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SHOME Swim and Google Non-Profit Program

I’ve finally incorporated the “SHOME Swim Challenge” with the Government of Ontario as a non-profit and I’ve started to set up the next steps with respect to promotion and structure for the swim:

  • Application to the Google Grants program
  • Integration with PayPal for donations
  • Creation of a CafePress store (pending) so that people can buy shirts and other stuff related to the swim

The Google Grant may take some time, but I’m looking to leverage the other services that Google offers non-profits, including the following:

  • Tell Us Your Story, where you can leverage Google to amplify your message to a much broader audience.
  • WebMaster Tools.  A must for anyone that wants to go the next step with SEO and site optimization.
  • YouTube for Non-Profits.  Once I have some legit video to post, I’ll be setting up with Google’s YouTube product to expand the media universe behind the SHOME Swim.  However, my home base for all things video will actually be Vimeo. I’ll just use YouTube for the broader reach.
  • Google Analytics.  It’s free for any person or organization to use Google Analytics to track your online activities.  Set up is VERY easy and it enables you to identify how people are using your site and where they’re coming from.
  • Web Site Optimizer.  It’s not something I’m using immediately, but it is something that I’ll be leveraging as soon as I have multiple media elements live in the marketplace.
  • Check Out.  This makes donation collection easy and painless, although I’m only using PayPal for now (but will probably integrate Check Out at a later date).
  • Map Maker.  A very cool product that I’d find extremely useful, but … alas … it is not available in Canada.
  • Google Places.  Another must for those organizations that have a fixed and permanent address.  I won’t during the swim, but I’ve still put the SHOME Swim at our base office (945 Wellington Street North).

When you have a chance, please at least follow the swim via LinkedIn, Twitter (@shomeswim) or on the SHOME Swim web site.  As things progress, I’ll do my best to capture ideas and ‘best practices’ related to the swim and what worked and what didn’t in the digital environment.

Bill Wittur
Bottree Digital Services