Building a Community of Grantees

Wednesday, December 9, 2009 | 9:15 AM


As 2009 winds down, our team thought it would be fun for us (and you!) to reflect on the Google Grants program over the past year. Over the next few weeks, each team member will be sharing his or her own thoughts on how the Grants program has developed in 2009. We hope you find our posts helpful as you reflect on your own organization's year and perhaps think of ways to make your Google Grant better serve your mission.

When I think of 2009 in regards to the Google Grants program, I immediately think about the community our team has worked to build among our grantees. Our team made great efforts this year to help current grantees and interested non-profits better connect with each other, sharing tips, successes, and challenges. We've taken steps to build this community through several avenues:

  • Google Grants Workshop: In August, we held a 2-day workshop on our Mountain View, California campus for 100+ current grantees. The event was designed to better educate grantees about how to maximize their Google Grants AdWords accounts and use additional Google For Non-Profit tools. A major success of this event was the sharing of ideas and experiences between the grantees in attendance. We used this blog to share many of the best practices discussed at the workshop with those who weren't in attendance.
  • Google Grants YouTube Channel: We launched this channel in late summer with several videos from the workshop. Through this channel, we're again able to share the knowledge and community built at the workshop with those who were unable to attend and we plan to expand on our video content in 2010. Check out our channel's videos now if you haven't already.
  • User Discussion Forum: The Google Grants Help Forum was revamped this year to enable grantees to more easily post questions and offer answers to other grantees. This resource has been very successful at building community, as grantees directly support each other and connect through the forum.
  • Webinars: Over the past year, we've also built community through educational webinars for grantees and interested non-profits. These events offer opportunities to learn more about the program and how to make your grant more effective for your organization. We held several webinars with NTEN, the Nonprofit Technology Network in 2009. You can search our blog for posts about past webinars and also learn about webinars we have planned for 2010 in a recent post. These events are a perfect way for grantees to connect with our team and hear questions and feedback directly from fellow grantees in the program.
  • Conferences: Attending non-profit conferences has also been effective in spreading awareness of the program and enabling grantees to connect. Our team had a presence at several conferences in 2009, including the National Conference on Volunteering and Service and NTEN's Nonprofit Technology Conference. We hope grantees who attended such conferences used the opportunity as a way to network and share with other grantees in attendance. If you haven't attended non-profit conferences to date, we recommend checking one out in 2010, as they provide great resources, ideas, and networking opportunities to organizations of any size.
  • Google Grants Blog: Finally, 2009 has seen a significant growth in readership of this blog, which is a great resource for our grantees to learn and connect through. We hope you enjoy reading our articles and especially learning a bit more about your fellow grantees through best practice posts.

We sincerely hope you felt more like part of a Google Grantee community in 2009. If you are looking for more, be sure to get involved through avenues like those discussed above and use 2010 as a year to more closely connect with your fellow grantees!