It’s no secret that some parishes struggle with marketing efforts, not through lack of ambition, but rather lack of funds. Thankfully, there are lots of tools out there to help your parish get the exposure it needs in and around your community. From social media platforms run by experienced volunteers, free website templates that can be created by watching YouTube tutorials, and church resources that help ignite new ideas within your faith community, you just need to know where to look.
What would you share with your community if you had the money to advertise online? Would you tell them about your beautiful Sunday Masses, Eucharistic adoration on Wednesday nights, or the monthly pancake breakfast? Maybe you’d send out a call for volunteers needed for the next food bank handout or for more donations for the Cold Weather Ministry. Whatever message you’d like to spread, an in-kind grant from Google for Nonprofits is a great way to start.
Spread the Mission of your Parish with Google
A Google Ad Grant works by displaying your message to people who are searching for parishes like yours. Qualifying nonprofits receive $10,000 in in-kind Google text advertising every month. (You can only promote text ads — you can’t use your grant to buy photo and video ads.) Now, we know that for most parishes looking for this kind of assistance, $10,000 is kind of a stretch. But imagine how you can stretch your dollars by kicking in $100 a month, followed by a match by Google? Depending on your specific audience and chosen keywords, you could potentially double your intended reach!
The first step to applying for this grant is by going through the application process to find out if you’re eligible. For this, you’ll need to have a Google account/verified Google listing. If you haven’t done that yet, you can begin the process here. If you do, you can move on to the next step, which is to sign up for a TechSoup Account.
TechSoup is a nonprofit organization that partners with corporations, like Google, to help bring technology tools and other resources to nonprofits at a discounted rate. To get started:
- Go to the TechSoup registration page.
- Choose the country your organization is based in and your preferred language.
- Click New Member, register, and agree to the terms. (NOTE: In some cases, it may take up to 30 days to be validated, and TechSoup may contact you to request additional information or documentation.)
- Once your organization has been validated, log in. You will be presented with a TechSoup validation token. (It should look something like this: 123a4567@MyOrgName.) You’ll want to copy this code and include it in your Google Nonprofits.
Now that you have your validation token, it’s time to sign up for Google for Nonprofits, which is necessary to have before you can apply for the ad grant. You can do that by going here. You’ll need to submit your parish’s EIN (nonprofit ID), the physical address, and your online contact information.
- Go to the Google for Nonprofits registration site, and enter your TechSoup validation token to apply for the Google Ad Grant.
- Agree to Google’s statements about non-discrimination.
- Insert your validation token.
- Fill out your personal contact and organization info and agree to be contacted by Google. Make sure you’re signed in with an email address that you check often. Click submit, and you’ve finished the process!
Google should approve your application within a few days and will send you an email. The next step is to explore the best ways to share your church with the surrounding community. Have fun!
Have you used Google ads for marketing your church? What was the outcome?