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Useful Tools For Charities & Non-Profits – Google, Bing and others

New non-profit organisations are often springing up all over the place as self-sacrificing individuals put their time, effort and money into a worthy cause that strikes a chord with them, making the world a better place. It’s a remarkable thing to do, and I salute you.

I’ve worked with a few non-profit and charitable organisations, and here’s some of the useful things I’ve discovered along the way.

Google for Charities & Non-Profits

Google has a great number of useful tools and resources for charities. We’ll have a look at what they have on offer. Unfortunately some of these are location dependant, with US-based organisations being able to boast access to the lions-share of tools. Even so, what is currently available worldwide and to the UK, is not to be ignored.

http://www.google.com/nonprofits/index.html
Google’s Non-Profit home page, the portal to all the products. Here you’ll be able to see if you’re eligible, and to which products you’ll be able to have access to. Some of these are free, but they do have premium tools available also, though usually with heavy discounting applied.

Be prepared to jump through some hoops to get yourself registered, but it’s not laborious. They do need to ensure that you’re representing a legitimate charity.

Let’s have a look at what’s on offer.

1. Google Apps
– Gmail
The email service that you may be already familiar with. You can even use your own custom address i.e ‘yourname@yourdomain.com’, making your organisation seem more legitimate.

– Calendar
A powerful calendar to aid you with organising events, meetings etc.

– Drive
Online storage for files and documents. You get a little included (5GB at time of writing) and can purchase more as you need it. It can become expensive though…

– Docs
Meaning ‘documents’. Allows you to create and share word processing files, spreadsheets and presentations.

– Places
Allows you to pin-point your organisation on Google Maps. You can add contact information and other information.

– Analytics
Monitor your website traffic, see what people are searching for, how they manage to find your site, and examine your visitor behaviour.

– Google +
Google’s foray into the social media boom. They were a little late to the party, but their platform is quite good, even if it doesn’t have the same following as Facebook. Worth creating a G+ page for your organisation to help spread the word.

– And more…
There’s lot’s of other apps to discover, though I’ve mentioned the main ones here.

2. Google Grants
The grants are in the form of credit which is applied to a Google AdWords account. Again, you need to have recognised charitable status. You start with a credit of $10,000 (USD) per month. That seems like a lot, but advertising through Google can be very expensive. If you exceed this, you may be able to get an allowance of $40,000 (USD) per month. There are very strict rules on how this credit can be used.

3. YouTube For Non-Profits
YouTube (owned by Google) also has an offering to help charities out. You can create a channel which has features that are normally only accessible to premium members (usually large corporations with a budget to match.) These extra features include custom channel branding, donate buttons, live video streaming and other useful tools.

PDF: Google Playbook For Good

4. Google Earth Outreach
Using the powerful Google Earth, you can visualise your positive impact on the planet. You can integrate with Google Earth to overlay information and graphics over the areas you wish. There’s quite a number of exciting tools, and endless possibilities.

Facebook for Charities & Non-Profits

http://www.facebook.com/
As far as I’m aware. Facebook doesn’t haven’t any particularly special offerings for non-profits. You can set up a page for your organisation, but that’s currently as far as it goes. A Facebook page is still an important part of any campaign, so it shouldn’t be neglected.

Bing for Charities & Non-Profits

http://www.bing.com/explore/helpyourbritain*
Bing is Microsoft’s search engine offering. Not as widely used as Google, and lacking many of the features, it’s trying to re-position itself as a market leader (it was, but lost it’s grip) by entering the search engine market and giving its web browser (Internet Explorer) a massive overhaul. Microsoft is working on producing new tools for web users, and the ‘Help Your Britain’ addition is aimed at providing a promotional tool for non-profits.

You can also set up a profile for yourself, and your organisation.
https://profile.microsoft.com/RegSysProfileCenter/default.aspx

*Kindly informed of the updated link by Richard at Stretch Digital.

LinkedIn for Charities & Non-Profits

http://www.linkedin.com/
Social entrepreneurs should certainly leverage the possibilities that LinkedIn offers. There’s lots that can be done to help promote your cause, and I’ve written a couple of articles discussing how to use LinkedIn for maximum effect – Read my article about using LinkedIn.

Twitter for Charities & Non-Profits

https://twitter.com
Twitter is another social media platform which doesn’t have a specific range of tools for non-profits, though it has been used very successfully to raise awareness for a large number of concerns. Read about some of the success stories.

More useful resources

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