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The Mysterious Decline of Google Ad Grants

Ad Grants – what on earth is going on?!

Google Ad Grants are one of the best assets a charity can have in its arsenal. They allow charitable organisations and non-profits to run paid search campaigns free from media spend, and are often used to promote information, petitions, campaigns, and fundraising.

Yes, they have restrictions -which have dampened their impact in some key areas- but they are vital to many charities, big and small.

We know all about Google Ad Grants; we are one of a handful of Google Certified Partners (for running Google Ad Grants) and we regularly work on over 30 every month. Having visuals on all those accounts allows us to identify and investigate trends when we see them.

… And we’ve started to see a substantial change.


Why we’re writing this blog

School holidays always have a profound impact on search; dwell time suddenly disappears for a large audience, and users focus more on quick, action-based behaviour such as buying tickets, recipes, and activity ideas. The sort of searches typically not related to Ad Grants.

So coming into Easter, we communicated to clients: “Expect a drop, but we expect it to pick up after the holidays.”

And sure enough, we did see the drop:

Clicks year-on-year from Google Ad Grants

Clicks from Ad Grants year-on-year.


Except, we didn’t see the bounce back. In fact, Ad Grants clicks continued to decline from there…

Some accounts did return to pre-Easter levels, but enough didn’t. Enough continued declining to cause us to have a look into why that might be. And what we found were three likely isolated events all contributing to this trend.


Investigating the data

Ad Grant trends are hard to judge for a number of reasons:

  • Google occasionally gives out an increased Grant budget to organisations who meet certain criteria.
  • Account changes, such as moving priority or brand campaigns to a separate Paid account, have a significant impact on traffic.
  • New priorities or focuses to align with new organisational strategies.
  • New agency taking on and optimising more effectively.

As a result, you need to review the data from a few angles before you can accurately identify a trend or change in behaviour (whether user or platform).

However, we can see a significant change in data since mid-April which indicates this change in behaviour (platform side).

Specific points of interest for Google Ads in recent years have been:

  • Christmas 2021 and 2022 (increase spend granted).
  • Removal of Modified Broad Match (the ‘secretive’ fourth match type).
  • Google pushing Performance Max campaigns.
  • Google’s changes to Broad match (2023).

If we line these up with the graphs, we start to understand a bit more:

Google Broad match keyword impressions 2021-2023


So there is correlation with some of these updates. Most notably:

  • Broad match
  • Removal of modified broad match

Both have a significant impact on the way in which the keywords we bid on are matched to users’ searches. So we wondered, if we examine the keywords in the account and how well they are performing based on their relevance to the actual searches, do we gain more insight?

Now, helpfully, here this aligning keywords with actual searches is called the ‘search term match type’, and uses the same three match types as our ‘keyword match types’.

They are different things, trust me:

Google match types explained
Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7478529?hl=en-GB


Google ad grant clicks 2021-2023

You can see that from August 2021 to March 2023, when our keywords have exactly matched the user’s search, we’ve seen very little decline. However, when we didn’t match the search closely, and relied on matching ‘broadly’ to the search term, our clicks had declined by around 100k/month.

Google broad match clicks 2021-2023

If we compare the two ‘match types’ metrics side-by-side we can see a similar decline, but over a longer period.

The direct correlation between the two graphs is that although those were broad match keywords (left, in blue), commonly they were matching exactly what the user was searching. This is interesting because a decline here, without any substantial changes in an account, is either a drop in searches or a change in the frequency of ads showing.

Impressions for different Google keyword match types 2023

Impressions for different Google keyword match types 2021-2023

Another place where we are seeing the sharpest drop-offs is on keywords for which the website isn’t organically ranking highly – or at all. As Google puts increasing emphasis behind ad strength and landing page experience, this trend will likely only magnify, as landing pages that don’t align with keywords get increasingly penalised and aligned with organic results.


Potential causes:

Broad search and other match type updates.

The most obvious likely cause has been that change in broad match, which we cover in our blog here: https://upriseup.co.uk/blog/how-google-ads-match-types-are-changing/#summary

It’s a reasonable shift which has more widely reaching changes, but the following couple of changes will likely have the most substantial impact on Ad Grants:


Google Ads (through broad match) will now not enter another keyword (from the same account) into the auction if a keyword matches the search exactly.

This could have a sizeable impact in Ad Grants as they typically contain more keywords than Paid accounts, which means there’s greater chance that multiple keywords are entered into an auction.

It could be the case that a keyword was actually outperforming the exact searched term previously, because it had a better ad rank.

how google auction has changed for ad grants

In this example scenario, going forward only the ‘Donate to Colon Cancer’ keyword would be carried forward to the auction, and its ad rank is not good enough for page 1 – which results in the account receiving fewer impressions (and thus fewer clicks) for this search term.



Broad match was typically the widest matching match type. Now, it will still match to a wider array of terms compared to the other match types. But this will now only be in relation to trying to achieve more conversions. This means that broad keywords that aren’t generating many conversions and are using a conversion-focused bid strategy will start seeing considerable volatility in their bidding, as the machine learning tries to optimise both the search terms it matches to and its bids to maximise conversions.


There’s far more going on with the broad match changes, so I do recommend reading the blog – it’s a great read. (Yes, I also wrote that one…)


Results page updates

2023 has also brought some substantial changes to the results page. Whilst you wouldn’t make an immediate connection between SEO updates and the performance of Ad Grants, they are intrinsically linked because they share the same ‘space’.

There was a core algorithm update that coincided with the start of the volatility (March 2023), but the most aligned update is the April Review Update, which necessitates a focus on promoting quality content to users. The interesting part about this update is that it moved the review algorithm out of a focus purely on product, and more onto content and services.

The alignment here for the Ad Grants is that we saw health and cancer organisations hit harder than other organisations, which could potentially increase the likelihood of a no-ads results page for more informational, health-based searches.

Impressions for different keyword match types 2021-2023

Cancer charity search term matches dropping since the April update.


Connected to this update is the relationship that Google has with the NHS and US-based health organisations. As covered in our blog on E-E-A-T, Google has been increasingly likely to favour NHS and US-based organisations on organic results for health information searches. Again, if we combine this with a potential move away from showing ads for those searches, we would expect to see a reduction in impressions (which we are indeed seeing).

All of these results page updates hit Ad Grants harder than Paid accounts, as Grants are penalised by Google Ads against paying advertisers. This means that when Google Search builds its results page, the chances of an Ad Grant ad appearing appear to have been lowered.



Google Ad Grants have always faced considerable challenges. This is just one more on the pile.

We’re definitely seeing a reduced ‘place’ for Ad Grants in Google search – one which will have a larger impact on some organisations than others. However, there is still a place. 

Content has always been key to an Ad Grant’s success, and those who have been impacted most are the ones who boast the least content, or who are utilising keywords that, whilst relevant, don’t have a focused landing page.

So as we move forward, my three takeaways are:

  1. Ensure you have enough relevant content on your website. Think of your Ad Grant as an extension of your website’s SEO. For a keyword to perform well, it needs to have a relevant and aligned landing page.
  2. Embrace the new Broad Keyword Match Type. It’s here, and Google are only going to increase its use and prominence. Also ensure you minimise (or better yet, eradicate) phrase and exact match conflicts.
  3. Ensure you utilise conversions in your account. They don’t always have to be transactional, and can be engagement-focused, but all effective bid strategies start with conversions.

Finally, for all business priority objectives we recommend testing running a Paid account. Paid accounts have not been as affected by the new changes and are not restricted by the Google Ad Grant rules.

I hope this has been helpful and please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions.

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    Above the Fold Content for Charities

    Above the fold blog lead image

    Get to know your above the fold

    How much do you think about your above the fold content? When developing pages for your site, do you consider the above the fold vs below the fold split? If it’s an area you’ve not considered in too much detail, then here is our introduction to above the fold content, and why you should be looking at it.


    A description of where 'above the fold' originated as a phrase, with the title highlighted in orange.

    What is above the fold content?

    Above the fold content includes everything that you can see on your screen as soon as a webpage loads. Any content that isn’t visible when the page first loads and requires the audience to scroll to be seen, is labelled as below the fold content.

    ‘Above the fold’ is a concept that originated in printed media with newspapers. Historically, newspapers were usually sold folded in half, showing the headline story. This meant when the customers viewed the different newspapers, they weren’t showing all stories – just the top half of the front page.

    In digital content, the ‘fold’ of the newspaper is the bottom of the screen; anything that falls below that screen edge is deemed below the fold.


    Why does above the fold content matter?

    Above the fold content is the first thing your audience see when a page loads, making it core real estate on any page. From an SEO perspective, we know search engines expect the most important content to be at the top of a page too. It’s also important to consider how this content impacts user’s experiences on your site.  The content you include above the fold needs to be eye catching and able to immediately grab your audience’s interest.

    It’s been a mass reported trend that user attention spans are shrinking. With so much content available at user’s fingertips, only to be inflated with the growing volume of rapidly generated AI content, attention spans are becoming shorter to help user’s filter through the noise.

    What’s more, a user can form an opinion on your charity’s site after 1 second of seeing it. Just 1 second. That’s not a lot of time, so your page needs to work hard and work fast to engage the minds and hearts of your audience.


    What do you typically see above the fold for charities?

