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Leslie Hernandez

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Nov 14, 2013, 9:30:45 AM11/14/13
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Google for Nonprofits Newsletter - Fall 2013
 
November 14, 2013
In this issue
By the way
What's new
Tools in action
Expert corner
Connect


 
 
By the way TOP
We hope you’re having a happy fall season! Last month, we introduced the new Nonprofit Dashboard and shared how you can use this resource to get new insights into the online donation process. We hosted a Hangout featuring Lauren Benson from the Google AdWords Nonprofit team. Lauren shared insights about how nonprofits can better target online donors and how donors use the web to research before making a donation decision.

Read on for more updates from this month: Google Science Fair winners, our latest clean energy investment, Google Analytics bootcamp and more.  
What's new TOP
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Google’s 2013 Science Fair Winners
Google’s annual Science Fair wrapped up with a celebration event in September to announce the winning projects which included a project that used computer modeling and biological studies to identify pandemic flu strains, which can then be used when producing the flu shot. Learn more about the winners and their projects on the Google Science Fair website.

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A solar investment in California’s Imperial Valley
Google made its thirteenth renewable energy investment through a $103 million commitment to Mount Signal Solar. This project will produce enough energy to power 80,000 homes. Google continues to invest in these projects because it will add renewable energy to the grid and has a positive impact on the local economies in which it operates.

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Joining forces to advocate for a more affordable Internet
There are still 5 billion people without Internet access today. Many of those who do have internet access in emerging markets are paying up to 30% of their disposable income to maintain their Internet connection. Google has joined forces with 30(+) organizations to launch the Alliance for Affordable Internet. Please stay tuned about the latest with A4AI’s public policy efforts on the Alliance for Affordable Internet’s website.

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Get Onboard with Analytics: Mastering the Fundamentals
The Google Analytics team recently launched Analytics Academy, which is a series of six classes containing lessons and activities to help you learn about how users interact and use your website. This can help you make the most of your online marketing and fundraising campaigns this holiday season. Check out all of the course materials here.

   
Tools in actionTOP
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We recently chatted with Kim Ranney from the National Resources Defense Council, environmental group, about their usage of Google Maps to visualize data for various projects. Google Maps localizes their project data, which makes a powerful case when civilians or policymakers are looking to minimize their impact on the earth and get involved with the NRDC’s cause.

NRDC uses Google Maps to help visualize data for a variety of projects such as its annual beach report. NRDC evaluates the nation’s most popular beaches on water quality and best practices for testing and public notification. When a user enters in a zip code on the NRDC site, NRDC uses  Google Maps to locate these zip codes, enabling users to explore and check water quality, monitoring and advisory information.

The report gets extensive media coverage every year, which helps NRDC’s reach new audiences. For example, Winnetka, IL’s Elder Park Beach popped up as one of the nation’s most contaminated beaches in 2011. Negative publicity helped spotlight a failure to monitor the area’s wastewater system, which had allowed a number of homes to unknowingly dump their bathroom sewage directly into Lake Michigan. NRDC’s report helped to motivate the village to address the issue, and this year’s report showed vast improvement in the beach water quality at Elder Park.

Expert corner TOP
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Allie Lieber
Program Manager, Google Earth Outreach

Q. What do you think is the biggest value to nonprofits in using Google Maps?
A. Whether your nonprofit focuses on environmental, humanitarian or social issues, every nonprofit has a story to tell. Nonprofits can tell these stories using maps.  Maps allow the audience to not only visualize the issue and what is at stake, but also contextualize and interact with it. For example, Appalachian Voices used Google Earth in their fight against mountaintop removal.  They were able to galvanize support (30,000+ sponsors on their bill!) by putting information onto the map and sharing it with the world.  Watch more here.

Q. What is an expert tip you can share to help nonprofits get the most out of Maps?
A. Seeing is believing. Use Google Earth and Maps to show your data in a visually digestible manner that everyone can relate to.  For example, the Jane Goodall Institute has used Google Earth and Maps to teach local communities in Tanzania the importance of sustainable land use in their area.  Because of these efforts the forests around Gombe national park, the chimpanzee habitat, has had a chance to grow back. See a short video on their work here.

Q. Tell us about a new feature or update for Maps that excites you.
A.  We often see that nonprofits have a hard time getting their word out or their maps seen because it is locked up on their website.  Now, you can actually submit your map to be published in the Google Maps Engine public data program for the world to see.

Q. If you could get all nonprofits to use one Maps feature tomorrow, which one would you choose and why?
A. Our products make it easy to create maps.  You don’t have to be a cartographer or computer programer to make a beautiful and useful map.  Start by creating maps of project locations, donation locations or plans for future projects.  You will catch the mapping bug and start to think creatively about how your organization can utilize the storytelling power of maps.

ConnectTOP
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