Pride in Technology: Google Partner Panel

On June 25, 2024, iMission had the opportunity to be a part of a panel of partners speaking to Google internal teams on the topic of user experience (UX) with Google tools, especially Google Ads. What made this panel special was the focus group: how to reach and better serve the LGBTQ+ community, respectfully and with dignity.  This initiative was a part of Google’s Pride In Belonging. 

What did we learn?

Firstly, and this we know, there is amazing work being done by nonprofits large and small to provide direct connection and assistance to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Whether it is in advocacy, providing housing, emotional support, food security assistance, a huge range of psycho-social services is being provided every day, impacting thousands of people.

Big tech, Google in particular, is leaning in and listening. 

The Google team gave us questions beforehand, and they listened to our answers. Very carefully, very closely. The panelists shared their direct experiences, challenges and successes, in using different marketing tools (including the Nonprofit Workspace) to find and connect with people, bringing them to their websites to share programs, events, and resources.

Many ideas were shared.

Google Partner Pride

Can Google develop a dedicated support team for nonprofits ONLY in Google Ads?

Oftentimes nonprofits are dealing with truly sensitive issues, and the language and terms that are needed to express the support services are the very same that are flagged by Google bots and often cause ads (and sometimes full campaigns) to be rejected. Having a dedicated team of support personnel – NOT developers – could assist NGOs in getting ads approved and placed properly, to meet the need as it is expressed.

Can Google add other supports to the Nonprofit Suite like video services to make Youtube ads easier to produce and share?

All the panelists agree that video is the trend which is growing – but producing videos is time consuming and costly, whether done by internal staff or consultants. Many nonprofits simply don’t have the manpower or financial resources to create videos that could be game-changing on many fronts. Having a helping hand from Google in this realm would be hugely impactful.

Can nonprofits finally acknowledge the amazing help that an Ad Grant gives them?

A stipulation of being a grant recipient is that nonprofits do not acknowledge the Google ad grant by use of a logo or other designation on their website or materials. The shared opinion was that if this IS allowed, it may encourage other nonprofits who do not currently take advantage of this amazing resource offered by the tech giant to get involved and grow awareness for their mission.

Can Google develop a set of basic Looker Studio templates that feed from Google Ads accounts to provide KPI reporting?

As a marketing consultant, iMission builds custom reporting dashboards for our clients so that they can track the KPIS that matter to them. We know that there are common KPIs that everyone watches, however, and using an integrated app like Looker Studio is a game-changer in time savings. It can also provide graphical interpretations of data trends that are then clearly and easily communicated to Board members, team members, donors, and volunteers.  Developing a set of report templates that are accessible to all nonprofit users through the nonprofit suite would be a boon.

What about automation?

The main point of using Google ads is to find people and bring them to your site. Once there, how do you stay in contact with them, nurture that relationship, and develop it over time without straining your staff’s time, energy, or breaking your budget? One answer is the smart use of marketing automation. Other paid email service providers like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or Salesforce, offer automations. The setup can range from very simple to wildly complex, it’s all up to the organization and its needs.  But – what if Google added a list-building service and some basic automations to their already robust Gmail functionality? This could provide nonprofits with a resource that could provide services faster and more efficiently, stay in communication with their audience in very clear ways, and not overtax their staff. 

What’s next?

The panel shared many challenges and successes, and the topic of AI came up as well. My takeaway is this: Google is leaning in to their nonprofit services and wants to learn more about how it can offer additional assistance. As LGBTQ+ allies and community members, asking the question, “How can I help?” is a great place to start. iMission will be watching to see what new developments occur in the Google-sphere.

More to come!

iMission Institute is a digital solution provider on a mission to enable and empower its nonprofit clients to use technology – from strategy to implementation. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are an integral part of our values. Want to learn more about what we do? Get in touch with us.

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