    For most charities, you will see some common themes in above the fold assets. This will include:

    • Charity branding elements (logo, fonts and colours)
    • Navigation menu, which may include donate or shop buttons
    • Main Header
    • Lead imagery, whether it be a banner image or side image

    Often, above the fold content is kept simple and minimal with the elements listed above. Sometimes though, charities may also wish to include a short sentence or two of text to give users more context about the page when they first land on it. Additionally, if your charity has other visual assets, such as emotive videos, you may wish to opt for these instead of images.

    What should charities consider when designing above the fold content?

    When it comes to the performance of above the fold content, AB testing is key. Trial out different above the fold designs and actions to see which ones your audience responds best to! We have provided some questions below to help you brainstorm the best content when trialling different above the fold designs for individual pages or templates.

    Is there a clear action?

    Do you have a clear action you want your audience to take when they land on the page? If so, you can include it above the fold! Websites that include CTAs above the fold have found they have higher conversion rates than those that don’t.

    Take the Royal Voluntary Service’s homepage for example; the above the fold is bright, engaging and has a clear objective with a CTA inviting their audience to learn more about the coronation champions awards 2023. By including this CTA at the top it is one of the first things users see on the page, which gives them a clear next step on their journey.

    Royal Voluntary Service homepage above the fold content highlighting the coronation champion awards 2023.

    Does it engage your audience?

    Above the fold content should be engaging; in fact it should be the most engaging part of the page. The content at the top of your page should have a clear focus that is supported by the content below the fold. You want it to be easy to use, relevant and to help meet your audiences needs right from the start, to increase the likelihood of users staying on the page.

    Some charities don’t include enough information above the fold, meaning that user’s don’t connect with the content and will bounce off the site in search of something more engaging. On the other hand, some charities go the other way and try to fit way too much information into this area. This failure to prioritise the true purpose and actions wanted from a specific page can also have a bad impact, overwhelming your audience and making it hard to understand what they should do.

    A good example

    Take the above the fold for Dementia UK’s homepage. As a charity focussing on providing nursing support to both individuals with dementia and those supporting them, they have opted for a topical and relevant angle with their above the fold. As soon as you land on the homepage you are immediately presented with a link to their page on admiral nursing support – information many people will be seeking on the site. The relevancy of this link means many users that land on the homepage will engage with it.

    The Dementia UK homepage, which presents a link for users to discover more about admiral nursing support for individuals with dementia.


    Top tip: We recommend keeping above the fold content focused on your organisation. Whilst it may feel tempting to link to external sites, especially if they provide relevant information, overall, this will result in your audience landing on a page only to be immediately be directed off-site. Instead, you can include references to external sites below the fold as part of the pages supporting information. Use the prime real estate at the top of the page to showcase what your own charity provides!

    Does it contribute to your objectives?

    Your above the fold content should aim to help meet your charity’s objectives and KPIs. Whether you want donations, volunteers or fundraising event sign ups, the content at the top of your page should contribute to your targets.

    The objective you focus on will differ depending on the page you’re reviewing. For example, if a user has landed on on of you blog pages, a CTA offering them the opportunity to sign up to your charity’s newsletter may be more likely to convert than a hard CTA asking for donations. Considering the type of information your user will be consuming on that particular page and how far along they will be in the conversion funnel will help guide the choice of CTA you may want to place above the fold to meet specific objectives.

    Does it look good on all device types?

    Don’t forget to consider how this content looks on different device. Where the fold falls on a page will always differ slightly, depending on whether users visit your charity on mobile or desktop and taking into account different screen sizes  However, with sites deploying responsive designs, where that ‘fold’ falls on sites is roughly the same across desktop and mobile layouts of a page.


    Final thoughts

    User’s will only scroll down a page if they feel there is a good reason to. When user’s see a lack of valuable information, they will stop scrolling. If your content above the fold doesn’t succeed in capturing user attention, there’s a high chance they’ll exit your site and bounce back to the search results. So it’s an area you need to get right.

    Hopefully the insights above have given you some good starting points for you to begin optimising your own charity’s above the fold content – we’d love to see some of your examples in the comments below!

    Looking for love at first *web-sight*?

    Have a chat with us about how you can refresh your above the fold content to enhance SEO and user engagement on your site! You can email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk or visit our contact page to drop us a message – we can’t wait to hear from you.


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      5 Ways SEO Can Help Charities Increase Donations

      Increasing donations for charity with SEO - Blog Lead Image

      Increasing Donations with SEO

      Online donations are continuing to increase and are now often preferred over in person giving. Charities therefore need to give thoughtful consideration about how they will compete for audience donations in search engine result pages. Building SEO into your fundraising strategy will help to increase your organisations rankings, traffic and donation revenue by optimising your pages for both users and Google.


      Quick Recap: What is SEO?

      SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and essentially, it involves optimising your website to improve its visibility in search engine results pages such as Google or Bing. The more visible your charity is online, the more traffic you will receive.

      The more traffic you receive, the more meaningful engagement you will have with your charity. Meaningful engagement looks different for each charity, but may typically include volunteer sign ups, fundraising events sign ups or donations.

      There are many aspects to SEO, including content, technical and digital pr. Focusing on these areas of SEO on your website should help to increase donations to your charity. Below we have shares 5 ways in which SEO can help support charities fundraising and donation efforts.


      Reaching Relevant Audiences with Donation Content

      Reaching a relevant audience to increase donations to your charity

      SEO can help your content reach target audiences who are already warm to your cause. Potential donors who are more aligned with your charities’ purpose will be more likely to engage with your content and convert into active donors.

      Keyword Rich Meta Data

      Creating page titles, meta descriptions and header tags that contain the target keywords for you donation or fundraising pages page gives both users and search engines a greater top-level overview of what your content is about. This will help search engines serve your page to relevant users in search results. It will also help increase click through rates to your page, as users will have a better understanding of what to expect from it.

      Longtail Keywords

      Following on from this, longtail keywords are more likely to be higher converting terms than broader umbrella keywords. For example, in the UK the keyword ‘donate’ has 3900 monthly searches. At first glance, this keyword looks very enticing due to its high search volume. In reality it’s actually highly competitive and the user intent isn’t very clear.

      Does the user want to donate money? Or do they want to donate blood for hospitals?

      Do they want to donate to a cancer charity? Or do they want to donate to a climate action event?

      ‘Donate’ as a keyword covers multiple topics. It could mean anything really. In contrast, a longtail keyword such as ‘donate to cancer research’ has 1500 monthly searches and a clearer user intent. They want to donate to cancer research. Despite having a lower monthly search volume, a cancer charity would be more likely to get users to donate who have searched for ‘donate to cancer research’ than you would for just ‘donate’.

      By targeting longtail donation keywords that are more niche to your specific charity, you are likely to increase the number of donations as users searching for these terms will be closer to a point of conversion.


      Enhancing User Experience on Donation Pages

      Using SEO to increase donations for charities

      Charities should aim to make the user experience on donation pages as easy and efficient as possible. If you have multiple long complicated forms that need filling out, or it’s not clear what users need to do in order to move on to the next step, they are more likely to drop out of the donation process.

      Some simple things charities can do to enhance the user experience of donation pages include:

      • Clear CTAs to donate, with secondary CTAs for people who are still unsure about why or how to donate (such as a link to more information).
      • Optimise donation forms so they are easy to complete.
      • Optimising page speed to make donating a quick process.
      • Include social proof. Sharing stories from people or projects which have been supported by donations.
      • Tell users what their donations will be used for.


      Fix Technical SEO Errors on Donation Pages 

      A simple, yet often overlooked factor. Unintentionally having pages as no index can have a big impact on fundraising campaigns and donations.

      This is a common problem that can occur after moving your site in a website migration. Pages may have been tagged as no index in the staging area, and then not changed to indexable once the new site went live.

      Charities can carry out technical SEO checks on their key fundraising pages to ensure the pages are visible and able to be indexed by Google.

      You should also ensure that all donation forms on your page are actually working. When users enter their information and hit submit – are the donations actually coming through? If users are sent to another platform to donate – does the link work and is the donation site fully functioning?

      Carrying Out Technical SEO Checks

      A simple way for charities to carry out some basic technical checks on their fundraising and donations pages would be to use the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console.


      Internal Links to Donation Pages

      Internal links make your donation page more visible to users and signals to Google that the target URL is an important page on your site. Charities can use this to their benefit to highlight fundraising pages and increase donations.

      Completing an internal linking audit, you can see how many times your donations page is linked to within your site already. You can then conduct a search your sites content for donation related text, such as ‘donate now’, ‘donate today’ and ‘give a donation’. Create a list of these page URLs and use these phrases as anchor text to link back to your donation page.

      By increasing the internal linking to your main donation page on your site, you can help users to naturally dig deeper into your site and make it easier for them to travel further down the conversion tunnel to donating.


      Gain Local Attention for your Cause

      Link building - Increasing donations with SEO

      Creating content that can be posted on other websites about your charity can help to increase awareness about your organisation. This can be really valuable to highlight your donation page or any fundraising campaigns you are running.

      You can also secure beneficial backlinks to your site, either to the homepage, fundraising information page, or directly to your donation page. There are two main benefits to this:

      1. Creating a direct stream of traffic to your site from your target audience. These users will be more likely to donate than people who have just viewed your site on a results pages. Sites that are publishing your content and linking back to you are likely aligned with your goals in some way. Therefore, the audience on their site will also likely be interested in your content too.
      2. Increasing the E-E-A-T of your site. Backlinks indicate to Google that your site is trustworthy, and an authority on the topic being discussed. Google places a lot of value on E-E-A-T. Securing backlinks from sites with authority in the same field as you will help to increase your domain rating score.

