No Time? No Problem: A Nonprofit’s Guide to Google Ad Grants

What Should I Know About Google Ads Grants?

As of January 2019, Google is processing over 40,000 search queries every second – that’s over 3.5 billion searches per day. This mind-boggling statistic is only one of the many reasons that nonprofits should be investing in their presence on Google. Unfortunately, we know that many nonprofits are overworked and under-resourced, meaning that spending the time to get familiar with Google Ads may not be high on their list of priorities.

We’ve seen firsthand the impact that Google for Nonprofits can have on an organization; it can be used to drive traffic, raise awareness, and generate online donations/volunteer sign-ups, all for free.

As an agency, we love giving back to our community and we provide pro-bono marketing help to many non-profits. But we don’t have the capacity to help everyone. For this reason, we have pooled our experience to compile quick tips for managing a Google Grant campaign.  We’ve released tips over the past couple of weeks, covering various areas such as keyword optimization and achieving a CTR of 5%, so be sure to check those out and follow us on any of our social platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) for more.

What is included in the Ad Grants Program?

The Google Grant program allows eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofits to advertise on Google search results pages by granting up to $10,000 per month in ad spend. This “up to” caveat is important because many advertisers will not be able to spend the full budget within Google’s constraints for grants.

In order to apply for the grant, you will need to sign up for Google for Nonprofits, and then enroll in Google Ad Grants. Luckily, this process is fairly seamless and should under an hour to complete. The Google Grants program is used by small and large nonprofits alike, from smaller organizations such as Inspire U.S. and the Denver Botanic Gardens to giants such as Unicef and Oxfam.

Is my organization eligible for a Google Ad Grant?

Google has a helpful list of eligibility requirements listed on their site. Essentially, you just need to be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the US (or registered as a charitable organization in one of the other eligible countries). One key thing to note is that they do not allow grants for governmental entities, health care organizations, or academic institutions.


I have a Google Grant. Now what?

If you want to manage your own Ads account but have limited time, Google recommends that you set up an Ads Express account. While this does allow you to start running a campaign with very minimal effort, it also cedes a lot of the control of your account over to Google. We recommend using our collection of tips, many of which are not found on Google Support pages for grants, to run a Google Ads campaign successfully without spending a lot of time.


What if I have no time to manage my Google Grant?

Our agency works with a number of Google Grants and we have plenty of experience navigating the various policies and anomalies that arise. We currently help manage grants for nonprofits, but since we have limited bandwidth we have rounded up a team of our most experienced grant account managers to write concise, helpful tips for nonprofits managing their own grants. Our series continues:
Make the Most of Your Google Grant Keywords
5 Tips for Google Grant Accounts Struggling to Hit a 5% CTR

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