Charities in England and Wales have cause to celebrate today with the launch of Google For Nonprofits in the The UK.
While Google Grants has been available in many countries around the world for several years now, Google’s full-suite of tools for nonprofits has only been available to US-based organizations. That all changed today with Google’s announcement that they are launching the Google For Nonprofits program in the UK starting in England and Wales.
The Google For Nonprofits has been a stellar success for nonprofits in the US and with today’s UK launch it is an indication that Google wants to make it’s full suite of nonproft offerings available to more countries. The program provides charity organizations of the UK free access to a wide variety of products including:
- Google Apps to help cut IT costs
- Google Grants, the nonprofit version of AdWords that provides up to $10,000 a month in advertising
- Premium features such as ‘donate now’ buttons for YouTube accounts
- And special mapping technologies for Google Earth and Google Maps.
Dan Cobley, managing director of Google UK, said, “Through Google for Nonprofits, we want to support the incredible work of charitable organisations in the UK by eliminating some of the technical challenges and costs that they face. We hope our technology will help them to reach more donors, improve operations and raise awareness so they can focus on changing the world for the better.”
Kinsey Street has worked with nonprofit organizations around the world and is excited to see Google continuing to expand their programs. If you are a nonprofit based in the UK we strongly encourage you to apply to join the program today. If you need assistance, please feel free to reach out to us.
As I reported back in June, Google was in the process of launching a new renewal policy for their popular Google Grants program, their nonprofit version of AdWords. Well, today is the day that nonprofits in the Google Grants program started receiving the notices with the headline – Action Required: Submit Your Google Grants Renewal Form. Notifications have gone out both by email and by alert messages within the AdWords account of the grantee.
The renewal form is very straight forward and essentially, Google just wants you to re-submit the information you have submitted previously, to verify that you are still a valid nonprofit organization.
There is a three-week window to fill out the form but it is so easy (and so important) that I do recommend that you do it now. The Google Grants team will be reviewing organizations on a rolling basis and the team has stated that since there are many Google Grants accounts to review, Grantees will not receive a notification decision for several weeks. Rest assured, your Google Grants account will remain active and running in the meantime. The Grants team is asking that grantees do not email to inquire about the status of their renewal as this will delay the process.
What Is The Purpose Of The Renewal Policy?
There are several reasons but three primary reasons are:
- Google wants to verify that the grantee is still a valid nonprofit organization.
- Google wants to ensure that grantee AdWords accounts are compliant with the policies and guidelines of the Google Grants program.
- Google wants to verify that the AdWords grant is promoting only nonprofit initiatives and services.
Additional information about the new policy be sure to visit the Renewal Policy FAQs for more information on the renewal policy.
Google Grants sent out emails today notifying grantees that Google Grants will be starting a renewal policy this July. This new renewal policy will be for any Google Grantee that has been in the program for over 6 months. During the renewal process, grantees will need to re-submit proof of current, valid nonprofit status, along with their AdWords Customer ID, for review.
The new renewal process is to ensure that the grantees are in fact still nonprofits and that their AdWords account remains in compliance with the Google Grants guidelines. This new process will likely become an annual requirement to maintain the grant, however, this is subject to change.
In my talks with the Google grants team, they mentioned that goal of the renewal policy is to ensure that grantees:
How The Renewal Process Works
Grantees will receive a notice in their AdWords account telling them when it’s time to submit their renewal form. The Grants team will also be sending 4 emails: first, an alert email telling them that renewal is coming. Then 3 emails during the renewal window telling them it is time to submit their renewal form.
Once the Google Grantee receives notice of the review they will be given a three week window to submit the required renewal information. During the review, their Google Grant AdWords account will remain active and the grantee shouldn’t notice any disruption to their impressions or clicks during the renewal review.
If during the review process the Google Grants team finds that grantee does not have up-to-date charity status and are in violation of Grants guidelines, such as hosting Adsense ads on their site, promoting more than one URL, promoting a URL not associated with the registered nonprofit, have ads/keywords that are not mission-based (ex. promoting online clothing store that’s not charity-related/selling mp3s/etc) then the nonprofit is subject to suspension from the Grants program.
Ensure your notification email in your Google Grants AdWords account is up-to-date. The renewal form will ask you to provide:
- Nonprofit status number or documentation (depending on the country)
- AdWords Customer ID
- Nonprofit organization and contact information
Most grantees will have all of these things readily available and the process should run smoothly.
