Good Google

USA TODAY: That many small businesses have grown tremendously thanks to Google’s pay-per-click advertising is well known. The low cost of entry and the fact that advertisers only have to pay if an ad is clicked has brought hundreds of thousands to the new medium, with amazing success stories.
Less well-known is that many non-profits are also benefiting from search advertising. They are attracting more donors, and more people in need. And best of all, for them — it’s free. Google provides the advertising space at no cost.
Google has given away $33 million in free advertising to 850 non-profits in the last two years, says Sheryl Sandberg, Google’s vice president of global online sales. “We don’t see any limit to this. We want it to continue growing.”
To apply for Google Grants, groups must have a website and official non-profit status. A short application at http://services.google.com/googlegrants/application asks how Grants can help. Non-profits must compose a sample ad and address any affiliation with political advocacy groups.
That’s a deal-breaker for many non-profits. Google will give free ad space only to non-religious and non-political groups, Sandberg says, because, “We want to be fair and unbiased in everything we do.”
Google’s stance means that groups such as Amnesty International, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and Catholic Relief Services don’t qualify. “It’s not fair,” says Paul Tillman, director of marketing for the Catholic Relief Services. “We help on the basis of need, not creed. That’s a broad brush they’re painting us with.”
The decision on who gets in or out is made by 250 staffers at Google who volunteer to work on the project.

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan in the Pacific Northwest. Chief Storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.