Google Workspace for Nonprofits Helps Canadian Nonprofits Be More Collaborative, Productive, and Efficient

December 2, 2021

Since the start of the pandemic, Canadians across the country have been looking for ways to give back, with searches for ‘how to help’ and ‘where to donate’ reaching an all-time high. As a result, many nonprofits are responding to the call to action, despite also struggling to stay afloat with typical activities impacted due to social distancing. The pandemic has required nonprofits to introduce new ways of operating and forced them to adapt to working remotely, all while continuing to increase awareness and fundraising. 

Through Google for Nonprofits, eligible nonprofit organizations get access to Google Workspace for Nonprofits which includes a number of free online tools and products, like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, Drive, and Google Meet to help them remain productive and collaborate more effectively, so they can focus on what matters. 

Remote collaboration, productivity, and moving programs online 

Google’s productivity and collaboration tools can be used from both web browsers and mobile devices, and with storage in Google Cloud instead of on individual devices. Sharing and real-time collaboration across any physical distance is simple and straightforward. Many staff, volunteers, donors, and clients are likely familiar with these apps and cloud concepts already through personal, work, or school use. This familiarity can drastically speed up adoption and efficiency. 

Docs, Sheets, and Slides - Whether working on documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, these apps offer everything you’ll need for professional formatting, embedding visuals, and doing calculations. Gone are the days of emailing multiple file versions for collaboration and then painfully merging edits. These apps allow all users to work on the same file in real-time, see each other’s edits as they are entered, review change history, have discussions through comments, while always allowing the latest version to be shared. 

Drive - File management and sharing is often a daunting task with multiple computers and locations, but by using Drive, you can easily store, organize, find, and securely share files. 

Gmail and Calendar - Stay in touch with volunteers, supporters, and your community with email addresses at your custom domain. Shared calendars make it easier to coordinate meetings when you can’t stick your head over to the next desk. 

Google Meet - Video conferences through Google Meet allow you to connect with teammates, train volunteers, and engage with clients. 

Sites - Easily create an internal or external website for all of the relevant information you need to share with your organization.

In addition to the apps, there are also many resources available for getting started, getting help, and getting inspired on the Google for Nonprofits site. 

In 2020, Working Women Community Centre used Google Workspace for Nonprofits, with help from Google Canada volunteers, to quickly move their services online at the start of the pandemic. This seamless transition was critical, as they had no in-house IT staff or technical expertise, but wanted to ensure they were continuing to support new immigrant women and their families in the Greater Toronto Area. As they were settling into operating remotely, Working Women Community Centre used Google Meet to turn their programs into virtual video meetings and used Google Meet, along with Docs and other tools, to collaborate with volunteers and clients in their On Your Mark mentoring and tutoring program, Language Instructor for Newcomers to Canada program, and in their Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters program. With the help of G Suite for Nonprofits, WWCC helped more than 500 children and families in 2020. 

Increasing awareness and fundraising 

Google Ad Grants, is another key component of Google for Nonprofits. Google provides in-kind advertising on Google Search for nonprofits to get their message out to a wider audience so that they can continue to attract donors, raise awareness, and recruit volunteers. Google Ad Grants offers nonprofits $10,000 USD per month to spend on search ads. Today, over 85,000 nonprofit organizations in Canada are eligible for Google Ad Grants. If you are eligible, activate Google Ad Grants and watch this five minute video on how to get started. 

Getting started and getting help 

Check out all Google's resources and programs for nonprofits by visiting the Google for Nonprofits resource hub. Below are some other tips on how to get started: 

● Activate your Google for Nonprofits account.

● Check out the Google for Nonprofits YouTube channel with many resources and training videos.

● Sign up for the Google for Nonprofits newsletter for monthly updates and tips.

Lastly, to help onboard nonprofits who may not be aware of Google for Nonprofits or need help getting started, Google employees across our three sites in Toronto, Waterloo, and Montreal created a nonprofit support program, led by 90+ volunteers. Through the program, nonprofits are given training on how to improve organizational productivity with Google Workspace tools like Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, Gmail, Calendar, and Google Meet, and provided recommendations on how to fully optimize their Ad Grants. To engage with those volunteers as the support program capacity grows, fill out this short form. Our team will get back to you as soon as we can - however, as we are a team of volunteers, we may take a little longer than usual.

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