      Bonus tip: You can also search for unlinked mentions of your site or fundraising campaign online, by using site search in Google search results. To do this:

      • Open Google
      • Type site: and then the domain of the website you’re searching for mentions about your charity of campaign. E.g. Site:upriseup.co.uk
      • Type the search term after your domain

      Screenshot of results for using the site search function in google to find references about SEO

      When you find mentions of your charity online that don’t link back to your site, you can contact the site owners to thank them for the coverage and ask if them to add a backlink. This is a very cost-effective way to secure backlinks. As they have already mentioned you, they will likely be happy to add in a link.


      Creating a Sustainable Donation Income

      Overall, SEO is an excellent, cost-effective strategy for charities that will provide sustainable benefits to increase donations and fundraising engagement, including:

      • Helping your fundraising content reach relevant audiences
      • Enhancing user experience on donation pages
      • Fixing technical SEO errors on donation pages
      • Using internal links to highlight donation pages
      • Securing attention for local fundraising events

      The above areas are key to consider when optimising your donation page(s), but this is by no means an exhaustive list. Fancy a more in-depth chat with us about how you can use SEO to boost donations for your charity? Send us a message via our contact page or email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk.

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        A Review of the Ad Grant Scheme’s Transformative Last 2 Years

        Google Ad Grant Scheme 2 Year Review

        2020 was not an easy year for anyone, but in the Google Ad Grant world, many accounts were reporting huge year on year increases in traffic. Our Paid Media Consultant, Dan, runs through the many changes Google made to the ad grant scheme over the last two years and what it could mean for the future.

        The story starts in January 2018, when new requirements were placed upon Grants to remain active. Of these, both the limitation on single word keywords and the minimum of a 5% account-wide CTR reduced the total traffic available to some accounts, but the biggest change that affected traffic in accounts around this time was initially undocumented by Google.


        Google Ad Grant Traffic timeline
        An example of one of our client’s Google Ad Grant traffic over the past 2 years.


        The change involved the Ad Grant Quality filter, a rather minor part of the ad auction system. Google describes the Ad Quality feature as being “based, in part, on the general ad quality level of the standard ads in the country where you’re showing your ads”. This seems to be a system by which Google limits how much Ad Grant ads show in comparison to paid ads.

        Around the same time as the new policies were implemented (in Nov 2018), Google significantly changed how many ads the Ad Quality filter was limiting in grants. This generally affected the lower priority informational content that makes up the bulk of traffic for many accounts. This caused a significant drop in traffic across the Ad Grant scheme as many accounts lost up to 50% of their daily traffic.

        The community were unhappy about the changes, to say the least. The timing of the announcement (after many charity staff had left for Christmas) and the short amount of time given to adjust to the drastically different set of rules was not the best Christmas present Google could have given. The Google Ad Grant scheme realised they would have to start giving rather than taking after this change, and over the next year we would see a drastic turnaround in the prospects of Ad Grant accounts.

        Most recently Google has offered extra budget in several periods for Grants during peak performance times such as Christmas. In addition to extra budget, the addition of the maximise conversion bidding strategy being allowed to exceed the $2 bid cap, and the introduction of responsive search ads (which seem to be preferred greatly by the Ad Quality Filter) have allowed us to improve traffic levels across many accounts.

        In addition, Google have seemed to relax the initial change they made on Nov 2018 to the ad quality filter, causing traffic to climb back up even without any officially announced new changes. You can see the large increase in traffic between the implementation of the policies and the release of Responsive Search Ads as a result of this.


        The Future of the Ad Grant Scheme

        So, what does all of this tell us about the future of the Ad Grant scheme? In our opinion the message is quite clear from Google: adopting new features, such as automated bidding and Responsive Search Ads, will allow you to mitigate or bypass the restrictions being placed on accounts. It is now more important than ever to be quick to adapt to new features and changes being implemented in the Grant scheme, as they often seem to come paired with changes which limit accounts not using them. For example, the ad quality filter change has been mitigated by responsive search ads and being able to bid above the $2 limit allowed higher priority content to bring in more traffic during times of increased budget.

        In recent times we have seen changes to search term reporting and keyword match types, reducing how specifically we can target user searches. However, we have been granted access to demographic targeting, which was up until now not allowed within Grant accounts. This will once again require a change in how you operate a Grant account, focussing less on what people are searching and more on who those people are. Moving into the future, it is important to remain up to date on what changes are happening in the Ad Grant scheme and coming up with ways to maximise the benefit these new changes can give to your accounts.


        If you have any questions on future implications for your ad grant, or are interested in working with us to apply for your non-profit organisation’s own Google Ad Grant, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

        Why not follow us on Twitter for the latest updates to the Google Ad Grant scheme?

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          Uprise Up shortlisted in The Drum Awards AND Campaign Media Awards 2021

          The Drum Digital Advertising Awards Finalist 2021

          We have since won at The Drum Digital Advertising Awards 2021 and Third Sector’s Business Charity Awards 2021. Read more here.


          After an award-winning 2020, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for three more awards in 2021! We have one nomination in the Campaign Media Awards, and two nominations in The Drum Advertising Awards.

          We’re kicking off the year with nominations in:

          • Campaign Media Awards – Charity Category for Crisis at Christmas Campaign 2020
          • The Drum Advertising Awards – Social Purpose Category for Crisis at Christmas Campaign 2020
          • The Drum Advertising Awards – Best Buy Side Team Category for the Uprise Up Paid Media Team



          Our Journey

          You don’t need us to tell you that the last 12 months have been difficult. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, economic uncertainty, and navigating the ramifications of lockdown, we’ve been working harder than ever. Digital marketing had to step up, and so did we.

          The Crisis at Christmas campaign is a stellar example of the results that digital marketing can achieve when approached with a creative, data-led attitude. In 2020, we need to be relentless in our pursuit of continuous improvement, to seek out the results that organisations – especially charities like Crisis – need in order to thrive.

          We’re particularly proud of the nomination for Best Buy Side Team, for which our Paid Media Team has been nominated. The Paid Media Team at Uprise Up has worked far and beyond what was expected of them during the pandemic, displaying truly heartfelt camaraderie while achieving unbelievable results for our clients. The Paid Media Team was able to pivot seamlessly to working from home and communicating with our clients virtually during the various lockdowns, and we’re immensely proud of them for that.



          Crisis at Christmas Campaign 2020

          For Crisis, the coronavirus pandemic meant making significant changes to their usual Christmas offer, such as closing their Crisis Christmas Centres and halting their usual ‘reserve a place’ fundraising proposition.

          We worked closely with the team at Catalyst, who led the strategic direction of the campaign, to deliver an omni-channel digital advertising campaign across paid social, paid search, and programmatic advertising. This campaign raised over £6,100,000 in revenue for Crisis, from over 98,000 generous donations – obliterating the target of £1,630,000 from 30,000 donations.

          Overall campaign results:

          • 98,096 donations – 533% year on year increase
          • £6,147,056 revenue – 755% year on year increase
          • 10.08 ROAS – 288% year on year increase
          • £6.22 CPA – 65% year on year decrease

          The £6,147,056 raised meant that Crisis were able to directly provide support to 2,004 people experiencing homelessness over the Christmas period. The money raised will also make a significant contribution to Crisis’ year-round services, supporting people out of homelessness for good.



          Paid Media Team

          The Paid Media Team at Uprise Up are the talent behind several of our most successful campaigns of 2020. This includes the Crisis at Christmas campaign, as well as campaigns for MSI reproductive choices, Diabetes UK, Greenpeace and Sue Ryder (to name just a few).

          The outbreak of COVID-19 presented a unique challenge to the fundraising capabilities of charities, with the loss of offline advertising opportunities. The Paid Media Team stepped up to deliver exceptional digital media, for our charity clients in particular.

          In light of the pandemic, the team were determined to maintain the exceptional standard of digital campaigns produced in previous years. By pursuing continuous improvement and taking a data-led approach to campaigns, the Paid Media Team didn’t just maintain the standard, but were in fact able to deliver significant growth – both for Uprise Up and for our clients.

          Camaraderie between the team was particularly evident over the last 12 months, with weekly Zoom quizzes and video wellbeing check-ins. The close-knit team has managed to maintain their relationship, even welcoming new members of the team who are yet to meet their new colleagues in person.




          2020 was a year of growth for Uprise Up. The team saw improved revenue, excellent client retention and fantastic results for our clients. We hope to win all of the awards we have been nominated for, but being shortlisted alone is recognition of the fantastic work we’ve achieved and we are very proud.

          The Drum Awards winners will be announced on the 25th March at 4pm GMT. For the full list of awards and nominations, visit The Drum Awards website.

          The Campaign Media Awards are announced on the 14th and 15th April. The full list of awards and nominations can be viewed on the Campaign Media Awards website.

          For regular updates on our agency, why not follow us on Twitter?

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            The Drum Awards Winners 2020

            The Drum Digital Advertising Awards Europe Winner 2020

            We won at the 2020 The Drum Digital Advertising Awards!

            There’s no disputing we are in the strangest of times right now, but we received an email in April that cheered us all up greatly. We were delighted to find out that we’d made it to be finalists for not one but two digital advertising awards in The Drum Digital Advertising Awards Europe 2020.

