Google Grants Used for Innovative College Program

Google has a Grants program specific for non-profit organizations trying to reach their outreach goals through advertising via Google AdWords. I had a chance to speak with one of the first education-based recipients of the Google Grants program; a social media marketing class at Emerson College led by Professor David Gerzof.

Having an innovative social media marketing class is impressive enough, but Professor Gerzof has enabled the class even further by incorporating real life experiences into the course. Part of that is being achieved through Google Grants. With the class broken into six groups, each group of students has the opportunity to run social media campaigns for their assigned non-profit. Google advertising is one way in which outreach can become a part of a given marketing campaign in the online realm, so the Google Grants program is a useful way for the class groups to not only learn about marketing but specifically about advertising as well.

The non-profits include Piers Park Sailing Center, The Level Field Foundation, Samaritans, Farm Aid, VHL Family Alliance and Partners for Youth with Disabilities. Being a non-profit in need of marketing is a unique situation to be in but it’s necessary along with every other aspect of raising awareness. And combining social media marketing efforts with the Google AdWords has even proven tricky for some of the class groups.

Whether the target market for a given non-profit is in need of honing or broadening, or the established budget for the Google Grants program proves restrictive for a particular campaign, there are limiting factors that each group has had to deal with. Of course, being in the classroom environment has allowed the groups to get some early and necessary experience with real world applications of having to navigate an online marketing campaign.

The class also has another set of groups that are doing social media ad campaigns for start-ups, though these operate outside of the Google Grants program. But what’s promising with this classroom experience is that Emerson itself has the foresight to provide online marketing tools specifically for social media integration, and Google is extending its non-profit and education options for its applications and programs. See here for more details on Google Grants.

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