Google Ad Grants for nonprofits are an incredible marketing and fundraising opportunity rolled into one. Created in 2003, the program was designed to help nonprofits amplify their most important content and effectively reach larger pools of donors, volunteers, and advocates.
By equipping eligible organizations with $10,000 in ad credits per month to reach out to supporters online, the Google Ad Grant program enables nonprofits worldwide to see a phenomenal increase in website activity and digital conversions.
Even though the program has been around for almost two decades now, there are still plenty of nonprofits out there that aren’t taking advantage of this powerful program. If your nonprofit wants to thrive in this modern space and leverage your website to push your mission forward, starting with Google Ad Grants will establish a secure and dependable marketing foundation in which your organization can grow.
Chances are, you fall into one of three areas: you already have an account but need help leveraging all of its capabilities, your account has started to lag and you want to reinvigorate it, or you don’t have an account at all. Whatever your situation may be, you’re in the right place! This ultimate guide to Google Ad Grants for nonprofits will teach you about:
- The Basics of Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits
- Potential Use Cases for Google Ad Grants
- The Benefits of Effective Google Ad Grants for Management
- Google Ad Grant Eligibility Requirements
- Who Should Apply for Google Ad Grants?
- How to Apply for the Google Ad Grants Program
- Tips For Effective Google Ad Grants Management
- Maintaining Your Google Ad Grants Eligibility
- Working With A Google Ad Grants Manager
Here at Getting Attention, we specialize in Google Ad Grants management in hopes of empowering nonprofits to take full advantage of the program. We dedicate our time to learning the rules of the program and the latest best practices for maximizing ad campaigns. That way, our nonprofit partners can amplify their work and connect with a larger pool of motivated prospects.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: The Basics
Before deciding if Google Ad Grants are a smart investment of your time, make sure you have a solid grasp of the fundamentals, starting with what Google Ads are. That way, you can understand how the program will fit into your current strategic goals.
What Are Google Ads?
Formerly known as Google AdWords, Google Ads is a digital marketing solution that businesses and nonprofits use to promote their products, services, and other marketing content to web users. The platform strategically places ads on Google’s search engine results pages for the keywords advertisers bid on. The program allows advertisers to choose specific goals for their ads, such as increasing website visits or phone calls.
The Google Ad Grant program is a free version of Google Ads for select charitable organizations. There are stricter guidelines to be a part of this program since access is given as an in-kind donation.
What Are Google Ad Grants?
The Google Ad Grants program gives eligible nonprofits $10,000 in free advertising credits every month. Organizations can use their grant money to bid on different keywords and promote specific pages on their website through text-based ads. Most often, these pages include donation pages, service pages, and educational content that align with user intent for the search term. So long as the organization complies with the program’s rules, the grant will automatically reactivate each month.
Ads are placed strategically on the search engine results pages for keywords they bid on. For example, when you look up a term or question on Google — like “ocean conservation” — you’ll get tons of results for educational articles and news stories. Along with these results, you’ll run into advertisements at the top and bottom of the page that promote content from nonprofits dedicated to supporting this cause. Some of these are donation pages, whereas others are service pages that explain the organization’s work.
The program’s overall goal is to enable organizations to increase awareness of their causes in an effort to make a greater impact on the world. Think of it as your secret weapon for spreading awareness for your cause, expanding your donor and volunteer network, sharing essential updates with your supporters, and ranking higher on Google.
Bottom line: If you’re looking to increase marketing for your charitable organization, Google Ad Grants for nonprofits will allow you to do so without spending a single penny.
Are Google Ad Grants free for nonprofits?
Yes, participating in the Google Ad Grants program is free to eligible organizations! All you have to do is meet the program’s eligibility criteria, apply, set up campaigns that align with the keyword requirements, and keep your account compliant with the Google Ad Grant rules.
While the program’s entirely free, creating and maintaining your account will take substantial time and effort. To truly be successful, you’ll need to either devote a staff member’s time to managing your ad campaigns OR outsource the work to a Google Ad Grants manager. We recommend turning to an agency that will handle the application process, ad campaign creation, account hygiene, and ongoing compliance. That way, you can sit back and focus on how you’ll engage the new prospects who find you through your ads.
Potential Use Cases For Google Ad Grants
The Google Ad Grant program is about much more than driving traffic to your website. When you think critically about the pages you want to promote, you can create carefully-targeted ads that promote your events, inform people about your cause, and recruit passionate supporters to power your mission.
