In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, the Google Ad Grant stands as a beacon of opportunity for nonprofits. With up to $10,000 per month in free advertising credits, this grant empowers organizations to reach wider audiences, drive traffic to their websites, and amplify their impact.
But how does it all work? What are the requirements? How can you make the most of this incredible opportunity? In this guide, we’ll address these questions and more, ensuring that you have the knowledge and tools to navigate the Google Ad Grants program with confidence.
1. What is the Google Ad Grant for nonprofits, and how does it work?
The Google Ad Grant provides eligible nonprofits with a monthly advertising credit of up to 10,000 USD. This credit can be used to create and run text-based ads on Google’s search results pages, also known as search ads. To spend this credit, nonprofit professionals will create and manage their advertising campaigns through Google Ads, targeting specific keywords, demographics, and locations.
For example, if your nonprofit is involved in animal rescue, you can create ad campaigns targeting keywords like “animal adoption” or “support animal shelters.” When prospective and current supporters search for those terms, your organization’s ads will appear either independently or in positions below paid ads.
2. Who is eligible for the Google Ad Grant?
To be eligible for the Google Ad Grant, your organization must:
- Be a registered nonprofit. Your organization must be legally registered as a nonprofit and provide proof of your status, whether that be through an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or equivalent documentation. Nonprofits that are not eligible for the Google Ad Grant include religious organizations, government agencies, hospitals, and educational institutions.
- Have a high-quality website. A high-quality website is essential to provide a positive user experience for visitors who click on your ads. Your website should be well-designed, functional, and provide relevant information about your organization’s mission, programs, and activities.
- Agree to Google’s policies. Nonprofits must agree to Google’s terms of service, ad policies, and other regulations related to the program. These include maintaining your website’s quality and obtaining a certain number of clicks per ad.
Keep in mind that these eligibility requirements are subject to change and may vary depending on the country in which your organization is located. Refer to the official Google Ad Grants website or contact Google directly for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the program.
3. What can my nonprofit accomplish with grant funding?
The Google Ad Grant is a cost-effective way to harness the power of search ads to raise awareness and funds for your nonprofit. More specifically, it can help you:
- Attract donors and supporters. With the right messaging and ad optimization, your nonprofit can encourage web users to take meaningful actions, such as making donations or becoming regular supporters, helping sustain and expand your organization’s charitable activities.
- Increase visibility. Use the Google Ad Grant to increase your online visibility and raise awareness about your cause, programs, and initiatives. Running ad campaigns on Google allows you to reach a wider audience and ensure that your message is seen by potential supporters and beneficiaries, as Google processes about 8.5 billion searches a day.
- Improve on-site traffic. By creating compelling ads and directing them to relevant landing pages, you encourage users to click through to your site. This increased traffic can lead to a higher number of visitors exploring your organization’s content and learning about your mission.
To make the most of these benefits, 360MatchPro recommends using Google Analytics to measure campaign performance and make informed improvements to your ads. For example, if you’re seeing a low clickthrough rate, that might mean that you need to make your ad copy more compelling.
4. How can my nonprofit apply for the Google Ad Grant?
Applying for the Google Ad Grant for your nonprofit organization involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the application process, according to Getting Attention:
- Validate nonprofit status with Percent. Historically, Google has used a third party called TechSoup to verify each nonprofit’s 501(c)(3) or equivalent status. They now work with Percent to streamline the application process and ensure that your organization meets the eligibility criteria. Percent will contact you for documentation and, if applicable, send a validation certificate.
- Prepare your website. To prepare your website for the Google Ad Grant, install Google Analytics to track ad performance and user behavior. Additionally, display your nonprofit status and EIN on your website, typically in the footer, to enhance credibility. Finally, secure your website with an SSL certificate to meet Google’s compliance requirements.
- Sign up for Google for Nonprofits. Create an account on the Google for Nonprofits platform. Once you’re considered a “Google Nonprofit,” you will receive access to the Ad Grant program, YouTube Nonprofit Program, Google Workspace, and other useful tools.
- Enroll in the Google Ad Grant program. Log in to your Google for Nonprofits account and apply for the Google Ad Grants program. Follow the prompts to complete the application form, providing essential information about your organization, its mission, and its nonprofit status.
The review process may take a few weeks, and Google may request additional documentation or clarification during this time. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive an email notification from Google. This email will contain instructions on how to access your Google Ads account and begin using the Ad Grant.
5. What are the Google Ad Grant requirements, and how do you maintain compliance?
Nonprofits accepted into the Google Ad Grant program must adhere to certain requirements to continue receiving funding. For example, you must:
- Maintain a minimum click-through rate (CTR). Nonprofits must maintain a minimum click-through rate (CTR) of 5% across all campaigns. If you fall below this threshold for two consecutive months, it may result in the suspension of your Ad Grant account.
- Avoid commercial activity. The Google Ad Grant program is intended for nonprofits to promote their mission and initiatives, not for commercial purposes. Avoid advertising products or services where revenue generation is the primary goal.
- Remain active. Participating nonprofits should engage in regular account maintenance by logging in at least once a month and updating their account every 90 days.
- Leverage geotargeting. Use geographic targeting effectively to reach your intended audience. If your nonprofit serves a specific region or location, make sure your ads are tailored to that area.
Additionally, there are guidelines for the ad campaigns that you create. For example, you must use at least two active ad groups per campaign, and each ad group needs to contain a minimum of two active text ads.
To ensure that your nonprofit and its ads remain in good standing with the program, consider working with a Google Ad Grant consultant. These experts will walk you through the entire process, from application to account maintenance.
If the Google Ad Grant seems like a valuable venture for your nonprofit, use the steps outlined in this guide to submit your application. With the right approach, you’ll receive funding that brings positive change to the causes you champion.