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Newly certified - Can I offer 3rd party services to non-profits?

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I would like to offer consulting and ad management services for ad grants to non-profits, but not sure what the requirements are. This ad grants help topic states that grant recipients are allowed to work with SEM/SEO agencies and provides a link to a Marketplace for finding vetted partners: https://support.google.com/grants/answer/117684?hl=en&ref_topic=3500093. But the link only goes to the main Google for Non-Profits page, not any marketplace.

 

Is there a vetting requirement for adwords professionals to offer services to non-profits, or can I go ahead and start approaching these organizations? Are there compliance rules for setting up agreements with 3rd party agencies?

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Accepted by topic author Meliset A
April 2017

Newly certified - Can I offer 3rd party services to non-profits?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Technically, you can offer the service. Though because grants have limited resources they usually have an in house  employee who manages the account. But if the entity has enough resources it could outsource the service. No restrictions.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Meliset A
April 2017

Newly certified - Can I offer 3rd party services to non-profits?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Technically, you can offer the service. Though because grants have limited resources they usually have an in house  employee who manages the account. But if the entity has enough resources it could outsource the service. No restrictions.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Newly certified - Can I offer 3rd party services to non-profits?

[ Edited ]
Badged Google Partner
# 3
Badged Google Partner

I like this idea! What do you think about this @MosheTLV. I would love to have some kind of not for profit/grants program that certified partners could opt into if they wanted to provide their services for free to these organizations. Much like how lawyers are expected to donate some portion of their time to keep their BAR certification. 

Tom

Re: Newly certified - Can I offer 3rd party services to non-profits?

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

@tomhalejr - To touch on your two points:

1) Google used to have a program called Google For Nonprofit Featured Providers which were vetted Partners that specialized in nonprofits. That program has now been shuttered and is not expected to reopen.

2) Google's intent with Google Ad Grants is help nonprofits to increase their impact. It is not intended to be a training tool for individuals to learn AdWords. For learning AdWords, Google has a very extensive training program and even certification through the Google Partners program.

 

With well intentions to help nonprofits, many think that since Google is providing a $10,000/month ad budget that it is 'free money' and that because of that it doesn't matter if it is wasted through mistakes of mismanagement while someone learns AdWords. 

 

As someone who has audited a large number of Ad Grants accounts, I can tell you that it DOES matter and it SHOULD matter to the nonprofit. Mismanagement equals missed opportunities for the nonprofit and that could mean the difference of a nonprofit meeting its mission or not. As the saying goes, "mission is critical" and this is especially true of nonprofits. After all, many nonprofits are life changing and many are even lifesaving - as such, it is not a stretch to say that a mismanaged Ad Grant account could mean lives lost.

 

When it comes to Ad Grants, it has unique challenges and restrictions that go beyond the normal challenges of a regular AdWords account. In addition to these platform challenges, nonprofits also typically serve in niches that present their own unique marketing challenges. Nonprofit marketing is a skill in and of itself. So yes, a third-party agency can certainly work with nonprofits to manage their Ad Grant accounts but if they truly want to help those nonprofits then they should first be experts at AdWords at a very minimum. With the majority of accounts I have audited, sadly that is not the case.

 

Newly certified - Can I offer 3rd party services to non-profits?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

@MosheTLV and @tomhalejr, your exchange has nothing to do with my question. I wasn't asking about how to train in Adwords at the expense of a non-profit. However, @MosheTLV answered my question, so thanks for that.

Newly certified - Can I offer 3rd party services to non-profits?

Badged Google Partner
# 6
Badged Google Partner

Well, like @MosheTLV said, you can technically try to market your services to that sector, but due to the nature of the organizations involved in the ad grants program, that might not be the best use of your time if you are trying to build a business.

 

 

Tom

Newly certified - Can I offer 3rd party services to non-profits?

# 7
Ad Grants Featured Contributor

@Meliset A

 

There are freelancers, agencies and a few social enterprises out there that specialise in Ad Grant management. Some specialize in theatres, churches, or other areas; some work with any type of client. There are agencies that have one or more Ad Grant clients, but mainly deal with businesses. There are also agencies managing paid Adwords accounts for non-profits, some of them with a sizeable budget.

 

There seems to have been a proliferation of Ad Grant elves since the new rules came into place back in January and nonprofits realised they needed help.

 

But as @MosheTLV said, most charities manage their Ad Grant in-house. That's a perfectly good way to do it, provided they have the capacity (skills and time). Some use volunteers. As well as Ad Grant management, some agencies offer training and audits to nonprofit workers who want to run things themselves.

 

Since there are few actual rules about this kind of work, I'll offer (personal, arguable) advice instead:

 

- Knowledge of the nonprofit sector helps a lot, especially when it comes to understanding what they want to achieve, what's practicable, and what's possible and deliverable.

 

- You need to know the Ad Grants policies inside out. This forum is great for that.

 

- Certification isn't worth as much as you might think. Anyone can pass it by googling the answers (note: I didn't do that, honest). You could become a Google Partner, which gives more kudos, but to do that you'd need to amass some real $ spend, not just Ad Grant spend, and it's a long process.

 

- Ethics matter to the sector. It's good practice for the nonprofit to set up their own Adwords, Analytics, Search Console etc accounts and then give you permission to access via an MCC. Inform them upfront that they can block your access at any time, and don't try to lock them in.

 

- Do things properly. Have an SLA. Have liability insurance.

 

- I find that nonprofits pay up quickly. They don't have cash flow issues like businesses do.

 

- But you'll find that unless you can prove (conversions are useful) that the work you do leads to valuable outcomes, they'll be reluctant to pay as much as a business would be prepared to.

 

- And unless you have connections and some experience in the sector, you'll probably struggle to find clients. But when you do find them, they're usually great to work with and it's fulfilling work to help them promote their services and help them to help people.