What We Learned at Our Google for Nonprofits Workshop

Earlier this month, we were joined by Johanna Katz and Anthony Phalen, experts from Google Cambridge, as well as by resident #BosArts expert Grace Geller from the American Repertory Theater, to learn more about Google for NonprofitsThis tool offers organizations free access to Google tools like Gmail with a custom email address for your organization, $10,000 per month of in-kind advertising through Google Ad Grants, Youtube for Nonprofits, and more.

There are many different tools that Google provides that can benefit all nonprofits, no matter your size. We will walk you through some of our learnings.

Google Suite:

  • This array of tools can help and assist in many challenges that an organization faces, helping you change the way you work and market your organization.
  • Google Suite includes: Google Drive, Gmail, Google Sheets, Presentations, etc. and allows for greater collaboration between colleagues. It also allows you to work remotely and from multiple devices.
  • If you go to Google.com/Nonprofits, you can apply for the program and hear back within 2-3 days whether or not your organization is approved. You can then enroll as an institution and add other users.
  • Information from Google for Nonprofits can then be used to update social media, as well as give you access to new case studies, including existing YouTube, AdWords, and other programs.

Google AdWords:

  • AdWords Express only requires light management for time resources, yet does not provide as powerful results as regular AdWords.
  • Your organization can be given up to $10K/month for advertising on Google. Monitoring of you ad campaigns is necessary. The maximum cost-per-click is $2.
  • Many nonprofits use both Paid and Grant AdWords programs.
  • In creating AdWords, you can target people who are looking to donate to nonprofits.
  • The relevancy of your website can help tip the scale in terms of quality of advertising, which in turn can help with the ranking of paid ads.
  • Google AdWords Express can scan your website for keywords and automatically plug them into your campaigns.
  • With Google AdWords Express, Google runs many of the programs for you.

Google Analytics:

  • Google Analytics gives you insight into how people are using your site, finding information on it, and how they are engaging. It can help you with how to make marketing campaigns better based on the content of your site.
  • You can learn how people are entering your site (ex. direct search, from another website, email, etc.) and see whether they are dropping off after your homepage, or if they are exploring further.
  • Analytics can guide you with which pages need the most attention, as well as which ones are performing the best, so that you can prioritize your time (especially if you do not have a dedicated web manager for your site).
  • Google can make predictive assessments based on the demographics of the audience that is coming to your site.
  • Other ways Google Analytics can help:
    • Strategy: know your goals and performance indicators.
    • Data Collection: understanding segmentation and how different groups are using or interacting with your website. Which pages are being viewed on mobile vs. desktop, how does one age group interact with your site differently than another, etc.
    • Act on your users: learn about the certain demographics your site is appealing to, which can help you determine content. Affinity categories can be broad, but useful.
    • Acquisition: look at how people are finding you, through referrals; what kind of traffic your campaigns are driving; how you can include Google Analytics Code on your website for purchases, to see how people are purchasing and/or using your content.
    • Exit pages: is there a last action you want visitors to your site to perform before leaving? What order should pages, and content on pages, be in?
    • Goals: track every time someone interacts with your website, such as every time someone: donates, signs up for email, purchases, watches a video, etc. You can also track how long they are performing these actions, or how long it takes to complete said action.
    • Conversion: assist roles can show you how a certain source may have assisted in a potential goal.
    • Attribution: modeling on how to think about investments in a media budget and where to invest.

Google OneToday:

  • An app that can help get funding for individual projects, based on the idea of donating one dollar per day.
  • This can be used for a scaled micro donation strategy. Google will cover all associated credit card fees, and the donation is distributed through the Network for Good.
  • There are case studies available about OneToday for reference.


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