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Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: What You Need to Know 

Having an online presence is crucial for non-profits to spread their message and connect with supporters. Yet many smaller non-profits lack the funding for paid advertising. That’s where Google Ad Grants for nonprofits come in. 

Google Ad Grants for nonprofits provides eligible nonprofits with $10,000 per month in Google Ads credit. This allows nonprofits to run search ads at no cost and raise awareness about their organization. 

But the idea of creating an ad campaign can feel daunting if you don’t have marketing experience. That’s exactly why we created this guide! We will walk you through the basics of Google Ad Grants step-by-step.  

TABLE OF CONTENTS: 

  1. Understanding Google Ad Grants 
  1. Benefits of Google Ads for Nonprofits 
  1. Eligibility Requirements for Google Ad Grants 
  1. Staying Compliant to Receive Continued Funding 
  1. Success Stories From Other Nonprofits 
  1. Wrapping Up 

We know you have a million things to do, so we’ll make this as easy to follow as possible. Our goal is to equip you with the knowledge you need so those crucial Google Ad dollars pay off. 

Understanding Google Ad Grants: 

What Are Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants is a unique in-kind advertising program that allows registered nonprofit organizations to run search advertising campaigns on Google at no cost. Essentially, Google provides approved nonprofits with a monthly Google Ads budget to get their causes and initiatives in front of people searching for related keywords on Google Search. 

It’s important to note that the Google Ad Grant budget is allocated solely for Google Search ads. This is opposed to the Google Display Network or YouTube ads. 

Google Search ads refer to the sponsored listings that appear at the top and bottom of Google’s search engine results pages when a person searches for something related to a keyword that a marketer is targeting. 

For example, if a nonprofit focused on ocean conservation created a Google Search ad campaign around keywords like “protecting oceans” or “donate to protecting oceans” their text ad might show up when someone searches a relevant term. 

Example 

The person could then click the ad and be directed to the nonprofit’s website to learn more. This is the type of advertising that the Google Ad Grant credit covers– not display or video campaigns. 

Benefits of Google Ads for Nonprofits 

Google Ad Grants provides registered nonprofits access to an advertising platform that can elevate your visibility and further your mission in distinct ways: 

Increase Website Traffic from Targeted Audiences 

Google’s massive reach means your nonprofit can get its content in front of many more people specifically searching for terms related to your cause. This yields qualified traffic of potential volunteers, donors, and advocates. 

Promote Time-Sensitive Initiatives 

Google Ads campaigns can quickly highlight your urgent causes or upcoming events through keyword selection, location targeting, and flexible run times. This helps drive real-world impact through timely exposure. 

Provide Metrics for Data-Driven Decisions 

The Google Ads platform supplies user-friendly reporting and analytics. Your nonprofit can see what messages and calls-to-action resonate best with your audiences and optimize accordingly. 

Enhance Brand Awareness on a Budget 

Top rankings in Google Search alongside relevant queries manufacture valuable brand impressions for your nonprofit. This expands your visibility even with limited resources for paid search. 

Connect Beyond Existing Reach 

Getting discovered by new audiences that your nonprofit wouldn’t traditionally engage positions your organization for serendipitous growth opportunities. 

Eligibility Requirements for Google Ad Grants 

Be qualified as a registered nonprofit per their own country’s rules and regulations 

Nonprofits must be able to prove their registered status as a charitable organization in their country. For example, in the U.S. this would mean being registered as a 501(c)(3). Other countries have similar designation statuses that qualify as a registered nonprofit. Essentially, the organization must be considered a tax-exempt charity. 

Be able to provide necessary tax documentation upon request 

Part of the application process usually entails providing official tax documentation like a 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter (in the US), charity commission registration (in the UK), or equivalent in other countries. This verifies the charity’s status. 

Maintain an active and accessible website 

The nonprofit must have an established “.org” website that includes clear information about the organization, its mission, programs offered, and how people can get involved or donate. The website needs to be functioning and updated. 

The nonprofit must also demonstrate how its mission, programs, and intended Ad Grant advertising align with Google’s values around inclusion, education, and opportunity. 

You can learn more about requirements and other FAQs on the official grant landing page from Google here https://www.google.com/grants/faq/ 

Staying Compliant to Receive Continued Funding 

Google Ad Grants come with certain compliance requirements to remain an active participant. It is important to maintain consistent management of campaigns within the program policies. Some key areas nonprofit advertisers should address are: 

Develop Compliant Image and Ad Copy 

The image and text content within campaigns must adhere to Google’s advertising policies around clear ad labeling, non-misleading information, and ethical messaging regarding sensitive issues. Failure to comply can lead to losing one’s grant eligibility. 

Keep Keywords Relevant to the Mission 

The keywords targeted within Google Search campaigns should align closely with the nonprofit’s specific programs, initiatives, and mission-focused content. Straying too far from approved areas can risk non-compliant advertising. 

Meet 5% Minimum Click-Through Rate 

Google requires Ad Grants participants to maintain an average account click-through rate (CTR) of at least 5%. If your CTR drops below 5% for 90 days (about 3 months), your grant may be disabled. Regularly check CTR and remove poor-performing keywords and ads. This threshold encourages ad relevance. 

Maintain Account Access and Monitoring 

The main account holder for Google Ads linked to the Ad Grant should check the dashboard frequently to optimize campaigns and ensure proper spending levels or flag any policy violation notifications that require action to remain compliant. 

Success Stories from Other Nonprofits 

You might be asking yourself, how are these grants helping nonprofits achieve their goals? Let’s look at a few inspiring case studies. 

Action Against Hunger 

This global hunger relief organization uses Google tools to collaborate with teams around the world and raise lifesaving donations. They’ve been able to reach new donors and increase their online fundraising by 30% using Ad Grants. 

Read the full story here: https://www.google.com/nonprofits/success-stories/action-against-hunger/ 

Charity: Water 

This organization brings clean water to people in developing countries. They use Google Ads to educate supporters and share their message with a wider audience. By using social media, analytics, and optimization tools from Google, they’ve been able to increase website traffic by 200% and raise more money for their clean water projects. 

Read the full story here: https://www.google.com/nonprofits/success-stories/charity-water/ 

Fundación Todo Mejora 

This Chilean organization supports LGBT youth. They use Google Ad Grants to intervene in moments of crisis and provide vital resources to young people in need. Their Ad Grants campaigns have helped them reach more young people at risk and provide them with the support they need. 

Read the full story here: https://www.google.com/nonprofits/success-stories/fundacion-todo-mejora/ 

Wrapping Up 

If you meet the eligibility criteria outlined and are ready to spread your message and connect with more potential supporters, we encourage you to take that first step and apply for Google Ad Grants today. If you need help with any part of the process reach out to our team and we will be happy to help. 

Take advantage of this opportunity to get your message discovered by those actively searching for causes related to your organization’s efforts. The application process may take some time but is well worth pursuing. 

If you would like help applying for the Google Ad Grant you can schedule a call with our team here 👉 Free Google Ad Grant Discovery Call.