If You Need Help With Your Google Grant
If you are concerned that your grant account will not pass the renewal process and you want to ensure that your AdWords account is compliant with all of the Google Grants guidelines, feel free to reach out to us. We provide Full Service Google Grants Management. Call us at 425-405-0690 or via our contact form.
On the heels of the Google Grants Adsense Violation Notices going out, the Google has also made changes to the URL policy and has begun sending notices to nonprofits in the Google Grants program that are promoting more than one website via their Google Grant.
The notice reads in part:
We are writing to inform you of a change we are making to our URL policy.
Google Grantees may only promote the one website domain name associated with the registered nonprofit that approved for Google Grants. We realize that some nonprofits may have separate domain names for events or fundraisers. However, to maintain the integrity of our program, we now require that Google Grantees only promote the one domain name associated with the nonprofit that was approved for Google Grants.
For more on the URL policy, please visit the Help Center article:
The new policy, now prohibits promoting more than one URL. Moving forward grantees will only be able to promote the website URL that was approved for use with the Google Grant.
Previously, nonprofits were allowed to promote different URLs for events and fundraisers via the Google Grant. However, the new policy only allows organizations to promote the ONE URL for the registered nonprofit approved in the Google Grants application. The new URL policy does continue to allow the promotion of subdomains and sub-folders.
Google Grantees must remove any extra domain names from their account by July 2013. After a short grace period, the Grants team will begin enforcing the new policy and any Grantees that continue to promote multiple domain names or a domain name not associated with the registered nonprofit will be subject to removal from the Google Grants program.
One of the issues that we are seeing from the various message boards is that some Grantees do not remember the original URL they applied for the Google Grant under. In my talks with the Grants team they have shared that, “As long as the website reflects the mission of the organization approved for Grants, they are fine. They simply must only advertise the one website domain name in their account and should delete all other ads and campaigns that are running different domain names.”
So if your organization has received notice and you are not sure of which URL you should promote, you will need to choose the website that either they remember was the one approved for Grants or matched the true nature of the IRS-approved nonprofit.
If you need assistance in updating your Google Grants AdWords account before the July 2013 deadline, please feel free to reach out to us.
The Google Grants team sent out violation notices today to Google Grants participants that had been identified by the system to have Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links on their website – a violation of the Google Grants policies and guidelines.
There have been some false positives where the system detected ads when there were not any and those grantees affected by these false positives have posted concerns on the Google Grants Help Forum that they may be loosing their $10,000 per month AdWords grant.
I spoke with the Google Grants team earlier today and they informed me that for now they were just giving a warning if the system detected AdSense on the grantees site and that they are not taking action yet.
Here is a copy of the notice:
Dear Google Grantee,
Per Google Grants policies and guidelines, nonprofits enrolled in the Google Grants program cannot display Google AdSense ads or affiliate advertising links on their website while participating in the Google Grants program:
Your organization’s website was found to be in violation of this policy. We kindly ask that you remove the Adsense ads from your website by July 2013. Google Grantees who continue to be in violation of the Google Adsense policy after July 2013 will be subject to removal from the Google Grants program.
As noted in the Google Grants guidelines, Google reserves the right to grant or deny an organization’s participation at any time, for any reason, and to supplement or amend these eligibility guidelines at any time. Selections are made at Google’s sole discretion, and decisions regarding Google Grants violations are final.
For information on Google Grants guidelines, please visit:
The Google Grants Team
And while the Grants team is not taking action yet, this should serve as a warning to those grantees that are not following the guidelines to become compliant or face loosing participation from the program.
For those affected by a false positive, keep in mind, this is just a warning and the Google Grants team is not taking down accounts at this time. This warning just gives grantees a chance to address any issues that may exist before a further review takes place.
Congratulations Google Grants team! What a great 10 years it’s been!
If you are a nonprofit and you have not looked into Google Grants yet I strongly encourage you to do so today.
To celebrate the 10th birthday of Google Grants, Kinsey Street will waive set up fees for any nonprofit that signs up for our Google Grants management service during the month of April 2013.
Contact us today and let’s get your nonprofit set up with $10,000 per month in free AdWords advertising via Google Grants.
Big news from Google Grants today as they sent out emails to grantees notifying them that major changes to the program would go into effect this January.
