Google for Nonprofits Newsletter - May 2011

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Anna Bishop

May 31, 2011, 6:06:00 PM5/31/11


Google for Nonprofits Newsletter - May 2011
Your monthly round-up of the latest news and notes from Google for Nonprofits.
May 31, 2011
In this issue
By the way
What's new
Tools in action
Expert corner

By the way TOP
Greetings from the team at Google for Nonprofits! Summer has finally arrived and things are certainly heating up around the Googleplex, with a healthy dose of recent launches from our product teams, including YouTube, Chrome, and Docs. Here’s to the inspiring work you’re doing to help change the world, and to a restorative and productive summer season!
What's new TOP
Google partners with programmers & industry to help developers “hack for good"
For the third time, we’re supporting Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK) events June 4-5 in 18 global locations. These hack-a-thons bring together subject matter experts and volunteer software developers and designers to create open source software solutions that address challenges facing humanity.  If your organization works in disaster risk management and climate change, you can submit problem definitions online and attend events in-person.

Use Google Correlate to discover search query patterns related to your work
Search activity is an incredible source of data that may lead to advances in economics, health and other fields. In 2008, we found that the activity of certain search terms are good indicators of actual flu activity, and used those findings to develop Google Flu Trends. Now, you can upload your own data series and see a list of search terms whose popularity best corresponds with that real world trend using Google Correlate, now available on Google Labs.
Pivot Tables now in Google Spreadsheets
If you’re a heavy spreadsheet user and prefer to work collaboratively, in real time and in the cloud, have we got a feature for you! Google Spreadsheets now features Pivot Tables, which allow you to quickly narrow down large data sets to get high level insights, and hopefully help you save time analyzing your data.
100% Web: Introducing the new Chromebook
At this year’s annual developer conference, Google I/O, we announced the Chromebook, our new device that lets you get online, fast, to access all of your cloud-based apps, games, photos, music, movies and documents. Chromebooks will last a day of use on a single charge, so you don’t need to carry a power cord everywhere. And with optional 3G you’ll have the web when you need it. In the U.S., you can order your Chromebook online starting June 15.
Put Gmail to work for you with Priority Inbox and other tricks
Summer is a great time to tackle that overflowing inbox problem once and for all. This month, Paul McDonald, our very own lead Product Manager on Gmail, shares his tips and tricks for putting your inbox to work for you in filtering out the noise and focusing on what’s important. Check out the blog post for pointers on Priority Inbox, Labs features, and shortcuts you probably haven’t heard of.
Tools in action TOP
The World Wildlife Fund recently used Google Earth in creating a virtual tour that highlights areas in Sumatra slated for deforestation. These regions are also critical tiger, rhino and elephant habitats, and with the help of Google Earth and motion-triggered hidden cameras in this area, WWF is proving the extent of the tiger range. Watch the video.

“Google Earth is a powerful tool for the protection of endangered species and places and has been a valuable contribution to WWF’s efforts to save the Thirty Hills forest for critically endangered Sumatran tigers, one that gives people around the world a bird’s eye view of what’s at stake in a remote and faraway place.”
– Jan Vertefeuille, Strategic Initiative Leader, WWF Tiger Campaign
Expert corner TOP
This month, we’re thrilled to bring you an interview with our very own Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik, for a straightforward look at Google Analytics.
Q: Why is measurement important for nonprofits?
If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. And you'll be miserable when you get there. It is not that measurement is important; knowing if you are delivering against your glorious goals is. You want to measure because it is central to delivering happiness to the world (my assumed mantra for your existence).

Q: What are some new features in your product that nonprofits should know about?
I'll split things up into three buckets or life stages of Google Analytics actions (features is such a boring word!).
1. Toddler things: You get to instantly find out which pages or acquisition actions (search, email, social) are delivering value. Just look at the bounce rates for your landing pages and traffic courses. Here's the definition of bounce rate: "I came, I puked, I left." Use it to fix things.
2. Teen things: Look at the top content consumed on your website. What is it that people really really care about? If it is volunteer opportunities then invest more in that and less in glorifying pages on other stuff. Look at your internal site search phrases: what is it that people are looking for but can't find? Optimize!
3. Grown-up things: The difference between "enviously successful" nonprofits and "oh we tried and failed" nonprofits? Goals. The former clearly configured one Macro Goal and three Micro Goals in Analytics. Do that.

Q: Can you share any cool stories of organizations using this tool?
I love how uses Analytics to optimize their Google Grants AdWords account. They optimize their keywords and bidding strategies to ensure they get in front of every ‘right’ person they possibly can. Another great example is how ReliefWeb (UN agency) has taken a customized tracking approach in using Analytics to get just the data they want.

Q: Where can nonprofits go to find resources and support for Google Analytics?
The best starting point is: Click on the “Education” button and you'll have more than you want. As a first step I encourage you to create a Web Analytics Measurement Framework. You can learn more about how to do it here. Please see the example in the post about National Council of La Raza, it might be helpful in creating your own.
Connect TOP
Share your story! Have you had a great experience with a Google product that you'd like to share? Tell us about it.
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