Google for nonprofits, useful stuff

Hey, folks, the craigconnects team and I recently had the opportunity to talk with the folks over at the Google for Nonprofits program about their latest stuff. Nonprofits should look into this. Here’s our interview with Kristen Olsen Cahill, the Product Manager for




CN: Google launched their Google for Nonprofits program a few years ago. In the past it’s included $10K-$40K worth of in-kind Adwords, being part of the YouTube Nonprofit Channel program, etc. Tell us about the new program? What new or enhanced platforms are you offering nonprofits?

KOC: The goal of the new Google for Nonprofits program is to greatly increase the number of nonprofit organizations that we help through our exclusive nonprofit products and new resources.  Now, instead of applying to each Google product individually, you can sign up through a one-stop shop application process. If approved, you can access our suite of product offerings designed for nonprofits: up to $10,000 a month in advertising on Google AdWords to reach more donors, free or discounted Google Apps to cut IT costs and operate more efficiently, and premium features for YouTube and our mapping technologies to raise awareness of your cause. We also launched the Google for Nonprofits Marketplace which connects nonprofits with professional service providers who have agreed to offer their services for a free or discounted rate.  Finally, we’ve developed other online resources such as educational videos, case studies and better ways for you to connect with other nonprofits.

CN: What kind of cool work have you seen nonprofits do after they have been admitted into the Google for Nonprofits program? For example, we know some environmental groups have used Google Earth to track logging and deforestation? Any examples you can share would be great for our readers.

KOC: Yes!  We have several examples of nonprofits using Google tools to increase their impact.  We’ve seen organizations such as Direct Relief International raise nearly $1 million through one AdWords campaign. Samasource saved tens of thousands of dollars by using Google Apps to start their nonprofit.  The Natural Resources Defense Council generated over 100,000 views on YouTube for a video the launched without any paid advertising.  We’ve also invited nonprofits to share their story with us about the positive changes they are making everyday with Google products.  We’ve been blown away by the stories we continue to hear from hundreds of organizations that are truly making a difference!

CN: What’s the best way for a nonprofit to apply to the Google for Nonprofits program? Can you talk a little about the process and how long it takes to get accepted?

KOC: To apply for the Google for Nonprofits program, organizations need to fill out a simple application form on our website.  Before applying, they can learn more about what the program involves and if they are eligible.  They should hear back from us in about a month.

CN: What kind of new tools or enhanced products are you looking to add to the Google Nonprofit program in the next year?

KOC: We’re constantly challenging ourselves with how we can better serve nonprofits and expand the scale of our program.  Over the next few months, we’ll be doing a lot of listening to nonprofits in order to figure out how we can best serve them.  We’ll strengthen our program with this feedback in mind and plan to expand into different geographies.

CN: What are the best resources to learn advanced tips for some of the Google for Nonprofit features? YouTube, for instance, offers nonprofits overlays and other features many nonprofits don’t take advantage of and it can be hard for nonprofits to find success with Adwords campaigns since they face some restrictions (like lobbying) within the nonprofit offering. Where can organizations go to learn to take it to the next advanced level with Google’s nonprofit offerings?

KOC: We are currently building out resources for nonprofits so that they can best optimize the use of our products.  In our conversations with nonprofits, we’ve heard that some extra help from professionals would be very valuable, so we’ve introduced the Google for Nonprofits Marketplace.  We also have an online forum where nonprofits can share best practices with each other.  Finally, many of our product help centers are packed with great advanced tips for nonprofits. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we post quick tips and tricks from different product experts or sign up for our monthly newsletter.

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