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Google Alerts for Your Nonprofit:

Why You Need Them and How to Set Them Up

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You’ve got donors, supporters, and potential supporters out in your community and beyond. If they’re talking about your nonprofit, you probably want to know what they’re saying, right?

That’s great in theory, but how do you go about doing that? Do you have the time or resources to find out what people are saying?

If you’re like most nonprofit professionals, you’re too busy focusing on your day-to-day tasks to search the internet for mentions of your nonprofit. It doesn’t make sense to have one staff member scour the internet every day for new articles and events.

That’s where Google Alerts come into play. Keep reading to find out what they are, why you should use them, and how to create them.

What is a Google Alert?

A Google Alert is an update that shares information about a specific keyword. Once you set one up, Google will send you an email summary of recent articles and other Internet activity that mention that keyword.

You can choose the sources you want to prioritize and even set things like language, region, and number of results you receive.

The best part? This service is free.

Why should my nonprofit create a Google Alert?

As we mentioned above, it’s good to keep tabs on what people are saying about your nonprofit. Not only that, but you also have the ability to keep up with things like industry news (via a keyword like ‘nonprofit’) or events that might impact the work your nonprofit is doing (via a keyword like ‘hurricane’).

A Google Alert can also help you form meaningful relationships with others and make a greater impact. For example, let’s say you operate a nonprofit organization that builds quality housing for low-income families. A Google Alert could point you toward people within your community who have expressed a need for housing assistance or companies that are searching for a nonprofit to support.

Creating your Google Alerts

First, go to Google Alerts and enter your keyword.

To get the most useful information, click “show options” next to the Create Alert button. You can change the settings to reflect how often you want notifications sent to you, what language you prefer, which specific locations to monitor, and what types of content you want to search.
Google Alerts Screenshot
Next, you’ll have to decide who you want to receive the Google Alerts email summary. Choose someone who can check the alerts regularly and enter their email address.

Tip: We recommend reviewing and editing the alerts as your needs and goals change.

Search terms to use

When setting up your nonprofit Google Alerts, here are a few basic guidelines to follow so that you can select the right terms.

  • The name of your nonprofit organization: Include alternate and incorrect spellings and acronyms, if applicable.
  • Names of important people in your organization: This includes founders, board members, and other prominent figures.
  • Keywords related to the cause you support: Think of things like pet care, health services, women’s leadership, etc.
  • The area(s) you serve: Include neighborhoods, cities, states, or countries.
  • Broad industry and fundraising keywords: This could include peer-to-peer campaigns, fundraising, charity, eco-friendly, social justice, and community aid.
  • Additional descriptors of your mission: Choose words that describe your nonprofit’s mission (ex: animal shelter, transportation, financial education, etc.).

Final tips

Ready to get started but aren’t sure what other keywords to include? Use a keyword checker tool and type in a few words or phrases that closely relate to your organization and your mission.

If you find that a keyword isn’t generating many relevant notifications, you can always remove it from your list of Alerts and add a new one to replace it.

Bloomerang is another powerful but easy-to-use tool that can help your team fundraise more effectively. Reach out to our team to get a Demo.

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