Timing Can Be More Effective Than Targeting: Google’s Underappreciated Advantage

Many of us have that date marked on our calendar- that gala, 5k, or golfing event that drives crucial fundraising dollars every year. We know what it’s like to start stressing about everything that planning a huge annual event entails from the vendors involved to the food served.

Fundraising events are difficult to pull off, but the reward in terms of awareness and donations that it drives can be immeasurable. Perhaps the hardest, but most important part of these events is getting the word out. 

Over the years, we have used Google Ads to help numerous nonprofits drive traffic and awareness to fundraising efforts. One use of the ads that is particularly effective is promoting the kind of events that raise funds.

Nonprofits can find significant value in promoting their events through the use of free Google Advertising with the Google Ad grant. While the list of values goes on, we have found these three aspects to be the most beneficial to our nonprofit partners over the years:

Lead Them Directly to Landing Pages

Many people are familiar with the use of Google Ads to drive traffic to a website’s home page. While Google can be an exceptional resource for awareness campaigns, many don’t know that you can actually lead searchers anywhere on your website, not just to your home page. We see significant benefit to creating a landing page specifically for upcoming events and driving traffic directly to this page.

If the content on the page aligns well with the content of the ad, not only will the event likely get more exposure, but by driving the searcher directly to the relevant page, many see more sign-ups or ticket sales occurring directly from the ad.

Target Key Search Terms

When marketers place an ad in the newspaper or on a radio commercial, they reach a wide range of people, but they find that many in the broad audience have no interest in what they have to offer.

When nonprofits use a Google Ad to promote an upcoming event, they reach a more specific audience: an audience that is actually searching for what you have to offer and therefore has your topic on their mind at that moment. This is why search engine based ads can be the most effective.

For example, if your nonprofit is hosting a golf outing, you can select relevant search terms for the subject matter (golf outing, golf fundraiser, golfers wanted).  With these parameters set in place, you will attract people in the area who are actually searching for what you have to offer, and would likely be much more interested in the event than someone who just happened to purchase a newspaper.

Monitor Conversions and Language

Perhaps one of the most beneficial aspects of Google Ads and Analytics for fundraising, is the marketing statistics it provides for reference. The Google Ad Grant is free for those who are approved, and this provides a relatively risk-free way to test what advertising language and content does and does not work to drive sign-ups or ticket sales.

Google Ads and analytics will not only track what content drives people to a website, but what ads and language actually resulted in a conversion (the act of completing a measured task- sign-up, purchase, donate, etc.). We help nonprofits set up unique parameters based on what they want to measure, and as a result, we can calculate what language best achieves desired results.

We have seen many nonprofits take the results shown on these efforts, and implement similar language in future campaigns and fundraising efforts to help generate better results in the future.


If you have an event coming up, and you are looking for a way to get the most out of your advertising dollar, our Google Ads Experts are happy to set up and manage campaigns designed to drive your desired conversions. Fill out the form below, to learn more about our Google Ads Management Service.

Fill out my online form