Research Update: Google for Nonprofit Arts



In today’s culture, Google is seen as one of the most innovative technology companies in the world.  From its search engine to the Android operating system, Google has permeated every aspect of our techno-centric lifestyles.  Google has even become a verb defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: 

  goo·gle: verb, often capitalized \ˈgü-gəl\

            transitive verb

: To use the Google search engine to obtain information on the World Wide Web 

Beyond the scope of their technological accomplishments, Google strives to help nonprofit organizations around the world by providing them with free online tools and access to grant monies.  

The Anaheim Ballet is one example of an organization that has utilized Google’s nonprofit tools to great effectOnline videos enable the Ballet to engage their audience in new ways, and over 80,000 people now watch their work on YouTube.  Through Google’s program Google Wallet, the Ballet has created a new revenue stream that solicits donations from online viewers.  This new mode of ballet presentation has dramatically changed patron engagement for the Anaheim Ballet.  Not only can they present performances online, but they can show behind the scenes footage and interviews that would not be possible in the traditional ballet paradigm. 

In the coming weeks, I will report on how all arts organizations can utilize Google services to find their own version of online success.  The report will act as a blueprint to assist arts managers as they strive to raise funds through new digital channels and maximize their online impact.

The primary program I will discuss is Google for Nonprofits, the company’s flagship program for all nonprofits, analyzing it through the lens of an arts manager.  Programs such as Google Wallet, Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube for Nonprofits all fall under the program’s purview. 

I will also analyze and discuss funding programs provided by Google such as Google Ad Grants, Google Community Grants, and Google’s One Today digital fundraising platform.  I will discuss best practices related to these programs, and offer insight into their philosophy through interviews with Google employees. 

As the world sees rapid change due to the development of new technologies, arts organizations need to fearlessly strive to adapt and leverage new opportunities to further their missions.  If organizations do not shift, they risk becoming irrelevant in an increasingly digital world.  I hope that through my reporting over the coming weeks, I can help guide you through the forest of online engagement and fundraising and emerge triumphant on the other side.