            Last week, we found out that we won both awards, officially making Uprise Up a multi award-winning digital marketing agency! The categories we were nominated in are Not for Profit and Most Effective Use of Data.

            We’re honoured to be recognised by The Drum Digital Advertising Awards, as they value data-driven work that showcases best practices in the current digital landscape. Data is at the core of everything we do at Uprise Up; it’s used at every step of a campaign to drive continuous improvement and achieve great results. We’ve operated in charity sector since Uprise Up was founded and it’s considered to be one of our specialities. We work with a wide range of charities to ensure their message reaches the right people at the right time.

            To win ‘Most Effective Use of Data’ we were up against some industry giants: ITV plc, Wavemaker CS, RAPP UK, Code, Permutive, Infectious Media, Captify and MiQ, Dentsu Aegis Network. Our work on the Charity Benchmark impressed the judges with its innovative thinking, which has helped form a dynamic data community in the charity sector.


            Not for Profit

            On this digital campaign we worked alongside Catalyst, a marketing and advertising agency that specialises in charities and NGOs. Together, our work with UK national charity for homeless people, Crisis, helped increase donations through a targeted digital marketing ‘Crisis at Christmas’ campaign.


            Crisis facebook ad


            The campaign successfully cut though the digital noise of the busy Christmas period with Uprise Up and Catalyst delivering a multi-channel digital campaign with impressive results. Catalyst provided all creative assets used in the campaign. With these creatives and a combination of paid social and programmatic display advertising, our tactics resulted in over 48,000 donations with a value of over £2,600,000. This is a growth in revenue of 125% from 2018 to 2019; building on the vast improvement already achieved the previous year, since Uprise Up took over the digital campaign in 2018.

            Through continuous testing of audiences, creatives, placements, formats, images and copy, we achieved significant improvements in performance throughout the campaign. Our testing was a contributing factor to the results we achieved, which included driving cost per acquisition (CPA) down by over two thirds through the duration of the campaign, which enabled Crisis’ budget to go further and help more people.


            CPA Improvement, 2017 vs 2018 vs 2019

            Graph showing improvement in CPA across Paid Social and Programmatic 2017-2019

            The campaign resulted in a record Christmas fundraising campaign with Crisis attaining its highest ever amount of online donations.

            For more information, you can check out our Crisis Case Study.


            Most Effective Use of Data

            We work with CharityComms, the membership network for communications professionals working in UK charities. This network aims to raise the standards of communications across the third sector and help member charities efficiently use data.

            Working on a pro-bono basis over the past two years, Uprise Up created The CharityComms Digital Benchmark, a benchmarking tool which has enabled over 70 charities to pool their digital data. This allows them to compare and evaluate the results of their digital activities and compare their marketing efforts to those of other participating charities across the UK. This data is accessible through a dashboard which offers a simple view of complex data.

            The Digital Benchmark has helped, and continues to help, charities to:

            • Judge digital success
            • Identify realistic targets for their digital output
            • Identify weaknesses in their marketing efforts
            • Use insightful data to allocate their digital investment
            • Compare their performance to other charities

            As a result, over the past two years participant numbers have shot up by 70%, with over 70 charities using the Benchmark. It’s also been rated good or excellent value for money by 84% of participants. Some of the participating charities include Age UK, Barnardos, NSPCC and Shelter. A full list can be found on the CharityComms website.

            By pooling all the data from the charities and setting up effective tools to interrogate the data, Uprise Up and CharityComms have helped form an enormous data community in the charity sector.

            We’re very excited to know we get to don our evening wear for a virtual award ceremony at the end of the month! You can see all the nominees here. A massive congratulations to everyone that was nominated or received an award, there was some tough competition to beat. And a big thank you to everyone who’s worked on either project with us. These awards were team efforts and we’re proud to work with you all.


            Want to talk?

            If you’d like to find out how we can help your organisation with outstanding results we’d love to hear from you so do get in touch. Our MD John has also just written a great blog about marketing during Covid-19.

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              Digital Fundraising Strategies for Charities

              Fundraising Strategies for Charities

              Charity Fundraising


              Fundraising is not only a key source of income for charities, but it is also an opportunity to engage with members of the public on issues they care about. For many charities, creating an effective digital fundraising campaign, that successfully engages with your target personnel can be a challenging prospect. But fear not, we’re here to help! Below we’ll explore some key fundraising tasks and suggest some initial strategies to hopefully achieve success in digital.

              Don’t forget to share this post with others, to spread the message that good digital for charities and non-profits is needed now more than ever.


              Charity Lottery

              Lottery activity can work exceptionally well, which has caused them to become increasingly popular across larger charities. We know the market is extremely competitive, therefore In such a crowded space, it is crucial to allocate spend wisely.

              The priority for allocating budget should be Paid Search, as this provides the best Return on Investment (ROI), by targeting people who are looking to play a lottery at that moment. Think of personas such as ‘Lottery Liz’.


              Lottery Liz Charity Persona

              Liz has very predictable online habits and her browsing habits are mainly based around fashion sites and online newspapers. She regularly takes part in charity lotteries with her friends. Her first interaction with the activity could come through Display Advertising on sites such as dailymail.co.uk. She may not click on these ads, but when she sees paid search ads for your charity when looking for a new lottery for her friends, she’ll remember the ads she saw and decides to investigate more.

              Both Google Paid Search and Bing Paid Search can be utilised in this strategy. In addition, display marketing should be employed to raise awareness of the product during key periods, such as a Superdraw or Christmas draw. Although the CPA on the awareness side of the activity will be high, the increased awareness should drive an increase in searches and therefore improve Paid Search results.

              Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) would also prove effective for long term revenue generation. Start with an initial website crawl or a more thorough technical audit, then prioritise tasks to improve website performance, which will also have knock-on benefits to the other activity.


              Legacy Giving

              Deciding to leave a gift in your will is a long process, with users unlikely to commit on their first few visits to the site. However, continued updates and content based on what your charity does in a broader context together with well-timed asks should help convert this audience. Successful campaigns are reliant on attracting users by having relevant and engaging content with a strong call to action to find out more.

              Based on our research, we have identified a target online consumer for legacy giving – ‘Giving Gordon’. Gordon uses the internet to look up sports results and regularly visits the BBC Sport page. He doesn’t use many social media channels, but he uses Facebook to keep in contact with his children. He worries that his affairs are not in order, and the death of his mother has spurred him to consider writing a will. He doesn’t know much about the process, and so searches for a guide to writing a will online. Whilst browsing Facebook, he notices an ad for a free downloadable will guide from your charity. With a strong connection with your charity, he downloads the guide and it gets him thinking about leaving a gift in his new will to the charity.


              Giving Gordon Charity Persona


              For this type of activity, the majority of investment should be focused around Facebook advertising. This is because Facebook allows for careful targeting around people who have just experienced specific ‘life events’, which allows you to target users in line with our research. Other channels should include both Paid Search and SEO. By providing high quality content supporters would be encouraged to stay engaged with your charity. Then through automated marketing and email, they can be up sold to the free will writing service at the appropriate time.


              Challenge Events

              Fundraising events are a great way to engage supporters and raise revenue. An effective marketing strategy for challenge events should drive sign ups, predominately by using a combination of paid search and bursts of display activity and Facebook Ads. In addition to this, both existing content and new content, along with automated marketing, should be utilised to aid these channels in increasing event sign ups and to provide value to those that sign up to your fundraising events.

              Based on the research we have conducted, we have initially created the following example personas based on the people we believe are most likely to sign up to your charity’s fundraising events.

              ‘Event Ellie’ spends a lot of time on Facebook, sharing links to her fundraising page and encourages others to sponsor her while sharing the work that your charity does. In the lead up to the event, she posts updates on her training regime. When the event is over, she updates her photos from the big day.

              ‘Challenge Colin’ spends plenty of time on events forums reading about others’ experiences, sharing his own stories and looking for the next crazy challenge he can take part in. He regularly logs into Facebook and likes pages of his friends who take part in events.


              Event Ellie & Challenge Colin Event Personas


              Nothing is more effective at driving sign ups than targeting people who are searching for these events, and this is where Paid Search comes in. Although Google Ads is an effective medium for this, Bing Ads can also be successfully utilised as there is less competition on Bing and you can reach a different, yet still relevant audience to increase sign ups.

              We would suggest producing banner advertising, firstly to use as remarketing to users who have visited your site, but also to increase awareness and promote events on relevant websites. To save on costs, make use of responsive ads for smaller events.

              Finally, utilise email marketing, combined with a continued supply relevant content, to allow your charity to maintain a relationship with users who have downloaded a guide or similar content. They can be encouraged to support your charity through fundraising for an appropriate event through communication when appropriate.


              Regular Giving

              Digital Marketing is a very effective medium for driving donations, both single and regular. Paid search is again, going to be your most effective channel when it comes to ROI, but there is going to be a limited ‘relevant’ reach. So, you will need to couple this with some awareness activity across video, display and social.

              As usual, try to identify your target personas. For example, ‘Donation Donna’ is a married mother of two, and her online habits involve visiting online news sites and the national trust page to find her next day trip location. Her children have recently moved out and she has more disposable income, which she wants to put towards a good cause.


              Donation Donna Charity Persona


              Video across social media and YouTube is currently exceptionally cost-effective and combined with its impact and focused targeting, we recommend it as a powerful tool with which to start engagement on fundraising products. In addition to this, social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter should also be used to benefit from their extensive targeting options. Finally, automated marketing should also be used to encourage the sense of community and friendship with the new product.


