Impact Group Marketing Blog


Google Ad Grants: Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Did you know that Google offers grants that provide eligible nonprofits with $10,000 in free advertising every month?

It’s true! With Google Ad Grants, nonprofit organizations like yours receive a monthly grant of $10,000 to spend on Google ads. These funds can boost traffic to your nonprofit website and increase donations when used effectively.

To help you make the most of this opportunity, we’ve created this guide to tell you everything you need to know about the Google Ad Grants program.

What are Google Ad Grants?

The Google Ad Grants program gives select 501(C)(3) nonprofits $10,000 in monthly ad credits to create and host advertising campaigns on Google. These free ads allow organizations to boost their online presence, raise awareness, attract donors, and recruit new volunteers.

If your nonprofit has a website, the Google Ad Grant is one of the most powerful and cost-effective marketing resources available. The grant money is used to bid on relevant keywords used in ads to promote your organization.

What are the benefits of Google Ad Grants?

Google Ad Grants allow all nonprofits, even those with limited budgets, to place ads and compete for attention on search engine results pages (SERPS). Here are some additional benefits:

  • Free advertising – Qualifying nonprofits are automatically given an advertising budget of $10,000 each month.
  • Increased awareness – By setting up targeted ads for your most important issues and ad campaigns, you can boost awareness and attract more potential donors and volunteers when your ad comes up first in their search results.
  • Track campaign progress – Each ad campaign you set up in your Google Ad Grants account can be separately monitored, tracked, and improved. You can use this data to refine your ads and boost SEO.

Who is eligible for Google Ad Grants?

Since the main requirement for the Google Ad Grant is to have a valid charitable status in the country you’re applying from, most 501(C)(3) nonprofit organizations are eligible. You also must be registered with Google for Nonprofits and TechSoup and agree to follow the Program Policies.

Your organization also needs a functional website that meets the Website Policy requirements:

  • The organization must own the website’s domain.
  • You need a high-quality website that provides a good user experience.
  • You can sell things on your website as a fundraiser, but the website’s primary purpose can’t be for commercial activity.

Unfortunately, not all organizations are eligible for Google Grants. These include:

Can you lose your eligibility for Google Ad Grants?

Nonprofits can lose eligibility if they don’t keep their account in good standing. In addition to meeting the minimum requirements listed above, you must also:

  • Stay active and monitor the account for performance.
  • Create an ad structure that meets the minimum requirements.
  • Choose high-quality keywords and share performance data with Google.

Read the complete Ad Grants Policy Compliance Guide for a list of all requirements and details.

How do you apply for Google Ad Grants?

Before applying for a Google Ad Grant, you must complete the application for the Google for Nonprofits program, which requires verification through TechSoup. You’ll also need to verify your Google account and provide specific information about your organization. Once this information is verified, a decision will be made and emailed to you.

After you’re accepted into Google for Nonprofits, you can apply for a Google Ad Grant. Since Google Ad Grants have specific and well-documented requirements for approval, preparing before you begin the application process is essential. Here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Set up Google Analytics for your organization – including conversion tracking.

2. Register as a nonprofit with TechSoup.

3. Enroll in Google for Nonprofits using the TechSoup verification.

4. Create the Ads account for your nonprofit, but don’t enter payment information for the new account. To start, you’ll need at least two campaigns, each with two ad groups and two ads in each group (six total).

5. Register for Google Grants and complete the verification process.

6. Google will review the account to ensure it meets all the requirements.

How do you get started with your Google Ads Account?

It's not easy to set up a successful Google Ads account, but since quality ads will boost your organization's online presence, it's worth the effort to do it right. Here’s how to get started:

1. Create Ad Group Campaigns – To maintain your Google Ad Grant eligibility, you need at least one campaign with two ad groups in your Ads account. But why stop at just the minimum? Most organizations have essential goals like growing their mailing list, increasing volunteers, and collecting donations. You may want to create an ad group for each of your organization's primary goals to get the most out of your Google Ad Grant advertising budget.

2. Define Your Audience and Determine Keywords – After deciding which campaigns to advertise, think about who you want to advertise those programs to. Choosing keywords is easier once you've clearly defined the audience for each campaign.

To determine your keywords, think of the words people will use to search for similar organizations. Be very specific with your choices because one-word keywords and keywords that are generic or too broad aren’t allowed for Google Grant accounts.

3. Draft Ads for Each Ad Group – Once you’ve sorted and planned, it’s time to write the ads. Make sure you include exact keywords from the list you created. Use simple language and a single call to action. Try to grab your searcher’s attention first, then draft a clear message that states your need.

Use the Responsive Ads format to best use the Google Ads algorithm. A responsive ad contains variations in heading and description that Google can mix and match. This ad type allows them to display the match they think the searcher will respond to. Responsive Ads are a great way to increase click-through rates.

Bottom Line

It takes a lot of time to plan, create, track, and refine ads. And you may not have time for this on top of all your other duties – not to mention the time it takes to learn everything you need to know!

At Impact Group Marketing, our team is proficient in refining website pages, conducting keyword research, and creating successful ad campaigns. We can guide your organization through the Google Ad Grant process and ensure your website meets all the requirements, plan and set up your ad campaigns, or manage every step from start to finish. If you’re ready to transform your Google Ad Grants strategy, contact us today for a free consultation!