Google is a beast.
It has changed the way we see the world, find our way around, interact with each other and even our inanimate homes, educate ourselves and others, and revolutionise our lives online.
With over $100 billion in profit for 2018 and questionable tax practices*, it’s easy to discredit the tech giant as just another money-hungry machine, exploiting the masses for its own gain.
But, while by no stretch of the imagination could Google be called a not-for-profit venture, it does give back from whence it gained. You can educate yourself for free about online marketing and Google’s myriad ways to support and build business; kids in India can use Google’s open-source platform to translate school books; fighting illiteracy, assisting learning for the autistic, matching public donations and even, as clichéd as it sounds, helping the world’s orphans – Google is making the world a better place by overcoming far more than our First-World problems.
In 2016, Google’s third annual Giving Week netted US$24 million, do be distributed across 750 nonprofit organisations1. $800,000 to Planned Parenthood, $450,000 to funding the homeless, $324,000 to assisting the humanitarian crisis in Aleppo, Syria, a huge $5 million to education assistance, and handing out hardware to 1,200 formerly homeless people to help them join the workforce – in a single week, Google change the lives of millions of individuals less fortunate than ourselves.
Helping Your Business
The point is, despite our tall-poppy-syndrome tendencies to tear down a business with annual profits greater than most of the world’s island nations, a lot of good is coming out of the Googleplex, and many lives are being changed, if not saved, because of it.
Which segues rather nicely into your part in this blog…
Google has always been very much about promoting and supporting personal growth, assisting the average Joe Public to make something of him or herself. Aligned with this paradigm, Google for Nonprofits helps charity organisations to secure funding and work more efficiently and cost-effectively so that they can focus on the more important goal of raising funds to support the needy.
Valuable resources, such as the G Suite – including Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Drive, and Hangouts Meet – can be accessed for free, refining your workflow and allowing your team to orchestrate its efforts seamlessly and efficiently. These vital collaborative tools will keep your business on track and all your information connected and current. Google’s Docs and Sheets provide documents and spreadsheets that can be shared and edited live by your entire team, while Drive, similar to Dropbox, will allow you to have a database of folders, images and files that you can share with clients and your organisation from and to anywhere in the world. Calendar and Hangout enable you to keep to a schedule, coordinate meetings and ensure a far more efficient workflow for projects and business goals, and Gmail’s world-class email server gives you the all-important means of communication.
But it is much more than these simple tools that Google for Nonprofit provides. The Google-owned YouTube helps you to reach a global audience and amplify your cause, Google Maps and Google Earth allow you to create live tracking of your activities and actions, and the ‘front end’ of your organisation will receive many benefits from Google’s collection of online tools.
However, even if your operation is running smoother than a well-oiled baby’s buttock, the bottom line for any NGO is fundraising; well, Google can help you there too.
Google’s Non-Profit Grants
Successful applicants can receive Google Ads grants, helping them to reach a wider audience beyond their organic network. As Google puts it, you can “attract donors, raise awareness for your organisation, and recruit volunteers with in-kind advertising on Google Search. Ad Grants provides access to $10,000 USD of in-kind advertising every month for text ads.” Even $1,000 in your advertising budget can be a boon to any business, allowing you to target specific key demographics, helping you to reach the people most likely to contribute to your with a message that counts. From encouraging the public to take hands-on action such as attending rallies or events, to connecting with businesses to secure sponsorship, funding and donations, a well-planned ad campaign can launch your charity to the next level, enabling you to truly make a difference in your chosen field.
Lastly, Google has drawn upon its technological expertise and global renown to develop Google One Today – a publicly-available app that encourages people of all walks of life to support the causes that mean the most to them. Using the mobile-based One Today app, people can offer donations to myriad charities, with no hidden fees, confident that 100 percent of their contribution will go directly to the needy. This tax-deductible offering can then be shared across social media to their friends and family, encouraging others to take similar steps towards a better future for people and planet. Word-of-mouth is still the most powerful means of marketing, and Google One Today harnesses that power for the greater good.
While some of this might seem superfluous to your organisation, especially when what you really require is hard cash, these valuable tools will enable you to become time-rich and help to expand your network exponentially. Streamlining your workflow allows you more time for the more important aspects of your business, and contributing to your marketing budget, through ad grants and social media support, will empower you to spread your message wider and to the audiences that truly matter.
Although much of this is still focused on a US-based market, there is still huge benefit to be gained by non-profits worldwide, and Google makes it simple for you to access these tools and submit an application to Google for Nonprofits.
If you are considering launching a non-profit charity, or if you are already in the business of positive change, visit www.google.com/nonprofits today to see how you can gain the support of one of the world’s largest tech giants.
*It must be noted that, despite some reports of offshore tax havens and exploited loopholes, in general Google is comparatively fair and diligent with its tax payments compared to many of its peers, handing over almost AU$64 million in tax in the UK alone in 2018.
1Source: USA Today, Dec 20, 2016 – http://bit.ly/2N289FV