This year Google and Techbridge, a nonprofit organization that offers technical support at a lower cost to nonprofits, have teamed up to offer a Google Apps Nonprofit Seminar. This partnership is the first of its kind in Atlanta, and has put the issue of technology for nonprofits at the forefront. The seminar was a component of GoogleServe, which is an annual employee-driven volunteer initiative to help communities in need by partnering with nonprofits, schools, and local governments.
After attending the seminar, I wanted to highlight some of the functionalities of Google Apps that could help your nonprofit:
Google Analytics is used to track all usage on the website it has been designed to track. The information gathered from the Analytics date can help coordinate marketing strategies, and is very telling of who interacts with your site and why. There are four key things that using Google Analytics can address:
- What is the location of those who are looking at your page? It is important for a nonprofit to know who to send invites to events and volunteer opportunities to. Google Analytics can reveal the general location of those viewing your page. However, the more specific you are with location (county and zip code), the less accurate the information is. So, stick with state data to receive a correct location view.
- When do people access your site? Google Analytics has a feature that reveals what time of day your site received the most traffic. This information is essential for nonprofits that post announcements on their websites, or promote a lot of online engagement.
- Where is traffic coming from? There is a feature that shows information about whether your website was accessed through search engines, email links, a cost-per-click advertisement, or by entering the web address into their browser. This is great for finding out if a paid ad campaign is showing some return, or to see if there are many return visitors.
- What pages are being looking at the most? There is a page on Google Analytics dedicated to showing the average time people spent on each page being tracked as well as how many times visitors have been to your site. This information is crucial to showing you which pages are catching people's attention, and which ones may need to be redone or done away with. An essential piece of data for nonprofits is be the Bounce Rate, which shows the percentage of users that looked at your page for 2-3 seconds before leaving. If your donation check out page has a high bounce rate, it could mean there is an issue with your donation process. Information like this is essential for nonprofits to operate effectively online.
A lot of nonprofits as well as individuals are using Gmail, but there are a few characteristics that can make your daily life of checking emails quicker and easier.
- Filters: This tool can help you to better organize your emails, and can make life easier by not having to search for important messages. You can filter by who the message is from, what words are in the email, and which words are not in the email. You can also do a search for existing emails with these settings as well.
- Labels: Helps to internally set boundaries on what is important to view now or later.
- Google Calendar: Some of you may already use Google Calendar to schedule and keep track of appointments. However, you may not know about the feature that allows you to check the schedule of a person on your contact list, and have the system suggest a time for you to meet. This is Ideal for packed schedules, which most nonprofit professionals have. You can also merge Google Hangout chats with Google Calendars to have the option to immediately join the chat you were scheduled for without switching to Google+.
This component of Google is a new way to keep in touch with, organize, and engage with friends as well as businesses. There are a few perks to using this tool that could benefit Nonprofits.
- Posting regularly to your Google+ profile raises your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on Google. When someone searches for your organization, or something related to your organization you would take up the right section of the search page. This would help you to receive free marketing and advertising. However, not posting regularly would make way for someone else to take that spot.
- Organize your donors, volunteers, and followers with the Google Circles feature. Great way to easily address who you need to rapidly.
- Invite your circles as well as others connected through Google+ to Google Hangouts. Google Hangouts allows you to have a webcam meeting with up to nine other people. This could be an effective way to mobilize volunteers, personally tell others about what you do, or connect with donors who may not be in the area.
Google is awarding grants for free AdWords space to promote your nonprofit’s website using Google’s keyword targeting, as well as premium branding for your nonprofit’s Youtube Channel, and free usage of Google apps for nonprofits under 3,000 users.
To learn more about Google for Nonprofits, check out the website for eligibility details and the application. For more information about Techbridge and how their services can benefit your nonprofit you can visit them online at techbridge.org.
Chanell Turner, Social Media and Program Intern, Foundation Center-Atlanta