organization, Ad Grants partners with agencies and consultants in our Certified Professionals Community who are dedicated to nonprofits and well versed in Ad Grants ads. AFP: What are your top tips for success for effective online marketing? Whether a nonprofit is brand new to online marketing or already feels pretty comfortable, I have a few recommendations: First, define goals and success metrics. What are the few things your organization wants people to do when they come to your website, and how will you know when they did so? Second, make your organization's website a priority. Structure the website around key goals and ensure each webpage has a clear call to action. Make the user experience easy and mobile friendly—and always refresh content often. Next, set up free Google Analytics to understand what happens on your website and link goals to your Ad Grants account. The first will help you understand who views what content, and the latter will help you improve your ad performance. Then, have a dedicated owner who can be proactive with new ads: learn from user experience on your website, test new ads, be ready to respond to current events and seasonality like Giving Tuesday. Lastly, I’d be remiss not to mention that Ad Grants can’t cover all online ad opportunity. Grantees can get to know online ads through Ad Grants and learn about what’s worth investing more in. Ad Grants offers Search ads on Google.com after paying advertisers, so investing in some paid ads extends your reach significantly and has additional features to market specifically to your supporter lists or show compelling image and video ads to drive retention and advocacy. AFP: What support do you make available for Ad Grants Grantees? We offer a range of support options for our Grantees because successful online marketing takes commitment, and we want to help nonprofits achieve their goals online. A few support options to note:   YouTube Channel: We host educational webinars and videos on a variety of topics including how to raise ad quality or how to select keywords. Certified Professionals Community: We recommend professionals who specialize in nonprofits and Ad Grants. Online Marketing Challenge: Ad Grants partners with university professors and their students who are studying digital advertising to help nonprofits without charge as part of their hands on learning. Community Forum: We have an active online forum to answer questions and discuss recommendations. We post announcements there, such as conferences the Ad Grants team is attending or workshops we’re hosting. Google Ads customer support line: Our Grantees can also leverage the Google Ads support line for help. The number is 1-866-2GOOGLE. ———————– Read the Article online at AFP Global
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    A Conversation With Michelle Hurtado, Head of Google Ad Grants
    Jeff Ostiguy, Vice President of Marketing at THD, sat down with the Global Head of Google Ad Grants, to discuss Google’s commitment to the nonprofit sector, Ad Grants program changes and how nonprofits can be successful with Google Ads.   THD: Michelle, thanks for taking a little time to talk with us today! Can you give us a brief history of the Ad Grants program? Hurtado: Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google Search is critical in this. We saw how effective ads on Google Search results pages were and so we started the Ad Grants program so that resource strapped nonprofits could have good access to share information on Google.com. We’ve now been giving free Google Search ads for 16 years, directly in alignment with Google’s mission. We hope that we’re helping nonprofits amplify their vital work and grow with Google: by supporting nonprofits to raise awareness, get people involved, and fundraise. THD: What does the Ad Grants team look like? We often hear it is a small team of volunteers. Hurtado: Ad Grants has been a small team historically but we have doubled in the last year! We are a dedicated group of 12 and we have team members who have been with Google for 14, 15 and 16 years, sitting across 6 different offices. We also have partners we work closely with. For example, we have our Certified Professionals Community of agencies and consultants who are knowledgeable about Ad Grants and dedicated to nonprofits, so we recommend their services. We also partner with universities to offer a program for students learning online marketing to volunteer with Ad Grantees through the Google Ad Grants Online Marketing Challenge. Last year we served about 51,000 nonprofits so we also rely on volunteers to scale our support efforts. You’ll see many of our volunteers on our educational resources such as videos and livestreams on YouTube and our new Community forums which are great platform for nonprofits to ask questions and get help quickly. THD: In January of 2018, a number of new performance and structural guidelines were put in place for the program. Have the changes had the impact on performance that your team had hoped? What trends or changes have you seen since you made the changes? Hurtado: Yes! We reviewed our program policies to add clarity and raise standards of quality for our free advertising grants. We want our Grantees to all be in compliance with these policies and we hope they act as a guide to optimize accounts. For example, we don’t permit single word keywords because they don’t often make a good match with a relevant ad and a user taking action on your site, so that