Pencils of Promise Case Study

by Blake Arata  |   |  Strategy  |  0 comments

2 min to read

About Pencils of Promise

Pencils of Promise is a global education organization that works to build schools and provide quality educational programming in Ghana, Guatemala, and Laos In the past 8 years, Pencils of Promise has built 400 schools to ensure that students around the world have access to a quality learning environment.



Most Critical Business Problem

Fundraisers are a valuable asset to have as a nonprofit, especially if you’re Pencils of Promise, where the average fundraiser ends up raising $2,000-$7,000 in their fundraising lifecycle! How can a nonprofit leverage campaigns that are already working well and take them to the next level?


The Challenge

Pencils of Promise had an enormous amount of brand awareness but wanted to increase monthly fundraisers by reaching out to different audiences. Their question was “We want to expand on our brand recognition. How can we tap into other networks of people who want to make a difference in the world, but don’t know about our organization?” This is a common question we get asked by our nonprofit clients. Getting creative in how we bring new types of traffic to your website is something we’ve mastered using the Google Ad Grant.


Community Boost’s Solution

Bringing In Fresh Traffic  This is where the Google Ad Grant can be such a valuable resource for even the most vetted of nonprofit organizations. The Google Ad Grant can both increase brand awareness and create a stronger online presence by tapping new markets.  Community Boost’s strategy was to go after new kinds of traffic based on online searches relevant to Pencils of Promise.

Example: Africa School Build Campaign One of the most successful campaigns we’ve run for Pencils of Promise is our Africa schools campaign. The goal of this campaign was to target anyone on Google searching for how they could help build schools in Africa. We knew these people were the perfect fit for Pencils of Promise, but prior to using the Google Ad Grant Pencils of Promise wasn’t able to reach out to this audience online. This is because when searching “build a school in Africa” into Google, Pencils of Promise doesn’t rank for any organic results on the first page. However, since using the Google Ad Grant, Pencils of Promise now shows up on the top page of Google for any search related to building schools in Africa! This has helped Pencils of Promise break into new markets of people online and secure a large chunk of online real estate. So, since working with the Google Ad Grant and Community Boost, what result has this had for Pencils of Promise?


Result – New Fundraiser Increase

After 5 months of working with Community Boost and the Google Ad Grant, Pencils of Promise brought in an additional 35 fundraiser campaigns! These new fundraisers came from new markets that were previously unreachable by Pencils of Promise.

Result – Front Page of Google

Bringing in new fundraisers is great, but so is building your brand. Being on the first page of Google also has more subtle benefits, like getting tons of exposure. Since working with Community Boost, Pencils of Promise has generated 641,303 branded ad impressions from the Ad Grant alone! This means Pencils of Promise is getting a ton of brand exposure from people who have never even heard of them before.


The Bottom Line

These actions led to 35 new fundraiser campaigns coming from the Google Grant between September 2016 and January 2017. Don’t forget that the average donation value of a fundraiser is $2,000-$7,000 for Pencils of Promise! We proved that no matter how big of an organization you are, there’s always room to expand your reach into new markets of people online. The Google Ad Grant is one of the best tools out there to help drive brand new traffic to your site to become supporters of your cause.

Blake Arata

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