              As always, we’d love to hear more about your own specific strategies, so if you’d like to find out more information, please do not hesitate to get in touch!


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                Why Charities Need to Manage the Online Presence of Their Shops

                Why Charities need to manage the presence of their online shop

                The Importance of Online


                Understandably, charities have limited marketing budgets and need to maximise return on investment.  Investing time and money to manage the online presence of a charity shop may seem unnecessary, but in reality, it is essential, not only to meet the changing habits of consumers but also as a means of driving footfall and growing brand awareness.


                This article covers the reasons why charities need to manage their local online presence, how to do it and the benefits of doing so.  Importantly, we will focus on the minimum that needs to be done in-order to meet the needs of customers whilst improving brand performance.


                The author is David Whatley of MiShop.local who has more than 8 years experience of advising and managing the online presence of more than 4,000 locations in multiple sectors including retailer chains and charities.


                Firstly, a bit about “local search” – When people search for “charity shop”, the results will appear in Google Places or Google Maps!  How and where you appear is influenced more by your physical address than your website.  In all likelihood, your shops will already be listed, but are they correct and are they performing at their full potential?


                Mishop Blog Image.png


                So what? Surely charity shops rely on passing trade, and as many don’t have an e-commerce site, why do they need to care about their local online presence?


                Charity shops are like any other retail business; people want to know when you are open, where you are located, the services you offer and whether you have what they need, they may also want to know how to donate or volunteer etc.  However, it is wrong to assume that people go directly to your website to get this information.  They don’t! Instead, they start with Google to search for opening times, contact details, directions, products and services.  They also read and write reviews and ask questions about local services.


                Coupled with this, Google has invested heavily in Google My Business pages, which brings together information from around the web about your shop into one place.  It is a Knowledge Graph for a specific location and is the first point of call for most people searching for local information.  Google My Business is the ‘online front door’ to your shop and the most important digital asset you can have in local search.



                The Anatomy of a Google My Business Page


                Below is an example of a Google My Business Page as seen on a desktop.  The information is the same, although the look and feel is slightly different for mobile users.


                Mishop Blog Image 2.png


                Should charities manage their local presence for performance improvement or hygiene?


                Local presence management should in the first instance be about “hygiene”; meaning that the information used by your customers should be correct wherever they find it in local search.  For the most part, if people search for “your brand + location” they will find you, just make sure the information they find is correct. In other words, your brand name, address, phone number, weblink and store opening times need to be consistent and correct.   Coupled with this, not all charity premises are shops; charities have offices, volunteer groups, service depots, support services, care centres, etc. all of which can (and do) appear in local search results. You may not want the public to call or visit certain sites, or they may only be open at certain times, so it is up to you to check that your premises are listed appropriately.


                Correctly listed information is a hygiene factor that happens to have SEO benefits.

                At the very minimum, charities should ensure branch details are correctly listed in the main local ‘doorway’ listings, namely; Google, Bing, Facebook and Apple Maps. Doing so will ensure you appear in most local ‘brand’ and ‘charity shop’ related searches.


                Optimising for local search performance.

                Not everyone will search for charities by brand or think to look at a charity for a particular product or services, for example; furniture.  A charity that collects and sells furniture needs to appear in searches for “furniture clearance” and “furniture store”.  Competing for these keywords requires an organic SEO strategy including; optimising your listings, website, blogs and social media etc.


                There is, however a law of diminishing returns with local SEO; there is only so much that you can do and in fact need to do to get on the map.  This is driven by a number of factors including:  local competition, local population size and demographics AND the user’s location in relation to your location.  In other words, performance varies on a location by location basis.  If you have multiple shops, it may be impractical to ‘micro-optimise’ each location, which means you need to focus on the fundamentals of claiming and managing your Google listings, ensuring other local listings are correct and point to a locally optimised store page.




                Other considerations:


                We promised to focus on the fundamentals of local search.  If you are tight on resource, start with Google Places.  However, here is a very high level over view of other areas you should consider for local:


                Facebook is also local.

                Charities with multiple locations can have a Facebook ‘Place Page’ for each shop connected to the main brand page via a ‘store finder’. Facebook rules can be configured to govern how Place Pages are branded, who has access, and whether they are managed centrally, locally or both.  However, most charities have many standalone, unofficial, unmanaged and unbranded Facebook Pages for each of their shops.  Customers may be checking-in and posting on these pages without the charity’s knowledge.  By setting up a Place Page hierarchy, charities can control information and interactions with customers that wish to follow their local charity shop or office.



                Bing Places, is less complicated and easier to manage than Google Places, but does not have the same level of functionality or insights. Its reviews are sourced from different listing sites around the web such as Yelp and Foursquare.


                Apple Maps

                3 out of 4 iPhone users will use Apple Maps instead of Google Maps. It is an important digital asset that needs to be managed, although it does not offer the same level of flexibility, functionality or insights as Google Maps.


                Local Listings

                Fundamental to local SEO is local business listings. Local business listings are an important reference point that can further raise your local online presence and improve search performance.  The likelihood is that most charity shops will be listed in a number of these, however, it is important that the shop’s Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) is consistent wherever it is listed.



                Ideally each shop should have its own locally optimised webpage where the NAP and opening times are presented in schema mark-up and are consistent with that listed in Google Places and local listing sites. The webpage should also have local tags in the url e.g. www.yourwebsitename.co.uk/brighton_charity_shop , and ideally contain local content and references.


                Google Posts

                Google Posts is a fantastic new feature in Google My Business. This free feature can be used by charity shops to raise awareness of specific fund-raising events, highlight your cause, encourage people to volunteer or sign-up to a newsletter (for example).  The only challenge is managing it at a local level.


                Customer Reviews

                Customers reviews raise your profile in local search. Unfortunately, unhappy customers aren’t averse to writing bad reviews about charities, however you can encourage your supporters to write positive reviews that raise your local online profile and help to promote your cause.


                Q&As (in Google My Business)

                Q&As (In Google My Business) is a recent development. Questions are mostly answered by a community of local Google Guides that mean well, but may not know the correct answers.  Q&As are in their infancy and are not easily managed by large charities across multiple locations, so this is one to be aware of for the moment.  However, it may be a function that is monitored by the Social Media Team.





                Charity shops, like other retailers, need to manage their local online presence in the ‘doorway listings’ Google, Bing, Facebook and Apple Maps as well as local listing sites.  Most charity shops are already listed, but not in a controlled way. Charities need to:


                1. Claim and manage Google, Bing, Facebook and Apple Map listings.
                2. Ensure local listing sites have NAP consistency.
                3. Link to a locally optimised shop webpage.
                4. Encourage and monitor customer reviews.
                5. Use Google Posts and Facebook location pages to drive local awareness.



                About the Author

                David Whatley is the founder and Managing Director of MiShop.local.  MiShop.local is one of the leading local presence management services in the UK.  We manage the local online presence of multi-location brands from 10 to 3,000 locations.  Our “Local Doorways” management service is the most cost-effective way for multi-location charities to optimise and manage Google, Bing, Facebook, Apple Maps.

                For more information, please visit their website http://mishoplocal.co.uk/local-doorways-management/ or email info@mishoplocal.co.uk or call 01273 987498

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                  Fundraise with Digital Marketing – Part 1: Foundation Strategies

                  Fundraise with Digital Marketing

                  Fundraise with Digital Marketing


                  At a time when fundraising in the sector is becoming increasingly difficult, digital is offering an increasingly effective channel.

                  Now, as the digital fundraising sector is reaching a level of maturity, despite the constantly changing technical and cultural landscape, clear best practices are starting to emerge. This is the first of a series of blogs that upriseUP intend to publish to help pass on our learnings.

                  Here we are looking at the initial strategies needed for success in digital. These are the things that need to be in place before even starting to plan the detail of what activity will run on what channel.

                  In many instances these could also be thought of as mindsets, but they highlight common processes and systems, that benefit campaigns. Put simply, when we have seen these methodologies come together, they deliver successful online campaigns. Without them many digital fundraising campaigns fail.


                  The main strategic factors we would like to cover are:


                  Fundraising Diagram 1-1.jpg


                  These blogs are written for people working in, or with an interest in, fundraising. Not necessarily digital or marketing. Therefore, there shouldn’t be any unexplained jargon. However, should you have any questions, we’d love to hear from you and find out how we could help. Please email us at href=”mailto:info@upriseup.co.uk”>hello@upriseup.co.uk.



                  Decide on Objectives

                  An apparently easy one to start off with, but it is surprising how often fundraising campaigns are planned and launched without clear specific goals in place. Tracking these goals is then paramount to success – but we will come to that in the later section on Analytics.

                  For now, we have broken down the types of objectives that need to be clearly understood:

                  • What is the fundraising product?
                  • How will supporters be able to help?
                  • Are successful goal completions being tracked?
                  • What is the required ROI (Return On Investment)?


                  What is the fundraising product?

                  Never lump several needs into one campaign, such as “donate to our cause, buy from our shop and if you have time complete a challenge”. Unless this is formed around an exceptionally tight message, it simply does not work.

                  Supporters need a clear indication as to how they can help. You can provide alternatives if they need them, but make your primary goal clear.


                  How will supporters be able to help?

                  Be clear about how supporters will be able to help. If it is through online donations, ensure the site can support that. If you would prefer regular gifts rather than single donations, have a default regular giving ask on the landing page.


                  Are goal completions being tracked?

