Starting a nonprofit isn’t easy. You have an inspiring idea, a passionate starter team, and a few generous donors to help you get started. However, when it comes down to it you don’t have enough money to actually get the ball running on your nonprofit. The truth is a large percentage of nonprofits fail within the first five years of starting. The reasons are somewhat obvious: lack of vision, poor decisions from the board, and lack of capital.
There are plenty of blogs about how to ensure that your nonprofit is ready to get started in terms of vision and choosing board members and a solid team to get it started but not many people really talk about the money. Even though your organization is not-for-profit, it requires money and a lot of it. Operating costs (rent, staff, utilities, phone, office equipment, etc.) and administrative costs (what you spend on administering the nonprofit) are the two biggest expenses of a nonprofit.
The third biggest expense is development costs: costs directly related to your efforts. Anything to do with fundraising, sending e-mails, marketing; all of these are development costs. Because it’s the third expense it’s one of the reasons why nonprofits fail. Many organizations simply don’t have enough money after paying the operating and administrative costs and the development costs are the most important because it’s what drives your organization and provides the money for the first two.
The good news is there are ways of spending very little on development costs. From hiring a really good marketing team that knows what they’re doing to using what’s already out there for nonprofits. Google nonprofit offers “eligible organizations access to Google products and tools that can help nonprofits find new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and get supporters to take action.” They will work with you and your nonprofit organization to not just get the word out but create a strong online presence separate from social media. There are several reasons why taking the time and creating an account with Google nonprofit is the way to go.
It’s important to streamline how you run your organization from files to donor lists, and even e-mails. Google nonprofit offers G Suite; it’s all the apps you need as part of your productivity collaboration tools. Nonprofits need to collaborate and G Suite gives you unlimited Google accounts with @yourdomainname instead of @gmail. It also gives you access to Google docs, sheets, sites, slides, etc. And Google nonprofit will give you 30GB of space, and if you need more you can simply talk to a representative and see what can be done.
What’s good about G Suite other than your cost savings is that it’s secure. By avoiding personal e-mails and documents you will foment this idea of shared collaboration and it protects your organization’s internal informational. Also, Google sites can be used as an onboarding tool for new hires, donors, or volunteers. You set it up once and just send the link; it’s easy and seamless.
Google Ads, Google nonprofit gives away $10,000 a month for nonprofit organizations that qualify. The money goes toward fundraising using pay-per-click. With Google ads you’ll be able to drive the kind of people you want to your website. The $10,000 adds up to about 5,000 visits a month. With Google Ads, you can also create specific keywords that are exclusive to your cause. This will help increase the 5,000 visits. This Google nonprofit benefit is probably your greatest tool if you can maximize all that it’s offering.
Google nonprofit offers other soft services that help your nonprofit organization but aren’t truly necessary to running a successful nonprofit organization. For example, you can use the YouTube Nonprofit Program to help promote your marketing material by using “Donate Now” buttons and the ability to create links on the video. Another cool feature is that once you reach 1,000 or more subscribers you qualify for YouTube Spaces, which are Google’s production studios found all over the world.
To increase visibility, Good nonprofit created Google One Today, which is an exciting feature that promotes one nonprofit a day on their app. It gives a short story or video about the organization and makes donating extremely easy. If you’re a part of Google nonprofit, your organization will show up and this will increase traffic to your cause.
Google nonprofit is a great way to streamline productivity tools and increase the visibility of your nonprofit organization. Google really wants nonprofits to succeed and will work with you to make that happen. For all these services they offer webinars and 24/7 help to get you started. As long as you’re a verified 501(c)(3), you’re more than likely going to get approved.
Google nonprofit has a list of organizations that don’t qualify but if you’re unsure the application process only takes about 10 minutes. There are ways to succeed without breaking the bank. It’s important to research and look at all your options.