Effective Google Ad Grants management empowers nonprofits to:
- Inform and educate the public by promoting educational content.
- Increase the visibility of their upcoming events like webinars, conferences, and 5Ks.
- Share volunteer registration forms and other volunteer-related content to boost recruitment.
- Promote advocacy activities like online petitions.
- Share donation and sponsorship opportunities to increase funding.
- Provide information about any of the organization’s services.
The Benefits of Effective Google Ad Grants Management
If your nonprofit has a website and is active online, applying for a Google Ad Grant is the next natural step for your marketing strategy. After all, current and prospective supporters are likely already looking up topics related to your mission.
While free funding and connecting with new supporters is undoubtedly a plus, what are the specific benefits of the Google Ad Grant program? Let’s dive into a few advantages that nonprofits experience when they invest time into effective Google Ad Grants management.
Benefit 1) Boost Site Engagement.
You spend time creating valuable content on your nonprofit’s website. Naturally, you want people to see the most important content that also aligns with their goals. Google Ad Grants allow you to direct readers to the pages that they’ll find most valuable, thus improving the user experience.
By analyzing the search intent for different search terms, you can pinpoint what content they’ll find most valuable. For instance, someone who searches “animal shelter volunteering” will obviously be a strong prospect for your volunteer program. In that case, you’d want to use your Google Ad Grant money to promote your site’s ‘Volunteer’ page where they can explore upcoming volunteer events.
Benefit 2) Increase Online Conversions.
The goal of Google Ad Grants for nonprofits is to amplify worthwhile causes on a larger scale and inspire more people to get involved. For data-focused nonprofits, this can be translated into tracking conversions. Backed by a strategic Google Ad Grants management plan, you can effectively create and promote forms and pages that help you boost conversions for different activities.
Nonprofits most commonly aim to increase online conversions like:
- Event registrations and ticket sales
- Volunteer registrations
- Online petitions
- Email list signups
Whether you’re focused on becoming well-known in the event space or inciting political change, effective Google Ad Grants management can get you there. As we mentioned, think through the specific pages you promote and how they’ll help you meet your conversion goals.
Benefit 3) Enhance Supporter Communications.
If you work in mission-driven marketing, you know your organization faces the ongoing challenge of increasing email open rates, boosting social media interactions, and generally keeping your supporters informed. This inhibits your ability to spread the word about important initiatives and share crucial updates regarding your work.
Google Ad Grants are a natural addition to your communication strategies. While they certainly don’t replace your need to email and call supporters, they can help increase your visibility online.
You can amplify your web content on Google so that it’s delivered directly to those most likely to support your cause, whether they’re existing supporters or brand new to your cause.
Benefit 4) Learn What Inspires Supporters.
When you leverage Google Ad Grants, you’ll be able to track campaign performance through Google Analytics, view the exact actions users take once they enter your site, and draw conclusions about what inspires them to get involved.
Google Analytics will provide you with in-depth data regarding:
- The success of your ad campaigns
- The sources driving visitors to your site
- The actions users take on your website
In turn, you can optimize your site’s content that you’re promoting via Google Ad Grants, effectively inspiring more users to engage with your cause.
Benefit 5) You Don’t Have to Compete for Funds.
One of the best parts of the Google Ad Grants program is that it’s not like a traditional grant where there is only a limited amount of money to give to one or a select few organizations.
With traditional grants, eligible organizations must compete for the money, and whichever organizations demonstrate the highest need for funding are most likely to win the grant. With Google Ad Grants for nonprofits, there’s no competition to win the grant money. Rather, any organization that meets the program’s requirements will be awarded $10,000 in ad credits each month.
Google Ad Grant Eligibility Requirements
Considering that $10,000 per month is a sizeable contribution, Google requires that nonprofits meet several requirements in order to be deemed eligible for the program. We have an entire article that walks through the program’s eligibility requirements, but let’s cover the highlights, as well as which organizations shouldn’t invest their time into the program.
What Do Nonprofits Need To Be Eligible?
Here are the following requirements that all nonprofits must meet regardless of location:
- Hold current and valid charity status. For U.S.-based organizations, you must have current 501(c)(3) status, meaning that the IRS recognizes you as an official charitable organization and exempts you from tax obligations. Google requires organizations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Zealand to be verified by Percent. Meanwhile, organizations in any other country must be registered with TechSoup or a local TechSoup partner.
