|Google AdGrants program helps students learn and nonprofits thrive|
What are Ad Grants?Google Ad Grants provide an opportunity for nonprofit organizations around the world to get an official Google AdWords account with a monthly budget of $10,000 to spend on ads for raising awareness, fundraising, gaining members, etc. AdWords is a powerful tool and the program available to just about any nonprofit. However, there can be technical challenges and skills required to create and manage campaigns, which may be beyond the resources of many nonprofits.
On the other hand, there are a lot of students who could benefit from getting experience on live AdWords accounts as they learn about digital marketing. The Google Marketing Challenge is no longer available, but students might be able to benefit from and AdWords account that has $10,000 a month available, and the opportunity to help a nonprofit organization?
The idea of the Ad Grant Exchange is to help nonprofits to obtain and manage as grant accounts, and to give students an opportunity to access these accounts, to get experience. In practice many professors have found it to be a great way to help students as they work towards gaining the free Google Adwords certification. In theory one can be certified by just studying the material However it definitely helps to have access to the tool, and while certifications have been proven to help students get interviews and jobs, the more experience you can gain, the better.
The first way for an educator to approach this issue is to get Adwords certified to know what the application is and how to use it. There are free learning resources from Google and books available on Amazon. Obtaining the certification should be a class requirement as well that can be handled simultaneously with the project.
Step 1: Get AdWords certified.
Step 2. Find a client.Next, approach nonprofit organizations directly in the local community or across the world. In Many nonprofits already have Google Ad grants or did have them, but with the turnover at nonprofits in staff and volunteers, the grants often go dormant. It may be possible for the nonprofit to either obtain or reclaim a grant for use with a digital marketing class. The starting point is to take a look at the Google Resources for Nonprofits website listed below. Dr. Kelsey has also offered to make suggestions and help find a client. If you are interested in learning more about Google Ad Grants or know of an organization that would like some help pursuing or optimizing one, please feel free to contact Dr. Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 3. Set objectives.While the class will be running the project, make sure that the campaign goals and objectives are clearly defined and can be accomplished during a class period. A goal might be to build awareness, which would be measured by website visits, or could also be something more specific, like requesting information or donating funds. In either case, the nonprofit will need to provide resources to access its web page and make changes to it to increase the quality score of the ad and its likelihood to be shown. Access to Google Analytics will make the classroom experience richer and create more learning opportunities for the students.
After the projectMost likely the grant will require some kind of ongoing management when the class isn’t running; It is important to make sure that role is defined during the project and that the ongoing program manager be closely involved in the project. That person whsould work with the students. Another goal at the outset is to to define a long term plan that can be implemented over several semesters. Using principles of continuous improvement, the project can be passed to next year's or next semester's class with goals already in place
Good luck and don't hesitate to contact either Dr. Kelsey or me for assistance! I talk more about how to successfully work with clients in the classroom in my latest podcast for HubSpot or in my Cengage webinar.
Google Resources for Nonprofits
Google Ad Grants Website
Dr. Kelsey's book on Search Engine Marketing in AdWords
Dr. Zahay's Podcast on client projects
Dr. Zahay's Cengage webinar on using projects to aid students' careers