Want to learn more about the Google Ad Grants program? Check out this guide for details on the basics, eligibility, application, and compliance requirements.
There are so many marketing resources available for nonprofits looking to boost their reach. However, some are particularly effective at promoting charitable organizations online. The Google Ad Grant is a powerful tool that allows nonprofits of all sizes to harness the power of digital marketing at no additional cost.
Each month, participating organizations receive ad spending credits that they can use toward Google Ad placements. That way, they can increase their online visibility and gather more support for their cause. All eligible nonprofits have to do is apply for the program and make sure their account remains compliant with Google’s regulations.
If you’re new to the Google Ad Grants program or want to see if your organization would be a great fit, check out the questions we’ll answer in this guide:
- What Are Google Ad Grants?
- What Are the Program Requirements?
- How Do I Apply for Google Ad Grants?
- How Do I Maintain Account Compliance?
It’s helpful to know a little more about the Google Ad Grant and how the program works before you decide if you’d like to apply. Let’s go over some of the basics.
What Are Google Ad Grants?
Through the Google Ad Grants program, Google offers eligible nonprofits $10,000 each month in ad spending. The goal of the program is to help nonprofits promote their causes for free so they can put as much money as possible toward helping their beneficiaries.
The Google Ad Grant is an extremely helpful resource for boosting online visibility and promoting specific events or initiatives your organization may have. For example, you might be hosting a gala in support of your cause. With the help of a Google Ad Grant, you could direct people who search for “charity galas” to the event registration page on your website, thus leading to more sign-ups and a more successful event.
If you’d like to drive more traffic to your website but need some assistance, the Google Ad Grant may be a great tool for your organization to consider.
What Are the Program Requirements?
Although the Google Ad Grant program is very accessible for nonprofits, some eligibility requirements determine which organizations can participate. Getting Attention provides an in-depth look at the requirements, but here’s a brief overview:
- TechSoup registration. TechSoup works with companies like Google to provide free and discounted software for nonprofits. You’ll need to register for TechSoup before you apply for your Google Ad Grant.
- Google for Nonprofits account. The Google Ad Grant is only one of many resources available under the umbrella of Google for Nonprofits, Google’s hub for nonprofit tools and resources. Other Google for Nonprofit offerings include Google Workspace for Nonprofits, the YouTube Nonprofit Program, and Google Earth and Maps.
- 501(c)(3) status. If your organization operates within the United States, you must have official 501(c)(3) charity status as registered with the IRS. Other countries may have their own additional requirements that can be found on the Google for Nonprofits website. For example, Google requires organizations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Zealand to register with Percent.
- Term agreement. Google outlines program terms relating to nondiscrimination and funding use that must be accepted before moving forward with the program.
- Properly running website. Before Google promotes your nonprofit’s content online, they want to make sure it’s relevant and valuable for searchers. Some ways to ensure your website is running smoothly include running performance tests, ensuring images are optimized, and making sure all links and forms work properly.
In addition to these requirements, there are also organizations that Google explicitly states are ineligible for the program. These organizations include:
- Governmental entities and organizations
- Hospitals and healthcare organizations
- Educational institutions such as schools and universities
If you’re still unsure whether your nonprofit is eligible for the program, review Google’s complete list of requirements here.
How Do I Apply for Google Ad Grants?
Once you determine if you’re eligible, applying for the Google Ad Grant program is easy. Nonprofits Source has a thorough guide on how to apply, but for our purposes, we’ll just list the basic steps:
- Register with TechSoup.
- Sign up for Google for Nonprofits.
- Input the TechSoup token to finish your Google for Nonprofits sign-up.
- Set up Google Analytics on your website.
- Complete the Google Ad Grant application.
After you’ve completed these five steps, you’re ready to dive into the Google Grants program.
How Do I Maintain Account Compliance?
Your account is up and running, and you’ve gone through many steps to enter the program. You’re probably excited about the opportunity to increase website engagement and ultimately progress toward your mission. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by failing to manage your account properly.
To stay in the program, Google outlines Google Ad Grant compliance requirements for all participating organizations to follow. You must adhere to these rules:
- Avoid single word or overly generic keywords.
- No keywords with a quality score of two or fewer.
- Maintain a 5% CTR each month.
- Use conversion tracking to keep track of and analyze campaign data.
- Engage with your account regularly by logging in monthly and making changes at least once every 90 days.
- Respond to the annual program survey.
These rules ensure that your account produces consistent results. While we’ve listed the main requirements, there are several more that Google provides that you’ll want to review every so often in order to check your account’s compliance.
Whether you’re trying to increase donations or encourage volunteer sign-ups, the Google Ad Grant is an extremely valuable advertising tool for nonprofits. With $10,000 a month in ad spending offered each month, there’s so much your organization can accomplish to boost online visibility and work toward big-picture goals.
As mentioned, applying for and managing your account is simple, but if you don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to the process, you can always reach out to a Google Grant agency. They’ll be happy to help you navigate through any step of the process to assist you in furthering your cause.
Jessica King, Business Lead at Getting Attention
Jessica helps nonprofits acquire and manage the Google Ad Grant to expand their impact. Prior to her work at Getting Attention, Jessica worked in nonprofit and higher education organizations focusing on communication and digital marketing, and most recently in search engine optimization in the mission-driven sector. Jessica holds a master’s degree in communication from Virginia Tech. In her free time, you can find her reading, building furniture, and hanging out with her cats, Benny and Olive.