- Acknowledge and agree to the Google Ad Grants program’s required certifications regarding how to receive and use donations obtained from the grant. You must also agree to the Google for Nonprofits and Google Ads terms of service.
- Have a functioning website that provides valuable content regarding your nonprofit and mission. Any pages you promote through Google Ad Grants will live on your nonprofit’s website. As part of their standard eligibility check, Google requires that you own the domain, include unique website content, and feature a detailed description of your organization’s mission and activities. These are just a few of their website quality guidelines.
- Have an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a security protocol between a web server and browser. This will look like a lock icon in the navigation bar in Google Chrome. If there is no lock and you see the words “not secure” next to your website’s URL, it means SSL is not installed or there is another issue.
If your nonprofit organization has a solid foundation in the digital space, it doesn’t take much to be eligible for the Google Ad Grant. However, there are also Google Ad Grant managers that can help with the eligibility check process. That way, you won’t waste your time applying just to get rejected.
What Organizations Are Not Eligible for Google Ad Grants?
While the Google Ad Grants program is widely available to many charitable organizations, there are a couple of exceptions.
These are the types of organizations that are not eligible to apply and use Google Ad Grants:
- Governmental entities and organizations
- Hospitals and healthcare organizations
- Schools, academic institutions, and universities — However, the philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible!
We’d like to note that Google does have a similar grant program for educational institutions. If that applies to your organization, we recommend you check it out!
Who Should Apply for Google Ad Grants?
Many small nonprofits wonder if they should apply for the Google Ad Grants program — will it genuinely help them? The answer is generally yes!
The Google Ad Grants program was designed for any organization to promote its mission, regardless of its size. However, while all nonprofits are encouraged to apply for Google Ad Grants, that doesn’t mean every organization will find it beneficial to their mission.
The Google Grant is especially helpful for organizations that have extremely relevant missions and topics — meaning many people are searching for them online — and have an established website with content that reflects and supports those topics.
So, the main factors to bear in mind when determining the potential value of Google Ad Grants for your organization include:
- How many people are searching for the topics that are central to your organization’s mission
- Whether your website has valuable content that addresses those topics
If so, then the Google Ad Grant can be very beneficial. It doesn’t matter if your nonprofit is just getting started or if your work already spans multiple countries. Many small nonprofits have valuable website content that effectively serves their audience and promotes their mission— making them the perfect Google Ad Grants candidate.
In fact, careful Google Ad Grants management gives smaller nonprofits an even playing field compared to larger organizations. If your organization is eligible and has an established web presence, we fully recommended applying.
However, bear in mind that the program is a big undertaking. It requires more than a set-it-and-forget-it approach. Consider outsourcing the work to a dedicated agency that can apply for you, create your ad campaigns, and make sure you comply with all Google Ad Grant rules.
How To Apply for the Google Ad Grants Program
Getting accepted into the Google Ad Grants program isn’t as complicated as it may seem. However, there are a couple of essential steps that must be followed if you want to be deemed eligible and attain the program’s benefits.
To apply for the Google Ad Grants program, here are the basics steps you’ll need to follow:
1. Register Your Nonprofit with TechSoup.
So you’ve determined that your nonprofit is eligible for the program — great! The next step is to register and validate your organization with TechSoup.org. TechSoup is a nonprofit that partners with corporations (like Google) to help provide technology and other resources to nonprofits at discounted rates.
To join TechSoup, you’ll need to:
- Visit the TechSoup registration page to sign up for an account.
- Choose your preferred language and the country in which your organization operates.
- Click ‘New Member’, register, and agree to the terms.
Once they verify your organization, they’ll provide you with a validation token that you’ll need to provide to Google, which brings us to our next step.
2. Enroll in Google for Nonprofits.
If you want to apply for the Google Ad Grants program, it’s essential that you have an active Google for Nonprofits account first. If you already do, you can skip to Step 4. Otherwise, the application is available through Google for Nonprofits.
With a Google for Nonprofits account (for U.S. organizations), you can have access to Google Ad Grants along with these additional services:
- Google Workspace for Nonprofits which includes free access to Google’s apps like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Meet
- YouTube Nonprofit Program which provides you with special features on YouTube, like a donate button
- Google Earth and Maps which helps users locate community programs and resources in their area
To enroll in Google for Nonprofits, you’ll need to provide your tax ID number, contact information, and TechSoup validation code. Bear in mind that it can take some time to get approved, so it’s best to get started as soon as possible.