                  So important to have mechanisms in place to track your success against all types of visitors. We talk about this more under Analytics.


                  What is the required ROI (Return On Investment)?

                  It is essential to know what success looks like, especially if you are investing (financially or otherwise) in the campaign. Are you looking to build awareness or maximise on ROI? If there is a clear single donation ask, how much do you need to see as a return for every £100 you spend?



                  Know your Audience

                  Understand the audience that you are targeting as this will have a huge impact in how to target them and the message that you want to get across. Are they a ‘warm’ audience or ‘cold’, male or female, young or old?

                  Two practices that we run through with this are: research and creating personas.


                  1.  Research


                  Desk research

                  Whatever did we do before Google? Research your sector (medical research, children, mental health, animals etc) and audiences against the online channels you are considering. A couple of good places to start are:

                  • http://www.npt-uk.org/philanthropic-resources/uk-charitable-giving-statistics
                  • https://www.cafonline.org/docs/default-source/about-us-publications/caf-uk-giving-web.pdf



                  Once you are tracking your web traffic effectively, Google Analytics (Universal) will be able to provide you with all sorts of demographic data on who is doing what.



                  Your can conduct your own surveys incredibly cheaply now to get real audience insights. And the data available can make a massive difference to a campaign’s bottom line. We’d recommend starting with Google Surveys: href=”http://www.google.com/analytics/surveys”>www.google.com/analytics/surveys



                  So long as it is well maintained, your own database of supporter information should be able to give you real nuggets as to the type of person that fits your sympathetic supporter profile.


                  Google insights

                  Understand what issues people are concerned with, any seasonality trends that go along with them and also the language they use by knowing the popularity of search queries in Google: trends.google.co.uk


                  Benchmark Data

                  It is exceptionally powerful to either measure yourself against what has gone before, but also against other charities in the same field. CharityComms organise a particularly good one for medium to large charities.


                  2.  Personas


                  Utilising personas is an extremely effective exercise at the beginning of a digital marketing campaign. It helps organisations consider their target audiences by considering the type of person – or people that they are marketing too.


                  Personas should be built by first researching the audience types that will likely make a contribution to that organisation. This information can then be collected and used to give texture to an example of a particular person, detailing:

                  • Their demographic information
                  • Their interests and beliefs
                  • What their average day is like
                  • What they are concerned about
                  • How they would like to be involved
                  • What kind of messaging would speak to them
                  • Their Digital Media habits


                  Answers to questions like this provide insight into which creative should be used on which channel, and what time of day.


                  Once marketing campaigns are launched they need to be adapted to the results, but really considering the audience forces marketers into a conducting useful research which will usually provide insights into an effective starting point for the initial plan.


                  Examples of personas that we have created are:

                  Fundraising personas.jpg



                  It is important that Digital doesn’t become separated from the organisation’s overall marketing and communications.

                  Typically, across all fundraising campaigns, the most effective place to start is with people who have already shown an interest in the organisation. This could be members, past donors, challenge event supporters or beneficiaries. Therefore, the real risk is that a disjointed approach across different channels, each focusing on a different campaign will generate mixed messaging issues with the most important of audience. In turn this can lead to a disengagement with the charity brand as a whole.

                  It’s not just about risk. In many instances there are a number of powerful opportunities when ensuring synergy between on and off- line.


                  These are the main aspects we check to ensure a synergy with offline fundraising:


                  The ask

                  Quite simply, is the same campaign or a similar one running offline? If so:

                  • There needs to be a consistent look and feel across the two.
                  • All messaging should be double-checked to ensure that nothing is conflicting between on and off-line
                  • Offline resources should be able to refer to online counterparts, such as web copy, social media pages, and anything else that is appropriate
                  • Also, visa-versa, is there a ‘Guide to our work’ or similar publication that would make a good e-book?



                  It takes time to research, draft, check and ‘polish’ good content. Often this is done for offline brochures and leaflets, but is not done for websites. Our belief is that users considering becoming involved in the fundraising efforts of a charity are very eager to understand that charity and the need it is engaged with helping. They want to read about it! – and having a place where content (already written for offline activities) can sit is a significant opportunity.



                  Its not just about the written word. Photos, graphics, infographics and the brand guidelines themselves can all be share. In fact, many image ads for digital display advertising will take photos and other images and generate banner formats from them in a way that suits the page they are on – automatically. This not only reduces the cost involves but helps generate a connection between on and offline.



                  Messaging and channel selection will likely vary considerably depending on the engagement journey an organisation is aiming to achieve.

                  For a quick appeal campaign, where there is an urgent need, paid search campaigns, such as advertising on Google may yield the quickest return at the most effective ROI. This might be especially effective for an international Disaster Relief Campaign such as the British Red Cross. This would effectively bring in traffic further down the funnel, at a time when they are more likely to donate – but there are only ever a limited number of those people.

                  However, some brands are built over time from continued strong messaging in the right places. The WWF might show impactful videos and banner ads (display) to a targeted audience and over time ask them to sponsor an animal, leading to strong regular giving momentum.


                  Fundraising Funnel.jpg


                  Often a variety of channels are used together, the available quick return, high ROI traffic that paid search can deliver is limited, and at this point a wider brand awareness campaign supports the charity’s efforts.



                  Automated Marketing

                  Automated marketing is poised to make a significant impact to the charity sector. We are already seeing great advancements in other sectors – and in charities in the USA. There is real potential for it to be used to build engagement for potential contributors to charities in the UK, and we expect to see significant increase in the usage of Automated in the UK charity sector in 2018.

                  Automated marketing relies on good content and useful online resources that users will be willing to sign-up for.


                  Sue Ryder Engagement Funnel Version 4.png

                   Funnel showing simplified user journeys from our Automated Marketing activity

                  Once the user signs up to a mailing list, organisations are then able to build a relationship with newsletters, requests to sign a petition, and other communications which engage with those users. Also, this messaging and the engagement journey the user takes can be automated by systems pre-set that are designed to move users to act by understanding their interests and engaging with those interests effectively.



                  The Product Experience

                  Crucial to the success of the campaign is the product itself and how it is sold.

                  It might be a great idea, or a very current appeal campaign. It might also be pretty standard as a concept – regular giving online donations, run the London Marathon. The setup of the landing page, and the journey you take the user on, is crucial. Converting people is dependent on a good product presented well.


                  This is not content on UX, (User experience), or CRO, (Conversion Rate Optimisation), although watch this space for something along those lines too. For now, however, here are common considerations that can significantly maximise on the conversions delivered from the traffic a site achieves:


                  Detail the need

                  Be very clear about what the situation is that you need help to resolve. Give details as to the scale of the problem but also focus in on individual stories.


                  Detail the solution

                  Be clear about what your charity is doing to help. Demonstrate to the audience that you have an ethos and a system that is working to tremendous effect. Also show them that you have a plan – that with their help can ensure that the organisation goes on to provide continued support, maybe at a greater scale.


                  Bring the story to life with engaging media

                  Video, sound, photos and other images really do speak to audiences in ways that text can never reach. They are especially important at speaking to audiences on an emotional level which is our goal.


                  Have clear call to action

                  It’s simple stuff, but you need to let the user know what you want them to do – in a way that they can identify if they only look at the landing page (or subsequent journey pages) for a couple of seconds.


                  -And make the call to action easy to follow!

                  Very important this one. Many potential supporters will drop out if you make their journey too cumbersome. Give alternative payment options and make them easy. Make any forms simple and with as few fields to complete as possible. And please, wherever possible try to avoid asking users to print a form and post it back to you!



                  Test and Learn – an Agile Approach

                  Launch, test, learn and adapt is a basic tenant of effective digital strategies. Long gone are the fixed yearly budgets, basically a re-hash of the previous year. Now there are myriad changing external factors such as technology, consumer habits and competitor activity. And our campaigns need to change and adapt appropriately.


                  Not only that, but there are infinite different targeting combinations out there – and we effectively track and evaluate each one, so why wouldn’t we have fun, continuously trial different approaches and learn from the results we get.


                  Agile Marketing.jpg

                  Any long-term planning should always contain a healthy contingency budget. Build as much flexibility into things as possible. After launch, all elements need to be tested. What copy works, what audiences perform well – what messaging do they respond to?

                  All this is needed so that plans can be revised on the fly. And this extends to budgets too. If a definite ROI has been set, are targets being met? – Should budgets be lowered (or increased)?


                  All of this relies on good quality data. And that is the subject of our next blog – Analytics and data analysis.


                  If you want to know how your charity could benefit from digital fundraising, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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                    Local Charities Shine at Community Impact Bucks Conference

                    Digital Journey Community Impact Bucks Conference

                    Community Impact Bucks Conference: The Digital Journey

                    We were delighted to exhibit at this years ‘The Digital Journey’ with Community Impact Bucks on the 5th October. The conference proved to be a great success with over 100 people attending and some great exhibitions on show.



                    From Websites, social media, CRM systems, personalised communication, crowdfunding… the opportunities presented to us by digital tools are enormous. According to a recent report, 68% of charities think that the charity sector will change as digital adoption increases yet surprisingly only 50% of charities have a digital strategy in place.


                    The day focused on how charities and not-for-profits can better use digital tools and how they can use them to tell their story and aid in volunteers and supporters and more. Offering an exciting mix of industry experts in plenary and interactive breakout sessions, the conference helped to get digital running through every aspect of an organisation’s activities; from communicating with donors and beneficiaries to increasing digital fundraising or turning data into meaningful impact measures.


