Grants Brazil volunteer insight

Thursday, September 4, 2008 | 11:41 AM


Google Grants launched in Brazil at the beginning of 2007, and since then, our biggest reward as volunteers for the program has been the opportunity to extend online publicity to help NGOs that otherwise wouldn't have a presence in this highly competitive space. Even before becoming Google Grants volunteers, we were involved in the NGO area, doing volunteer work and studying the field.

The first grant in Brazil went to an NGO called Projeto Arrastão which provides children from poorer backgrounds with musical instruments (most made from recycled materials such as cans).

After one year advertising with AdWords, they increased their monthly website visits by 240%. They now receive many new additions to their mailing list each month. They also told us that through their AdWords campaign, they received a donation of a new piano which has enabled the formation of a choral group.

While we take pride in stories like this one, we still have some hurdles to work through. Our biggest challenges are related to staffing and time allocation. Google Grants still has a lot of ground to cover in Brazil, and generating new applicants and reviewing submissions can be challenging. Also, educating the NGOs in the program, many of whom are new to AdWords and online advertising, can be intense. Some challenges these NGOs face are developing their online savvy and internal structures to take advantage of the program's benefits.

Meanwhile, we have gained a better and broader vision of NGOs and services available. We can testify that there many people in Brazil doing wonderful things and creating worthwhile projects. From our small but significant list of grant recipients, we can see that an AdWords campaign can really have a direct and positive effect.

Of course we still have many things to do. We're focusing on reinforcing the importance of AdWords as a tool for NGOs and carving out time and resources to educate the non-profit sector. We're also focusing on helping structure and monitor their accounts.

As we get to work on our latest initiatives for Grants in Brazil, we'd like to offer two recommendations for all NGOs:

  • Separate different projects or initiatives into different campaigns. This way you'll be able to generate specific reports, have more control over popular services and have seasonally targeted advertising, if relevant.

  • Create a site that is clear and easy to navigate. Your mission statement and projects should be explained in detail and found quickly within the site.