3. Ensure Google Analytics Is Installed.
While Google Analytics is essential for your own data tracking purposes, it’s also a requirement that all websites need to have prior to applying for Google Ad Grants.
We recommend installing Google Tag Manager on your website and setting up some conversion tracking goals for your site. These goals should be valuable actions that you want your audience to complete while on your site, like making an online gift or signing up for your email list.
These goals can guide your analytic strategies and help determine the content or pages that will best appeal to users and inspire them to complete that goal. Plus, this will allow you to effectively track your Google Ad Grant campaigns and tweak them as needed.
4. Submit Your Website and Account to the Google Ad Grants Team for Review.
After your Google for Nonprofits account is approved, you’re ready to apply for the Google Ad Grants program! As part of the process, you’ll need to submit your website for review to the Google Ad Grants team. They’ll certify whether you’re eligible by determining if your web presence and content are ready.
From here, Google will review your account and respond with further instructions, typically within 3 business days. Once you’re approved, you can then start building out a basic Google Ads account, and then submit that for review as well.
When you apply, you’ll be given the choice of a “Smart Campaign” or a “Classic” Google Ads account. To gain access to the full suite of tools and options, make sure you apply for the “Classic” account as the “Smart Campaign” is a much more basic version of Google Ad Grants. Then, you’re ready to start building out your Google Ad Grants management plan.
Bonus: If you want to dive further into the process, check out our ultimate guide to Google Ad Grants applications, where we explain each of these steps in more detail.
Tips for Effective Google Ad Grants Management
Once your Google Ad Grants account is up and running, your work isn’t quite done. You still need to allocate your $10,000 smartly, create targeted campaigns with carefully-chosen keywords, and track those campaigns.
After all, the program won’t drive any value unless you develop a foolproof Google Ad Grants management strategy that allows you to turn the traffic you generate into a foundation of lifelong support.
Let’s explore twelve easy ways you can make the most of the program.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 1) Develop Valuable and Promotable Website Content.
If you want your Google Ad Grants account to be successful and provide value to your supporters, you need to have valuable website content that will inspire your audience to take action. Otherwise, all the leads you generate will likely turn to other websites that provide the information they’re looking for.
Look at your website pages and make sure that they have:
- A high search volume topic. Sometimes you’re prioritizing content on a topic that very few people search for. A dedicated blog post that summarizes a volunteer event likely won’t get as much traffic as more educational informational content that answers the most common questions about your mission and work. To get a better idea of the terms and topics your audience is actively seeking out, check out Google Trends or other search engine optimization (SEO) tools like Moz.
- One single focus. A common problem that nonprofits run into is not having enough dedicated content on important topics. Don’t lump your most searched questions into one page. The important big topics should all have their own page or blog post on your website.
- Enough content. Don’t make a different page for each topic just for the sake of doing so. Google won’t respond positively to a page with just a couple of sentences on it. Taking the time to develop researched and comprehensive pages will not only perform better with your Google Ad Grants campaigns, but it’ll increase your organic search engine rankings as well.
- Effective calls to action. When someone lands on these well-developed and valuable website pages, they should know the exact next step you want them to take. From filling out a form to signing up for text alerts, make this next step clear with a strategically-placed call to action in the form of a prominent button or link.
- Mobile responsiveness. Around half of all nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile devices. Ensuring that your content is mobile-accessible will encourage mobile users to stay on the site and continue exploring your content. Otherwise, they may have to pinch and zoom or rotate their devices to effectively interact with your site. Not to mention, Google also uses responsiveness as a ranking factor for organic traffic (AKA the traffic you receive from sources other than ads).
Valuable and promotable website content is not only critical to getting your account approved, but it also ensures that the Google Ad Grants for nonprofits program actually helps you gain meaningful conversions.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 2) Measure Campaign Performance.
Google Ad Grants aren’t just about spending $10,000 a month — they’re about making meaningful and valuable conversions. Upkeep is vital to the success of your campaign performance. Similar to many tools, it all depends on your ability to monitor (and translate) performance data, then make adjustments as needed.
Managing your Google Ad Grant campaigns can be simple, but you do need to set up conversion tracking and data analytics in order to do so successfully. The best part is, you already have Google Analytics installed on your website— so use it! It’s important that you set up one or more “Goals” within Google Analytics so you can track valuable actions on your website.
