South African NPOs that are registered with the Department of Social Development can now apply to join the programme, which provides access to a suite of free products and tools, including:
- Google Ad Grants: Free AdWords advertising (up to USD $10,000 per month) to promote their websites on Google through keyword targeting.
- Google Apps for Nonprofits: Free version of the Google Apps business productivity suite (Gmail, Docs, Forms, Calendar and more), so they can run their email and important documents in the cloud and work collaboratively on documents while dramatically reducing IT costs.
- YouTube for Nonprofits: With premium branding capabilities on YouTube channels, and increased uploading capacity.
According to Public Policy Manager for Google South Africa Fortune Mgwili-Sibanda, “For most nonprofit organisations (NPOs) around the world, the web is a vital platform for improving visibility, raising awareness, and connecting with their stakeholders, donors and volunteers. Often, one of the big decisions relates to the need to spend to acquire technology when there are so many competing demands for funding and resources.”
Referencing a report by The Southern African NGO Network which found that most NGOs in South Africa are under-resourced, Mgwili-Sibanda says, “Mostly due to a lack of funding, NPOs’ access to internet and technology tools is limited. A lack of understanding regarding how to use web technologies means that they often end up paying huge amounts of money for proprietary software, which they may not use or even need. This is where Google for Nonprofits can assist.”
Google for Nonprofits has not been Google South Africa’s first foray into helping the non-profit sector.
“We know that many nonprofits require hands-on help to optimise the use of the web and Google tools. So earlier this year, we launched the Google Academy for NGOs. This was a series of workshops in Gauteng, Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. In these workshops we trained nonprofits on how to harness the power of the web to work smarter and better. We’re inspired and humbled by stories showing how nonprofits can make positive changes around the world using our tools,” Mgwili-Sibanda says.
NPOs in South Africa are already leveraging Google for Nonprofits tools with amazing results. The Smile Foundation, which helps fundraise for reconstructive surgery for children with cleft and lip palate, used Google for Nonprofits tools to grow referrals to their website, increase online donations, and promote their organisation to brands and companies for fundraising partnerships.