Digital Fundraising Campaigns for Charities & Non-Profits

As a digital marketing strategy agency who’ve increased the digital impact for charities and non-profits such as Campaign Against Living Miserably, Blood Cancer UK, The Starr Trust, Basic Needs and BHESCO, we’re on a mission for charities and non-profits to claim the $120,000 in annual funding that’s available to them with Google.

Google Ads Grants give charities and non-profits $120,000 of Google Ads spend every year

With the world in or coming out of lockdown due to the Coronavirus, this is more important than ever as UK charities are estimated to miss out on £4.3bn of income during the lockdown period.

Not only can Google Ad Grants be used to direct people in need of the charity’s services to their phonelines and support pages, but they can also raise awareness of the cause, promote virtual fundraising events, increase newsletter subscribers and event sign ups, and drive online donations.

If the idea of free pay per click (PPC) advertising budget is not enough to convince you that applying for the Google Ad Grants is worth the effort, here are some digital fundraising campaigns you can run in your Google Ad Grants account to get you excited.

Picture of a typewriter
Photo credit: Markus Winkler

Charity awareness PPC campaigns

To increase awareness of your charity, run pay per click ads targeting keywords that relate to your type of charity. Some of the most popular keywords are ‘homeless charities’ (8,100 average monthly UK searches), ‘mental health charities’ (8,100 average monthly UK searches), ‘dog charities’ (1,900 average monthly UK searches), ‘environmental charities’ (1,900 average monthly UK searches), ‘human rights charities’ (320 average monthly UK searches) and ‘cancer support charities’ (140 average monthly UK searches).

Introduce people to your non-profit and highlight the urgency of the cause in your main ad. While well-known charities often skip this, as Cancer Research do in the second screenshot below, it is especially important for charities that are not well-known, and you can see that Wood Green has introduced itself as ‘The Animals Charity’ and highlighted their cause to help animals that ‘Are Suffering Now’.

Supporting graphic - fundraising-campaigns-for-charities-1

Though many charities choose to ask for donations in their ads, as Wood Green do in the screenshot above, less well-known charities may find that people engage more with ads that do not focus on donations. Without putting pressure on people to donate, make it easy for people to do so if they wish by taking them directly to the donate page in a sitelink like Cancer Research’s example below.

Supporting graphic - fundraising-campaigns-for-charities-2

However, people may not wish to donate without more information, so invite people to learn more about your work in another ad sitelink, and use the remaining three sitelinks slots to make them aware that there are other ways to support the charity, such as buying a gift from the charity shop or joining a fundraising event (see previous example, ‘Join The 2.6 Challenge’). Encourage people to sign up to the charity newsletter to stay up to date on upcoming events and charity partnerships.

Supporting graphic - fundraising-campaigns-for-charities-3

Virtual fundraising campaign strategies

In the run up to your charity’s virtual fundraising events, increase event sign-ups by promoting the event in ads that target keywords around ‘charity fundraising ideas’ (1,900 average monthly UK searches) and ‘charity event ideas’ (1,000 average monthly UK searches). The keywords ‘charity walk’ (1,300 average monthly UK searches), ‘charity dog walks near me’ (50 average monthly UK searches), and ‘virtual charity events’ (30 average monthly UK searches) would be ideal keywords to target when showing the ad below, though do spell check before launching the ad!

Use sitelinks to point people to further information about the event, show all the different sign up options (e.g. single, group, company) and direct people to the sign-up form. The event will not suit everyone, so keep these people interested by sending them to a page that contain ideas to help them create their own fundraising event.

Supporting graphic - fundraising-campaigns-for-charities-4

Sometimes a nationwide fundraising event will be held that your charity will be involved in, like the 2.6 challenge that took place on 26th April 2020 in lieu of the London Marathon. It could be an even bigger multi-country or global event. Search volume for keywords relating to these events are very high – the one-day-only ‘2.6 challenge’ had 9,000 UK searches in April – so get some free visibility for your charity by running ads targeting these keywords to let people know that your charity is taking part in the large-scale event and who knows, some of them may choose your charity to raise money for.

Supporting graphic - fundraising-campaigns-for-charities-5

Online donation campaign strategies

To increase online donations, run ads with a clear call to action in the headline for keywords that show a clear intention to donate to your type of charity, for example ‘cancer donations’ (210 average monthly UK searches) and ‘mental health donations’ (50 average monthly UK searches).

Supporting graphic - fundraising-campaigns-for-charities-6

It may be a different kind of financial support that your charity looks for, for example animal sponsorships. The keywords ‘sponsor an animal’ (1,300 average monthly UK searches) and ‘sponsor a dog’ (1,300 average monthly UK searches) would be ideal keywords to target when showing the ad below.

Supporting graphic - fundraising-campaigns-for-charities-7

Where there are relevant keywords, it may be appropriate to target people who are looking to donate to a charity as a gift for someone else. The keyword ‘animal conservation gifts’ (20 average monthly UK searches) would be ideal to target when showing the ad below. Alternatively, generic keywords such as ‘wedding favours charity’ (2,400 average monthly UK searches) and ‘charity birthday gifts’ (70 average monthly UK searches) could be targeted with the simultaneous targeting of relevant affinity audiences that are available to use in Google Ads, ‘Green Living Enthusiasts’ and ‘Pet Lovers’.

Supporting graphic - fundraising-campaigns-for-charities-8

Even if you already advertise using a Google Ads account, having a Google Ad Grants account is useful as campaigns that cover broader interests that are too generic and expensive to pay for can be tested in a Google Ad Grants account, as long as you meet the requirements to keep the Google Ad Grants account activated.

Feeling inspired? Contact us to get a free digital strategy consultation for charities and non-profits.

Follow my contributions to the blog to find out more about Google Ads and Google Ad Grants or sign up to the ThoughtShift Guest List, our monthly email, to keep up-to-date on all our blog posts.

Free Digital Marketing Consultation

Grow your online revenue with Website, SEO, PPC and Social Media strategy advice from our award-winning team

Get in touch