                    Two of the breakout sessions were led by our very own John Onion and Ed Coles from Uprise Up, who held a session on ‘Making the most of Google Adwords’ and ‘Q&A Demystifying Social Media’. We have received some fantastic feedback from those sessions so far, so a big thank you to those of you that came along to say hi to us.


                    As always, please get in touch if you have any queries on the Google Ad Grant let us know and we would be more than happy to help!

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                    Automated Marketing for Charities – Why You’ll love Automation

                    What is automated marketing?

                    What is Automated Marketing?


                    Automated marketing is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing digital marketing sectors, and there’s a reason why so many people are interested. But what exactly is automated marketing, and why would you or your organisation want to use it?

                    Put simply, automated marketing is the process of streamlining your inbound marketing from all channels, compiling it in one place and then engaging with your potential new supporters with minimal effort.

                    The idea is to drive visitors to your site and then guide them down an engagement or sales funnel. This takes the form of four main steps; Attract, Connect, Engage & Inspire.

                    If you want to find out more on how automated marketing could benefit your business or charity, please contact us or send us an email at hello@upriseup.co.uk.


                    Inbound Methodology for Charities



                    Before the process starts, it’s important to get a detailed idea of your ideal customer. For not-for-profits this can be quite a challenge, as depending on the organisation, you might have a wide range of different services or products with an even wider range of target audiences. Not everything you offer is going to be right for everyone, and by painting everyone with the same brush there are missed opportunities.

                    One of the first starting points in automated marketing is to create personas – your ideal target supporters. Ideally, you’ll create separate personas for each different audience, so depending on your size there might be quite a few to create! For example, if you run several challenge fundraising events you might have a persona such as Challenge Colin:


                    Example Fundraiser Persona

                    By understanding each of your target supporters, such as Colin, you are better able to tailor content and their journey to suit them, ultimately making it more engaging and personal.



                    The Four Steps of Automation




                    The attract stage is fairly self-explanatory, your goal is to attract strangers to your website and convert them into visitors. There are many ways you can do this:

                    • Paid Search – advertising through Google or Bing
                    • Organic search – through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) with Google or Bing
                    • Display – banner or video advertising
                    • Content – blogs and promoted offerings
                    • Social – tweets & posts

                    In the case of Colin, a video ad of your next big upcoming event on Facebook would prove to be a very interesting and attractive proposition.




                    Once a visitor is on the site, you want them to connect with your organisation, and if possible, turn them into a potential lead. This is done by asking the visitor to provide their information in return for some offering. This could be signing up to your fundraising event, email newsletter or a call for support.

                    By providing this content behind a form, there is an exchange of information, which will be fed directly into your automated marketing customer management system (CRM). Based off the users interaction, you can begin to categorise visitors into your pre-defined personas and can use this information to tailor content specifically for them.




                    This is where the majority of automation lies. You have a potential lead, but you want to be able to nurture them into becoming a supporter of your charity. The best way in which to do this is content, content, content! Providing useful content, that will actually provide the user with value, will keep them coming back for more and more. Challenge fundraising and training packs are great for this, and also provide a great opportunity to rank well organically for SEO.

                    Have lots of content is great, but how do you make sure that your supporters are seeing it, and that it’s actually the type of content they’re after? This is where emails and workflows come in!

                    Workflows are a bit like a process flowchart where you can create an entire user journey from visitor to promoter, including every single bit of content and email they will receive on the way. This is completely automated, with custom criteria and timings available to make sure that only the right person is receiving the right content at the right time. Workflows can be as simple or complex as you want to make them, but provide an amazing opportunity to really build up a relationship and rapport with potential supporters.




                    So, after engaging with your leads they’re now supporters, but that doesn’t mean automation stops! The engagement process is ongoing, so it’s important to continue to offer supporters new content to help inspire and delight them. This might be fundraising news, new events, cause related updates or regular social media interaction. If done correctly, your supporters will begin to promote your organisation to new ‘strangers’ and the cycle begins again.

                    Although it can be a painstaking process to get everything set up and in place, once it’s there, it’s effortless. Not only are you better targeting individual audiences, you’re providing them with more relevant content, when they want it. When you have a huge number of potential contacts or subscribers, automation becomes invaluable.

                    Automated marketing provides a fantastic opportunity for charities and not-for-profits, and allows you to tailor the experience and journey of each and every one of your supporters.


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                      The Charity Fair 2017

                      Charity Fair 2017

                      DSC Charity Fair


                      We are really excited to be attending the DSC Charity Fair on the 28th June where we’ll be kicking off the fair’s sessions with our ‘Maximising Search Engine Marketing Learning Lab’.

                      The Charity Fair is always a great event packed with expertise and inspiration and we’ll be there to pass on our own insights and learnings which could make a sizable difference to your charities online performance.


                      Our Learning Lab


                      Our Learning Lab session will provide your charity with a clear steer on where to start and where to focus your efforts for best results with paid advertising and search engine optimisation.

                      Ben Tuck, Account Director at Uprise Up will be taking delegates through the specialised area of Google Ad Grants – we currently manage 28 charities’ Google Ad Grant accounts so have a wealth of knowledge on best practice and what works – when to use a paid account, and the vital importance of tracking results with Google Analytics.

                      Kapwom Dingis, Head of SEO at Uprise Up, will be exploring the importance of search engine optimisation for organic results, revealing how technical optimisation, website content and backlinks come together to get your website placed higher up in search result pages. Find out what will have the biggest impact quickest.

                      Our session will also include time for working in small groups putting learnings into practice, plus plenty of opportunity for Q&As. Attendees will come away with a better understanding of how these areas of digital marketing fit together, as well as quick wins to implement for their charity.


                      Come and say hello


                      We’ll be available for pre-bookable 15 minute Search Engine Marketing surgery sessions. We can take a quick look at your Google AdWords account, or a page of your website from a SEO perspective.

                      Throughout the day you’ll also be able to find us on our Uprise Up stand, so do come and say hello, especially if you have any questions about digital marketing for your charity.


                      Register for your guide


                      Here at Uprise Up we have years of working closely with not-for-profits big and small and are passionate about what we do, and look forward to passing on our expertise. If you’d like to register for our top tips for managing your Google Ad Grant, which will be available after the event, please get in touch.

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                      Charity Digital Literacy Reports – What’s The Verdict?

                      Charity Digital Skills Report 2017

                      The Charity Digital Skills Report

                      Recently published reports concerning charity digital literacy, namely the Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society report by the House of Lords and The Charity Digital Skills Report by Zoe Amar and David Evans, have provided some insight into how digitally literate charities currently are, but perhaps more importantly, what the future of the charity sector looks like from a digital perspective.


                      The Statistics

                      The headline statistics from these reports look concerning; 50% of charities don’t have a digital strategy , 49% of charities are digitally immature and only 60% of 500 recently registered charities have a website. It has been suggested that in terms of utilising digital tools, the charity sector is approximately 5 years behind the corporate sector. In an increasingly digital world, it is particularly important for charities to embrace digital and ensure they stay relevant.

                      The Charity Digital Skills Report recently surveyed 485 charities of varying sizes in an attempt to understand charity digital literacy, and where the charity sector is in terms of digital skills. What was perhaps most interesting is the responses from charities to questions about the future of digital. 68% of charities think that as the sector adopts digital it will change to a great extent in the next 10 years. 66% of charities feel failure to increase digital skills will result in missed opportunities for digital fundraising, and 53% think they will no longer be seen as relevant and won’t be able to reach their audience. With increased digital skills, 75% of charities believe their fundraising could be increased, as well as 69% of charities believing their strategy could be delivered more effectively.

                      What is clear from these responses is that while charity digital literacy might not be the best it could be at this point in time, charities are aware of the benefits that digital can offer. Part of this may be the nature of the person responding to the survey, as over 40% of surveys were completed by someone in a digital or communications role, so it’s important to mention that this may not be representative of the view of the charity as a whole.


                      charity digital literacy stats



                      The Barriers

                      There are a number of barriers that might prevent charities from embracing digital. 52% of charities suggest lack of funding is stopping them get the most from digital, along with 50% of charities saying that other challenges are considered higher priority than digital, and that money spent on digital is needed elsewhere. But why should charities prioritise digital? Lloyds UK Business Digital Index in 2016 reported that digitally literate charities are 28% more likely to report increased turnover or funding than less digitally minded charities, as well as 52% of charities reporting cost savings from being online.

                      mind the charity digital literacy gap


                      How To Improve Charity Digital Literacy & Presence

                      There are ways to greatly improve your digital presence without spending a fortune. One of the easiest ways for charities to increase their digital presence, raise funds, promote events and more is the Google Ad Grant. Google offers a $10,000 a month grant to registered charities, allowing them to advertise on the Google Search Network. This can bring in an extra 165 clicks to your site each day and the only cost to you is the time spent managing the account. Whilst digital strategy should be treated holistically, Search Engine Marketing is a vital piece of the digital puzzle and is one that should not be ignored. For more information on the Google Ad Grant, eligibility guidelines and a step by step guide on how to apply for the Ad Grant, please see my previous blog.

                      In addition, you can set up Google Analytics for free to track all sorts of data relating to you site and your Ad Grant Account. This can give you invaluable information that you can use to optimise your site and really improve the user experience, and so increase awareness and engagement with your site. According to the Charity Digital Skills Report, 26% of charities don’t know how their audience is using digital. With Google Analytics you can know exactly how all users of your site are interacting with it, which will help you in making effective strategic decisions.