To determine the best goals to track, explore your website and note the actions that you want users to take the most to push your mission forward. Common goals include:
- Monetary: donations, purchases, event ticket sales, and membership fees
- Non-monetary: volunteer registrations, email list sign-ups, contact form submissions, online petition signatures, time spend reading content, etc.
Don’t forget to first set up conversion tracking for each of these actions using Google Analytics. Once you’ve set up conversions for each key action that you want to track within Analytics, you can then use them in your Google Ads.
Because your grant will renew monthly, monitoring performance on an ongoing basis is key to ensuring your nonprofit continues to comply with all Google Ad Grant rules and standards.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 3) Understand Your Audience.
Google Ads provides you with several options on who to show ads to and when. That’s why you should take the time to define your target audience for each of your campaigns and the keywords you want to target. Then, you can leverage this information and configure your campaign settings accordingly to ensure ads show up for the intended audience.
Thorough keyword research also allows you to shape your content to meet users’ needs and make them more likely to convert. By understanding what your audience is searching for when Googling different terms, you can adjust your ads so that they’re more likely to show up whenever they’re searching online.
For instance, let’s say someone searches “food drive volunteering” or “serve food to the homeless.” They’ll expect to find volunteer opportunities at nearby food banks. Or, if someone searches “animal shelter adoptions” or “adopt a dog,” they’ll expect to find animal shelters with animals up for adoption. Knowing what your audience will search for allows you to promote the right content to meet their needs.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 4) Focus on Quality Over Quantity.
While this may come as a surprise, the majority of nonprofits using Google Ad Grants actually do not spend the full $10,000. This could be for many reasons, like:
- Difficulty in management — Not every nonprofit has the resources and support to maintain multiple marketing campaigns, with a large chunk of money not being spent or put to use.
- Lack of high-quality online content — If your Google Ads aren’t performing well, it might be because your website and other online content are not meeting the needs of your audience.
However, just because you don’t spend $10,000 a month doesn’t mean you don’t have a fully functioning and successful Google Ads account. For instance, perhaps your audience is just narrow. If you’re promoting ads in one specific city, you don’t need to spend the full amount of money to target the audience you need.
Bottom line: It’s way more important to focus on the quality of your visitors and the number of online conversions than just maxing out your monetary quota.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 5) Experiment With Your Ad Titles and Copy.
You won’t know what drives users to click through to your website until you start publishing ads. Each ad you create within your Google Ad Grant account will be made up of several components, including a headline and description. Think of your headlines as a way to grab users’ attention and your descriptions as a way to explain why they should click through to your site.
With Google’s responsive search ads feature, Google will automatically test different headlines and descriptions for you. You enter a variety of headlines and descriptions. Then, Google will algorithmically mix and match them to find the combinations that are most relevant to a user’s search term and drive more clicks.
This feature reduces the manual labor needed to manage your account. As an advertiser, you won’t have to craft multiple variations of your ads since Google automates the process for you.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 6) Choose Your Keywords Carefully.
Your keywords — word combinations and phrases that users enter into Google — are a vital part of your Google Ad Grant campaigns.
Put yourself in your supporters’ shoes for a second. Ask yourself which keywords you’d type into Google to find your nonprofit’s programs, services, and engagement opportunities. Then, head to Keyword Planner to find related keywords that users also search for.
Further, you can use negative keywords to indicate which audiences you don’t want your ads shown to. Over time, you can monitor the search queries that lead people to your site and determine which terms aren’t related to your organization. This will allow you to continue refining your list of negative keywords and only show your ads to those who will be interested.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 7) Pick The Right Landing Pages.
When choosing keywords for different ad campaigns, think carefully about what landing pages you’ll assign to them. Remember, your goal is to meet searchers’ needs with your ads.
It’s not enough to simply link to your homepage and expect users to click around your site to find what they need. You need to deliver the exact content they want.
Let’s say you’re looking to boost registrations for an upcoming 5K fundraiser for your nonprofit. When users search terms like “upcoming races near me,” they expect to find information and registration pages for 5Ks, 10Ks, and other races. In this case, it doesn’t make sense to promote your ‘About Us’ page or a page about one of your programs. Rather, you’ll want to promote your 5K race information and signup page.
