Google ad credits for non-profits

Continuing the discussion from this post.

You want the world’s biggest privacy and data abuser to get its tentacles into ClassicPress? No thanks. I for one would drop CP like a stone if this happened and I’m sure I would be one of many.

You can provide $10,000/mo for advertising then :joy:

It’s free money. They don’t require chips to be implemented to read our minds. They want non-profits to spend it.

Even Al Capone had a free soup kitchen to feed the unemployed in Chicago during the Great Depression.

They might be big and bad, but they do help.

Edit to clarify. Google doesn’t fund non-profits. They simply provide grants in a form of ad budget in Google Ads account (AdWords) to be spent on ads. They don’t dish out actual money.


So it’s a grant enabled by Google’s means of making money, which is basically the abuse of privacy. I still wouldn’t touch it - I have principles.

And doesn’t everyone have an ad blocker these days?

Ad spend to put us in front of new users, especially with 10k/mo would be huge.


Google making billions in advertising revenue means not everyone has ad blockers.

Governments that print actual money have done worse things than Google, yet we don’t stop using money. Our principles suit our situation and comfort level. Our principles rarely extend past our comfort level. We just have a few to make ourselves feel good about having principles. They’re 2 inches deep and 2 miles long.

1 Like

On principles, I agree they are important.
On Google’grants… Well, these grants can make a difference and really launch CP towards a steady growth.
The project has to make choices based on what would help the project grow. And these choices should come out of a democratic dialogue orsome sort of vote.

If the majority of the community is against it, for good that it is it’s a no go.

On the contrary, if majority votes to apply for the grants I think that there should be a transparent way to see how they are used and the results they bring.

1 Like

I used to use ad blockers before I realised that I was blocking an important source of income for a lot of people. Sites that I used every day whose only means of income is ads. Sites that wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the ads.

So I’m more relaxed about it now. More to the point, I’d welcome with open arms $10k of Google ads each month.


I mostly agree with this. It’s a toss-up between Google, Facebook and the US government (and the ties between these entities probably run much deeper than most people realize).

This conclusion is not supported by the previous statement and I do not see the “tentacles” or the “strings attached” here. If other community members do see a practical problem here (i.e. a way in which accepting Google ad credits would grant Google influence over the direction or goals of the ClassicPress project), then that is something we should discuss here in public.

This is undeniably true. I hope this growth would bring us new developers who can help move our platform forward, and we could certainly target our message towards that goal.

Google literally removed “don’t be evil” from their brand a few years ago. Despite that, they appear to still support nonprofit organizations in some genuine and powerful ways, which as far as I can tell do not include influencing governance or project direction, or distributing funds.

Personally I use an ad blocker and will continue to do so regardless of the outcome of this discussion. All ClassicPress sites will also remain ad-free.

This is also an excellent point. Unfortunately ClassicPress cannot pay for the services we need without using inflationary money that is printed by predatory central banks, which frankly goes against my principles or at least my ideal of what the world should look like. In that case we can either use money and continue to exist as an organization, or shut down entirely. In the case of Google ad credits it is more like taking a chance on a multiplier for our growth.

Again, if community members believe that accepting ad credits would somehow in a practical way compromise the integrity of the work that ClassicPress is doing, then I think that is something we should discuss here publicly, starting with an explanation or an example of how that could happen.


Really interesting reading all the comments above - here are my thoughts on it for what they are worth, hopefully they add to the debate.

The world in which we live is far from perfect, but we live in it and must accept it. Change can happen but that is going to take time. So, for now we should work within the systems and options that are available to us and to our advantage. In short, we my feel uncomfortable taking a grant from an organisation that we feel has a questionable track record but the other option is to not take the money and continue to struggle recruiting new users and developers to progress this project.

We must remain very aware though of what grants we accept and be willing and able at short notice to terminate such agreements if the ethical and moral approaches adopted by us and the grant provider diverge so as to become incompatible or worse yet, conflicting. We should also be very open about where our revenue comes from and declare it openly on our websites along with our ethical and moral policy code. And invite feedback from anyone reading it so they can raise concerns - 'Hey, did you know that the grant you get from X is coming from a company that openly supported organisation Y that do this horrible thing that is at odds with your policy code?"

Summarising, I think we should take advantage after investigating what strings are attached and reviewing the termination process. The decision should be reviewed regularly to ensure we are still satisfied with it and the agreement terminated if we decide it is not. And we need to be very transparent about all of the above with all stakeholders.


Speak for yourself.

There’s a very easy test to see how principled you are against Google.

If you truly hated Google for its privacy violations, not only would you stop doing business with Google directly but you would also stop doing business with any companies that use Google and its products. Namely, Google Cloud.

Spotify, LG, Twitter, PayPal, Colgate, etc. Just a few big names that come to mind.

Even more companies use Google Ads to advertise. So you basically would have to stop doing business with majority of companies.

Yet, you don’t. This is because your principles extend as far as your comfort level. There’s nothing wrong with it. That’s just how it is.

Moreover, Google is just one example. Take any big tech company, it’s the same thing.


Seems we have gone a little off the rails, everyone has their own principles and we respect that. That being said, as an organization it is undeniable that running a $10k/mo adwords campaign would do a lot for us.

Of course, as with everything we will do our due diligence first, and of course if they wanted say/control over aspects of our community, or user data we would walk away from the grants. This is the same reason we removed Google Analytics/Tag Manager from our CP websites.

Thank you everyone for your input, let’s continue this discussion at the next marketing meeting.


Reopening this thread, as we still believe there are valid points to be made but please continue the discussion calmly and logically.

If you are against this then please justify your opinion using practical arguments (“this could specifically harm the ClassicPress project if X and Y happen”) rather than emotional arguments (“advertising is terrible”).

As an additional note, we will likely be discussing this at the next marketing meeting. Your input would also be appreciated there.