                      There are also a number of product available, all for free, for charities enrolled in the Google for Nonprofit programme. The Nonprofit programme is now the new home of the Ad Grant, as well as YouTube For Nonprofits, Google One Today, Google Earth Outreach and G Suite for Nonprofits. All these tools are free and only require someone to utilise them, and they can have a far-reaching yet immediate impact on your charity.


                      If you’d like more information on ways we can can help your charity improve digitally, or you would like help applying for a Google Ad Grant or Google for Nonprofits programme, please get in touch.


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                        Google Ad Grant – Our Guide On How To Apply

                        Guide on how to apply for a google ad grant

                        Applying for a Google Ad Grant

                        Updated: 25 March 2021

                        Search engine marketing is a very powerful tool, allowing you to advertise your product or service at the exact time that someone is searching for it. However, traditional pay-per-click (PPC) marketing requires investment in order to bid on keywords and get your ads shown. This investment, however large or small, might be enough of a barrier to stop your digital marketing endeavours in their tracks, especially for smaller charities and non-profit organisations.

                        However, Google offer a Google Ad Grant of $10,000 a month to registered charities and non-profits to spend on advertising on the Google Search Network, allowing you to drive traffic to your site, attract potentially donors, raise awareness, promote campaigns and so much more.

                        If you are a registered charity and aren’t already utilising the Google Ad Grant programme, here is a guide designed to get your enrolled in the Google Ad Grant programme to help you get started with search engine marketing.


                        applying for Google Ad GrantHow To Apply

                        To receive the Google Ad Grant, Google requires you to be signed up for the Google for Nonprofits programme. Google for Nonprofits is available to 50+ countries and gives non-profits access to free resources and products that can help take your mission further.


                        Be A Registered Charity

                        In order to enrol with in the Google for Nonprofit programme you need to be registered as a charitable organisation. There may be specific criteria you need to fulfil to be recognised as a charitable organisation, for example: in the UK you must be registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as a charity for tax relief. For full details of all the individual countries requirements, see Google Non-profits support.


                        Register With Charity Digital

                        Secondly, you need to be registered with Charity Digital. Charity Digital is a global network that is partnered with Google that provide tech support and other technological tools to non-profit organisations.

                        You will need to complete the free signup process in order to receive your Charity Digital ‘validation token’ that is required when applying for the Google for Nonpofits programme.

                        You will need information related to your charity for the signup process, namely your charity number, email address, address and phone number. You can check the Charity Commissions site if you are unsure of your details.


                        Sign Up For Google For Nonprofits

                        Once you’ve got your validation token you will be able to use this to enrol on the Google for Nonprofits programme. Again, for this step you will need your organisation name, phone number, website and contact details.

                        Provided your application is approved, you are now successfully enrolled in Google for Non-Profits!


                        Set Up A Google Ads Account

                        In order to receive the $10,000 Google Ad Grant, you will need to set up an Ads account. During the setup of the account there are some steps to take into consideration.

                        • You need to set your currency to USD, regardless of your location. As the Google Ad Grant is in USD, the currency settings need to match. Currency setting cannot be changed once they have been set, so it is important that you get this step right first time.
                        • It is important that you ignore any prompts to enter billing information as the Google Ad Grant cannot be given to accounts with billing information added.
                        • You will need to set up at least one campaign, one active unpaused ad, and at least one keyword in order to be considered eligible. Your campaign must be set to the Search Network only, and the destination URL for your ad must be a location on your charities site.

                        Take note of your Ads Customer ID that you are assigned, which is visible in the top right hand corner of the Ads menu.


                        Enrol for Google Ad Grant

                        Once you have been successfully enrolled into the Google for Nonprofits programme and have set up a Google Ads account, you can now apply for the Google Ad Grant.

                        Login to your Google for Nonprofits account and click activate under Google Ad Grants. Complete the application form and you should hear back from Google by email within 10 days – it is often quicker. We’ve known Google to approve Grant applications in less than 24 hours”


                        We can help

                        If you would like any more information, or help with applying for a Google Ad Grant, then please get in touch. We are Google qualified and specialise in the charity sector. We also have a proven track record and considerable success in Ads development, both with paid and grant accounts, and did we mention? We’re pretty good at it too.


                        Applying for a Google Ad Grant: eBook


                        To make the process even easier, we’ve published a free eBook with all the steps you need to take to apply for your own Google Ad Grant!

                        DOWNLOAD HERE

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                        Digital Marketing For Charities Event 2017

                        Digital Marketing Event for Charities

                        Digital Marketing For Charities Event


                        Thursday 23rd of February 2017 saw over 25 charity marketing professionals brave Storm Doris to join us for Uprise Up’s Digital Marketing for Charities event. Uprise Up has worked with over 50 non-profit organisations and through hosting the evening aimed to highlight some of the key areas that can make a huge difference to a charities digital presence.

                        Thank you to all who attended our digital marketing for charities event and made the event possible, especially our speakers who were kind enough to provide us with their knowledge and insight. Links to all the presentations given throughout the evening can be found in our presentation library, and we’ve provided an overview of the speakers topics below.


                        Bertie Bosrédon – Digital Strategist

                        Bertie has over 20 years digital experience and spoke about digital transformation, why digital literacy is important and the different stages of digital marketing development. Bertie provided a very entertaining talk and touched on ways to incorporate digital roles through departments, as well as how and why you should gain digital knowledge.


                        Matt Haworth – Reason Digital

                        Matt, co-founder of Reason Digital and author of The Digital Fundraising Book, presented the truth about charity social media and how to get it right. With a very informative talk, he provided insights on how people can help get results for you, why you must be social and how to think of your platforms as communities of people, and not just platforms and algorithms.


                         Nick Phillips – Community Impact Bucks

                        Nick has a strong background in both commercial and charity management and spoke about his own journey into the world of digital with Community Impact Bucks. He highlighted why charities should build resilience and attempt to bridge the widening ‘digital gap’ that is emerging between charities and businesses.


                        John Onion – Uprise Up

                        Our very own John Onion, founder of Uprise Up, spoke about Paid Search and the importance of targeting someone at the exact moment they are searching for you. John also highlighted the importance of AdWords for charities and included some information on best practice for Google Grants and optimising your account.


                        Nathan Potts – Google

                        Nathan has been helping to develop a portfolio of Google advertising agencies for nearly a year, and provided industry insights on the effectiveness of Paid Search, Display and Remarketing campaigns for non-profits. Nathan also spoke about the Google for Nonprofits scheme, Google Ad Grants and YouTube for Nonprofits, all available to eligible charities free of charge.



                        Thanks again for all those who helped make our digital marketing for charities event a huge success.

                        If you have any questions about topics discussed on the evening, or want to know more about our services and how we can help your charity, then please get in touch.

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                        Charities Embrace Digital

                        Embracing Digital


                        At the beginning of a new year we often find ourselves both looking back over the past 12 months and making predictions for the year ahead and it seems safe to say that 2017 will see more charities further embracing all things digital.

                        According to the 2016 UK Business Digital Index from Lloyds, in 2016 charities made strides in increasing their digital presence, be that having their own website (still only 3 in 5 however), harnessing the power of social media or using a digital training tool.

                        Most interestingly, 2016 saw a 100% increase in charities advertising online (60% in 2016 v 30% in 2015) whilst the amount of non-profits taking donations online rocketed over 100% from just 24% in 2015 to 53% in 2016. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the report also underlines “The more digital charities are 28% more likely to report an increase in turnover or funding than less digital charities.”




                        This finding is also backed up by the Blackbaud index, which saw online donations rising an average of 17% in the UK in Autumn 2016 whilst overall donations saw an 2.7% fall in the same period. With the rise of contactless payment (one in four card payments are now contactless) and ‘tap to give’ technology, 2017 is only set to see this differential grow.

                        The main barriers to digital entry for non-profits are cited as not understanding the benefits of digital, the belief that digital isn’t relevant, a lack of digital skills and a lack of time.  At upriseUP we believe it can also be understanding how and where to get the best, quickest and most cost-effective results, which is where we come in.

                        One of our first recommendations is always to make sure you are utilising your Google Ad Grant account effectively, and if you haven’t yet applied for a grant to make sure you do so!  This isn’t of course, the only avenue, but it can reap rewards in a short period, and as such, is a quick win.

                        A fully optimised Google Ad Grant can drive relevant web traffic of over 350 clicks per day. Whilst at the time of writing we are unsure of the future of the GrantsPro account, the increased $40,000 value to use per month really does have a significant impact driving donations, event sign ups and volunteers for our clients.

                        Whatever your online priorities, your competitors and contemporaries are also likely to be on a similar digital journey so we urge you and your charity to make the most of these exciting opportunities, embrace the future and not to be left behind!


                        upriseUP are holding a special Digital Marketing for Charities event on Thursday 23rd February, which is free for professionals who work in marketing for charities and we’d love to see you there. We’ll have a number of engaging expert speakers who can help guide you through the digital maze.

                        Can’t make the event? We’d still love to discuss how we can help you with your digital marketing. Get in touch at hello@upriseup.co.uk or give us a call.

                        We also have expertise in Search Engine Optimisation to help improve organic search results, paid online advertising (from paid search to display and video) and Google Analytics to ensure effective tracking and to drive accountable conversions.


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