Ultimately, thinking critically about the landing pages and keywords you pair will drive more conversions and more satisfied users.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 8) Strengthen Your Ads with Geotargeting.
Google requires all Ad Grant accounts to have proper location settings enabled. This allows you to use geotargeting to show ads in locations where users will find your programs and services useful.
Here are a few common tips for making the most of geotargeting:
- If you primarily serve your local community, show your ads in your town and nearby communities. Examples might include food banks and animal shelters.
- If your nonprofit works in one area but primarily fundraises in another, adjust your ads to target users who are likely to donate. For instance, a humanitarian relief program that serves Indonesia but fundraises in the United States could use geotargeting to promote its fundraising activities to U.S. users.
- If you offer different services locally and nationally, create separate campaigns that target different geographic areas to ensure the right content is delivered to different users.
In the example below, Google delivered a specific ad to the user based on location. Without geotargeting enabled, ads like these would be delivered to people who aren’t geographically close enough to benefit, negatively impacting the user experience.
Targeting by location like this allows you to deliver content to your unique audience, meeting their needs and driving greater value for your cause!
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 9) Run 3-5 Ad Campaigns.
Within your Google Ad Grant account, you’ll have separate campaigns composed of ad groups. These ad groups host individual ads.
Too few campaigns won’t cast a wide enough net, whereas too many campaigns will become difficult to manage. For the best results, create your campaigns based on 3-5 core goals you want to reach. Choose your campaigns based on the content and opportunities you want to advertise.
For instance, you might create separate campaigns that promote:
- Volunteer opportunities
- Fundraising activities
- Educational content about your cause
Creating separate campaigns like this allows you to allocate your budget to the topics that are imperative to your mission. Then, you can create ad groups that target specific keywords related to each primary goal.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 10) Focus Each Ad Group on a Central Topic.
Within your campaigns, focus each ad group on a central topic. They should be specific to your cause. Within each ad group, you’ll have a cluster of related keywords and ads that target an array of related phrases.
For instance, let’s say your organization provides at-risk youth with mentoring services. Within your ‘Volunteer’ campaign, you’ll want a series of related keywords and ads that promote volunteer opportunities.
For instance, your campaign and ads might target keywords like:
- Volunteer to teach kids
- Mentoring opportunities for underprivileged youth
- Teach underprivileged kids
Targeting specific topics with your ad groups will keep your Google Ad Grants account organized and structured properly. That way, you can see what goals the program is helping you to achieve.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 11) Use a Liberal Amount of Ad Extensions.
Ad extensions are a feature that allows you to expand your ads with additional information and provide people with more reasons to click through to your online content.
In our Google Ad Grants account optimization guide, we dive into what these extensions are, and while there are several ad extensions to choose from, here are the most commonly used ones:
- Callout extensions: Add short bullet point phrases beneath your ads to emphasize key information.
- Sitelink extensions: Append links to other pages on your website.
- Call extensions: Enable mobile users to call your organization by tapping a button.
- Lead form extensions: Add a lead form directly to your ad.
Ad extensions are a great way to encourage more users to engage with your Google Ads. Not to mention, more robust ads will naturally draw readers’ eyes, giving you a competitive edge over other nonprofits’ ads.
Google Ad Grants Management Tip 12) Use Google Ad Grants in Conjunction With Other Marketing Efforts.
At this point, it’s clear that Google Ad Grants are a great addition to your nonprofit’s overall fundraising and communications strategy. You can leverage Google Ad Grants to drive people to sign up for your mailing list, follow your social media accounts, or sign up to receive texts from your nonprofit.
Not to mention, you’ll gather a lot of useful data through your Google Ad Grants campaigns, which will be applicable to the other advertising methods. Google Analytics will empower you to learn about the users’ demographics, what content they engage with, and other important insights about your site visitors.
Don’t forget that by applying for Google for Nonprofits, you also have access to a suite of other specialized marketing tools designed to amplify your cause. For instance, the YouTube Nonprofit Program allows you to fundraise on YouTube and ultimately unlock the power of visual storytelling through tailored lessons.
You can also extend your Google Ad Grants management skills to the Microsoft Ad Grant program. This program allows you to create ads across the Microsoft Search Network, so you can tap into a new audience that doesn’t use Google. Carefully consider how your Microsoft and Google ads can complement one another, rather than simply replicating ads on both platforms.