From the email:
First, as of January 28, 2013, Google Grantees may bid up to $2.00 USD on keywords. This is an increase from the previous CPC bid cap of $1.00 USD and may allow your ads to enter auctions previously unavailable at the $1.00 bid cap. Second, to balance the interests of businesses who pay to advertise on Google search, your ads will now appear below the ads of traditional AdWords advertisers.
If anyone needs help getting their Google Grant accounts prepared for the upcoming changes, (or applying for the Google grant) feel free to reach out to me for Google Grants help.
For those that are not familiar with Google grants, it provides up to $10,000 per month in free AdWords advertising to qualified nonprofits. You can learn more about the program at the official Google grants website or on our Google Grants overview page.
Also, feel free to contact me with any questions about the program and I will be glad to answer them for you.
1/28 – Many grantees are reporting that they are unable to increase their bids to the new $2 bid cap – I just spoke with the Google Grants team and they said that the changes are rolling throughout the day so grantees should be able to make the CPC increase to $2 fully by tomorrow.
1/28 – Most Grantee ad positions remained unchanged for now, as well. Several of my nonprofit clients have ads appearing in the top positions for competitive terms.
1/28 Noon PST – Changes to the max bid cap are now going through for many accounts.
1/29 – Most grantees not only survive the first day of changes but thrived with increased impressions and clicks.
1/29 10am PST – The Google Grants team shares a message about the recent program changes on the Google Grants Help Forum .
New changes in the Google Grants Account Creation Guide.
The Google Grants team has recently made a dramatic change to the Google Grants Account Creation Guide and how grantees launch their AdWords campaigns.
Previously, the account creation process was a 9-step process – now it is essentially a 2-step process although there are “steps within the steps”.
Step 1: Create an AdWords account — with no campaigns — and submit it for review. Do not create an ad or campaign until step 2.
Step 2: Once Google activates your account, the Google Grants team will notify you and you can begin creating your first ad campaign.
The really big change in the whole process is that you are now creating a “shell” AdWords account and getting it approved for use in the Grants program and then building out the campaigns. As mentioned above, there are still “steps within the steps” and the Google Grants Account Creation Guide still contains important requirements for properly setting up your campaigns so that they meet the guidelines of the Google Grants program. Failure to set your campaigns up properly will result in errors and your ads not launching.
Interestingly, the new process also states that it can take up to six weeks for the Google Grants team to review your account – this is up from the previous 30 days and is likely due to the large number of nonprofit organizations that are discovering the benefits of the Google Grants program and signing up.
While this new process will certainly make it easier for getting new grantees launched, it is still no substitute to the benefits of having your Google Grant managed by someone who is experienced in AdWords and Google Grants management set up the account the right way to begin with so that you can get the most out of your Google AdWords Grant.
If you are a nonprofit and need help in setting up your Google Grants account or ongoing campaign management to maximize your Google Grant, let us know – we can help.
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A recent blog article on NYTimes.com asked the question; “Has Google AdWords Stopped Working for Small Businesses?”
It is certainly a fair question as many small business owners struggle trying to find success managing their Google AdWords accounts themselves and it prompted me to jump in on the conversation.
Here was what I had to say:
The issue that many small businesses run into with AdWords is in its ease of use to get set up and launch a keyword campaign quickly. Simply enter your credit card, select a few keywords and write a couple of ads. 1-2-3 easy and done. It is in that deceptively easy set up process that many small business owners feel that they can “set it and forget” and let it run on its own. As a result, many business owners end up being extremely dissatisfied and claim that “AdWords didn’t work for me” or “AdWords was a waste of money” when the real issue is that their AdWords campaigns were not managed for success.
It is because AdWords is so easy to “do” that most do not realize the intricacies involved in doing it right, much less, doing it in manner that it generates a positive return on advertising spend and is revenue generating.
Cutting your own hair is easy. But if you want to look good, you hire a professional to do it for you. AdWords is no different. If you want the best results, go with an agency that is a Certified Google Partner, you will be glad you did. Certified Google Partners are agencies that have been vetted by Google to show proficiency in managing AdWords campaigns. Simply put, they have the experience and know how to do it right. Many of them work with small business and they are not nearly as expensive as you might think. My agency is one of them.
Effective AdWords management takes time and that is something that most small business owners simply do not have. It also takes a level of experience and proficiency that, like-wise, many small business owners do not have the time to obtain.
If you are a small business owner and if Google AdWords has stopped working for your business, give me a call today and let me turn your AdWords account around to be revenue generating instead of a money pit. You will be glad you did.