policy prods nonprofits to build out keyword lists. Performance metrics like conversion goals met show positive results and click through rates have more than doubled. My team is committed to helping nonprofits use their Ad Grant successfully. THD: Have a large number of Grantees been suspended since the policy changes were implemented in January of 2018? Are more nonprofits opting to use automated options like Smart Campaigns? Hurtado: Many nonprofits have been impacted by the policy changes but almost all fix the issue and are reactivated. Smart Campaigns is an excellent option for Grantees that can’t invest the time to manage their online ads regularly. This campaign type can be set up in just 15 minutes, and then works to constantly improve an ad around a goal, measure its performance, and show clear, understandable results. More nonprofits are using Smart Campaigns as they see the ease, but it’s still a low proportion of our Grantees. THD: How do you plan on making compliance more smooth for all parties involved? Hurtado: We want our Grantees to have a good experience with us and we have provided a lot of educational opportunities to nip compliance issues in the bud. Currently, we are developing an on demand report so Grantees can check compliance proactively that we think will help a lot. We send out a monthly report by email and recommend Grantees confirm their correct email is associated with their Ad Grants account to ensure they don’t miss our notices, and check spam folders just in case. THD: One of the biggest challenges – and opportunities – nonprofits have is balancing the role of Ad Grants with their paid programs. What is Google’s point of view on how to manage that? How should nonprofits view Ad Grants vs. paid Google Ads and how can they avoid competing with themselves? Hurtado: Indeed, Ad Grants doesn’t cover all online ad opportunity. We encourage Grantees to get to know online ads through Ad Grants and learn about what’s worth investing more in. Ad Grants is limited to Search ads on Google.com after paying ads, so investing in some paid ads extends your reach significantly and has additional features to market specifically to supporter lists and use image and video ads to drive retention and advocacy. Additionally, when something is in the news or when there is high seasonality, Grantees can capture more of that increased interest by supplementing their Ad Grants account with a paid account. It’s important to note that Ad Grants accounts do not compete with paid Google Ads accounts. Grantees can literally duplicate their Ad Grants account to a paid one if they wish to ensure they get the top ad position. Investing in paid Google Ads may result in significantly more volume so it’s worth considering. THD: We have seen many nonprofits be very successful with Google Ad Grants. What are your top tips when managing and evaluating the performance of ad campaigns? Hurtado: Whether a nonprofit is brand new to online marketing or already feels pretty comfortable, I have a few recommendations: First, define success metrics. What are the few things your organization wants people to do when they come to your website and how do you know when a goal is reached online? Second, make your organization’s website a priority. Structure the website around key goals and ensure each webpage has a clear call to action. Make the user experience easy and mobile friendly – and refresh content often. Next, set up free Google Analytics to understand what happens on your website and link your goals in your Ad Grants account. The first will help you understand who views what content and the latter will help you improve your ad performance. Then, have a dedicated owner who can be proactive with new ads: learn from user experience on your website, test new ads, be ready to respond to current events and seasonality like Giving Tuesday. THD: The Google Academy for Ads is a tremendous resource, but it can be a little overwhelming. For a nonprofit marketer, who is familiar with Google, but not with all of the tools and programs available where would you suggest they start? Hurtado: There is a ton of information out there for nonprofits to educate themselves on how to successfully manage their Google Ads accounts. As for the Google Academy for Ads, it is a fantastic resource but we suggest nonprofits using Ad Grants get started with our tailored educational resources that are program specific and use nonprofit examples for easier consumption. We offer a range of educational and support options for our Grantees because successful online marketing takes commitment and we want to help nonprofits achieve their goals online. A few support options to note:   First, our Help Center hosts tips on how to be successful with Ad Grants such as outlining how to create effective ads and automating your bids. Second, we have our Community forums which we actively monitor for questions. Third, we host educational livestreams and videos on a variety of topics on our YouTube Channel, including how to raise ad quality and how to select keywords. We also develop case studies regularly to highlight how our Grantees are using our program and specific product features to reach their goals. These can be found on our website. Lastly, our Grantees can also leverage the Google Ads support line for help and optimization suggestions. The number is 1-866-2GOOGLE. ———————– Read the Article online at t|h|d Straight Talk 
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