What is Google Display Network and how can it help your Nonprofit?

  • July 19, 2022
  • 5 min read
  • By Michael Yuasa, Founder & CEO
What is Google Display Network?

We’ve all been there; you’ve gone down a YouTube wormhole and suddenly you’re watching videos of what seems to be the most adorable dolphin you’ve ever seen. Not only is it so small you could hug it, but its upturned mouth gives the appearance that its smiling for the camera. It turns out this is no dolphin at all, but the world’s rarest marine animal on the edge of extinction, the vaquita. While you’re being tugged by your virtual heartstrings, you’re met with an advertisement encouraging a donation to the World Wildlife Fund. Really, how could you resist?


The most adorable dolphin you’ve ever seen.

This is the beauty of Google Display Network and if your nonprofit is not using it, you’re missing out an opportunity to increase donations, traffic, and brand recognition. With a reach of over 90% of websites across the internet, Google Display Network works differently than simply targeting an individual’s search terms, it creates an emotional appeal by targeting the websites your audience is already visiting, linking their concerns with a call to action. Furthermore, Google Display Network unique and highly targeted ads feel like a continuous conversation between your nonprofit and the individual.

How do Google Display Ads Target my Audience?

To little surprise, the age-old rule of ‘know your audience’ is essential. If you run a nature conservancy, you may want your ads to appear for an audience that regularly looks for outdoor hiking trails in state and national parks. Google Display Ads can also target what your audience is actively researching. If you run a nonprofit dedicated to toy donations, you may want your ads to run for those that are actively looking for holiday gifts for children.

You can also choose on which websites, Apps, online videos you want ads to appear. The better we understand these websites, the more targeted you can get by customizing placement, size, and timing.

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Example of Google Display Ads run for God's Love We Deliver's holiday campaign

How Can I Encourage Donations From People Who Have Visited My Nonprofit’s Website?

Retargeting (which is built into many Google Display Network campaigns) is designed to reach individuals who have already visited your nonprofit’s website by delivering ads on subsequent websites they visit. In 2019, organic traffic made up 44% of nonprofit website visits, with only 0.17% of that traffic donating. These are all potential donors, and while they may have not completed a donation on first visit, you’ll want to continue the conversation with them. Retargeting allows you to speak to your website visitors as they move through the world, drawing them back in later.

How Can the Google Display Network Help My Nonprofit Raise More Money and Find New Donors?

Easy! Start an ad campaign that is visually powerful, has a compelling message and targets a similar audience. As we mentioned above, the size of the Google Display Network is huge so why not leverage it for your nonprofit?

Want to learn more about how your nonprofit can leverage the Google Display Network?

Contact Us Today.

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