The National Council of YMCAs describes the local YMCA branches that span the United States as the heart of life in the communities that they call home. These comprehensive institutions provide a broad range of programs that address the physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs of the community members who participate in them. All told, the nationwide YMCA network serves more than 17.5 million adults and children, helping them to develop minds, bodies, and souls with instruction and practices that are consistent with Christian values.
While many nonprofit organizations struggle to make ends meet, YMCAs tend to face even greater financial challenges due to the sheer breadth and depth of their programs and the extensive equipment and infrastructure that these programs require. Furthermore, they must command a sizable advertising and promotional outreach budget if they want to make the local population aware of their programs and remain operational.
In an effort to support worthy nonprofits, Google recently launched a key new initiative called Google Ad Grants. A potential godsend for struggling YMCAs, this initiative can provide up to $10,000 in ad spending on a monthly basis to qualifying organizations.
Want to learn more? Read on for more information about the YMCA Google Ads Grant, what it can do for you, and how you can acquire one.
Benefits of the Google Ads Grant for YMCAs
If they want to be successful, nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses alike must foster and maintain effective online outreach campaigns. For many reasons, the leading search engine Google is a great place to start one of these campaigns.
Google Ads gives you the opportunity to reach the people who are most interested in your organization and its products/services at the very moment that they are most motivated to take immediate action. When a Google user makes an online search that is relevant to your organization, a Google Ad will appear prominently on the list of returned results. By clicking this ad, users are taken immediately to a page on your official website that is designed to meet their specific wants and needs.
However, every time that a user clicks on one of your Google Ads, it costs you money. Depending on your specific market and industry, each click will generally run you between $1 and $2.
If you are operating a YMCA, it is extremely important to attract fresh and reoccurring donors and volunteers. While Google Ads are a great way to accomplish this, the cost associated with them can be prohibitive.
This is where the Google Ads Grant comes in. Just think about how much your local YMCA stands to benefit from $10,000 worth of free Google Ad clicks! Just think about what you could do with that publicity to meet the health and social service needs of the community in which you operate.
How Can a Nonprofit Organization Apply for the Google Ads Grant?
The first step on the journey to securing a Google Ads Grant is requesting a Google for Nonprofits account on the Google platform. Google offers these accounts to nonprofit charitable organizations that are registered in good standing with the federal government of their country of origin. In the United States, this means obtaining a 501(c)(3) tax exception through the Internal Revenue Service.
Although a wide variety of nonprofits are eligible for Google for Nonprofits status, these accounts are not available to governmental entities, healthcare facilities, or academic institutions. Of course, these restrictions do not apply to the average YMCA.
To request a Google for Nonprofits account, you need to register your organization with the nonprofit sector computer and IT support organization TechSoup. You can do this automatically through the Google website by filling out a simple online form at google.com/nonprofits. When TechSoup verifies your nonprofit, Google will notify you by email.
Now you are ready to apply for your Google Ad Grant. To do this, you must first establish an official Ad Grant account using the same login email that you used for your Google for Nonprofit account. Just sign in to Google for Nonprofits and click on “Active Products.” Look for the “Google Ad Grants” tab at the top of the screen and then select “Get Started” from its dropdown menu. This will bring you to a link to an eligibility form that you must fill out in its entirety. When you are done with this form, click “Activate” to submit it to Google for review.
Challenges That YMCAs Face When Taking Advantage of a Google Ads Grant
If you are able to clear the relatively stringent eligibility and verification hurdles detailed above, Google officials will give you an Ads Grant at an appropriate level of financial reward. For YMCAs as well as other nonprofits, the next challenge is to make appropriate and optimum use of the Google Ads Grant platform.
Many nonprofit organizations simply don’t get the clickthrough traffic that they had anticipated from their Google Ads Grant account. There can be several different reasons for this.
First and foremost, you should ensure that you are employing the right keywords in your campaigns. These keywords should mirror the terms and phrases that Google users are most likely to enter when searching online for your YMCA and its various programs and services. You might also be targeting highly competitive search terms that cause you to lose Google Ad clicks to similar organizations in your area. YMCAs that bid on the keyword phrase “nonprofit donations,” for example, will almost certainly become lost within an overstuffed market.
Other common problems with Google Ads Grant operation include a lack of clear and focused keyword campaigns, low Google quality scores for your website, and an inability to track user conversions.
To Learn More
For help securing a YMCA Google Ads Grant and making the most of it when you have it, reach out to the experts at Cleveland, Ohio’s Marketing Done Right through our official website or by phone at (619) 354-0355. We have a history of assisting nonprofit organizations like the YMCA with a digital marketing approach that stresses practical affordability and public trust.