Finally! After waiting since 2013, when it was introduced in England and Wales, Google Apps for Nonprofits was finally launched in Scotland this summer. At an event in Edinburgh, attended by over one hundred charities, the programme was explained and organisations we
re able to learn about just what was included in Google Apps for Nonprofits and what these tools could do to benefit their organisation.
What’s included in Google for Nonprofits?
A clear pre-requisite for the program is to be registered as a charity with OSCR. If you’re a third sector organisation but not a registered charity the best route would be Google Apps for Work. However, if you’re a charity and are approved for the programme, you will receive the following completely free:
- $10,000 per month of advertising on Google Adwords
- Premium YouTube features
- Google Earth Outreach mapping tools
- Google Apps for Nonprofits, incorporating a whole range of tools, including:
How can these benefit my charity?
These benefits make this programme very attractive to nonprofits – if these tools are used to their potential they will completely transform the communications and marketing of any organisation for the better. Google Apps for Nonprofits provides a cloud-based Apps suite including Gmail, Drive and Calendar which can greatly improve the efficiency of work, particularly in teams. Google Docs for example allows groups to collaborate together in real time avoiding the hassle of sending documents between different individuals for revisions. The programme will also allow many organisations to reduce their long-term IT costs on spending like servers, allowing the money saved to be put to better use.
The advertising grant will allow organisations to communicate to new audiences and build on current target groups that their limited budget can sometimes struggle to reach. Whilst there are some restrictions placed on the way in which the credit is used, Google Adwords allows for a very targeted approach meaning that specific niche demographics can be reached.
Google Earth Outreach is an initiative which gives nonprofits the ability to visualise their activities and reach through Google Earth and Maps. There are numerous different projects which utilise this fantastic tool such as the HALO trust who use Google Earth to pinpoint and organise removal of landmines and Japanese relief workers who made use of Google Maps after the earthquake in 2011. These features are usually paid for by large businesses so to put them in the creative hands of charities for nothing presents really exciting possibilities.
What to do next…
In order to be eligible for Google for Nonprofits in Scotland, the organisation must be either registered with HMRC as a charity for tax relief or registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). To apply, visit the site for Google Apps for Nonprofits and select the correct country option. If you feel you would benefit from some guidance on how best to make use of these amazing tools, don’t hesitate to get in touch.