If I were to tell you that since 2010, every month your organisation had overlooked a $16,000 AUD free ad grant every month, how would you feel?
Because that is exactly what 97% of eligible Australian Not-For-Profit organisations have been, and continue to do right now!
This most unfortunate oversight I speak of is Google’s Ad Grants program. Developed to help the many thousands of not-for-profit organisations around the globe share their message, attract more donations, and recruit more volunteers through a $10k USD /$16k AUD per month in-kind Advertising Grant. Since 2010, Google has provided Advertising Grants to the sum of over $3billion US dollars globally.
The generous grant offered by Google is one example of the many philanthropic offerings made by corporations. So why is it being so underutilised? Is it simply an awareness issue? Or is there a bigger roadblock at play?
The importance of these organisations cannot be understated! They carry out activities and provide a diverse spectrum of services that include social services, education, sport and recreation, arts and culture, environment, animal welfare and human right advocacy. These organisations have thrived on their ability to communicate and grow a following around the world.
In a study completed by the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission) Australian NFP’s recently identified the five areas of greatest concern regarding the viability of their organisations over the coming five years;
- Cutting through complexity
Never before have NFPs and their boards had to be clearer about their mission and what sets them apart in the market. Customers, stakeholders, funders and an organisation's members are demanding greater transparency as to what 'value proposition' the NFP provides.
- Digital disruption
Dealing with technological disruption is as much an issue for the not-for-profit sector as the for-profit. There are opportunities for NFPs to more effectively deliver on their missions by being nimble and embracing technology. If an NFP's directors are not considering these issues, they risk their organisation becoming obsolete.
- Changing demographics
Australia's changing population demographics, from the age profile to increasing cultural diversity, is changing the nature of the problems NFPs must address as well as how their methods in addressing them. NFP boards must ask how their organisations stay relevant as the communities they serve change.
- Changing expectations
The expectations of customers, clients and communities are set to change in a world of consumer-directed funding brought on by the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Boards must be ready to adapt and manage this new paradigm.
- Managing cultural evolution
Change can be destabilising for any organisation if not approached delicately by an organisation's leadership. As sustainability becomes a priority for the sector, the push for NFPs to be leaner and more efficient will require cultural change to maintain the goodwill of all stakeholders.
Crucially, these organisations face an increasingly crowded marketplace, that has diverse and rapidly changing demographics. Rising numbers of organisations vying for attention, leading to donor fatigue. Not-for-profits (NFPs) are needing to innovate more than ever before, but they also need liquidity and a sustainable financial plan.
Is the cost of implementing and managing programs like Google Ad Grants simply out of reach for many smaller organisations?
Over the coming weeks, we invite you to explore with us as we explore these challenges and look to provide viable solutions for NFP marketing:
- Architecture of a winning Not-For-Profit Marketing strategy
- Tools and products to maximise effectiveness
- The economics of Google Ad Grants