Maintaining Your Google Ad Grants Eligibility
These tips are easier said than implemented, especially when fundraising leaders already have to juggle so many different tasks. Managing the full $10,000 a month can be challenging, in which case you might consider outsourcing account maintenance to a professional agency.
Ongoing compliance is an essential part of effectively managing your Google Ad Grants account. In fact, not complying with the Google Ad Grants policies will lead to your entire account being suspended.
While visiting the official compliance page will be your best bet for up-to-date policies, here are the most important requirements to remember as you develop your campaigns:
- Do not use single-word keywords unless it is one of the approved exceptions.
- Avoid overly generic keywords that don’t indicate the intent of the person searching, for example: ‘”free videos”, “e-books,” or “today’s news.”
- Ensure your keyword quality has a score higher than 1 or 2. You can determine keyword quality with expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.
- Maintain a 5% clickthrough rate (CTR) each month. CTR is the number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown. For example, if you had 5 clicks and 100 impressions, then your CTR would be 5%.
- Have valid conversion tracking set up through Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager.
- Have at least 1 responsive search ad per ad group.
- Have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions which link to additional pages on your site.
- Respond to the annual program survey sent to the login email addresses on each Ad Grants account.
We highly recommend that you frequently check (even bookmark!) the Google Ad Grants compliance page to keep up-to-date, as the rules sometimes do change. If you have any questions, your best bet is to rely on a dedicated Google Ad Grants management team that spends its time familiarizing itself with the program rules.
Reasons Your Google Ad Grant Account Might Be Suspended
By now, you should understand that your Google Ad Grant will renew monthly if you maintain compliance. If you don’t intentionally maintain compliance, you risk getting your account suspended.
Beyond the basic compliance rules we just walked through, here are the most common reasons that your Google Ad Grant account could be suspended:
- Losing your 501(c)(3) status
- Failing to meet the eligibility criteria
- Abusing the ad network
- Needing to reverify your account and failing to do so
- Repeatedly violating the program’s terms and policies
- Misrepresenting your organization
Similar to maintaining compliance, a Google Ad Grants manager can help you get back up and running in the event that your account gets suspended. For instance, the experts here at Getting Attention offer reactivation services, where we work with Google to resolve any issues with your account.
Working with A Google Ad Grants Manager
Google Ad Grants management is a full-time job. Oftentimes, nonprofits will turn to professional consulting agencies to manage their Google Ad Grants accounts. With as many compliance rules in place, that’s the best approach you can take!
You might be tempted to turn to a traditional marketing agency to handle your account. However, this is actually not the best approach. Traditional nonprofit marketing agencies don’t specialize in Google Ad Grants. Instead, they offer it alongside other services.
You’ll want to invest in an agency that devotes its time solely to Google Ad Grants. These professionals know what it takes to meet eligibility requirements, select the right keywords for your cause, write ads to stand out among search results, and continually monitor campaign performance.
Ultimately, the price you pay to outsource the work to a professional will pale in comparison to the $10,000 you’ll receive in free funding. Not to mention, you’ll also generate revenue from your ad campaigns as well!
Getting Attention’s Approach to Google Ad Grants Management
Here at Getting Attention, we specialize in Google Ad Grants management, with the intention of handling every aspect of the process for you. We’re prepared to help you every step of the way, no matter if you’re learning about the program for the first time or need help getting your existing Google Ad Grant account off the ground.
Some of our core services include:
- Google Ad Grant Applications: Our team of experts will verify your eligibility and can walk you through every step of the application process to ensure that your nonprofit is accepted.
- Account Hygiene: Maintaining your data and keeping it clean can be a pain point for many nonprofits. We’re here to ensure you never have to worry about outdated or duplicate data bogging down your processes.
- Google Ad Grants Reactivation: Has your account lapsed or been suspended? We can help get your account reactivated, so you can continue doing the work that matters to your cause.
- Keyword Research: Through thorough keyword research, we’ll make sure that you’re targeting the most relevant and useful keywords for your cause. That way, you can connect with the most valuable prospects who are likely to convert.
- Landing Page Optimizations: High-quality and valuable website content is one of the most important components of a successful Google Ad Grants campaign. We’ll relaunch the landing pages you want to promote and even handle the design work!
Even if you need help in areas that don’t appear on our website, we’re open to chatting about our experience with the additional services you need. If you’re interested in a free consultation, contact us to learn more about how Getting Attention’s services can help your nonprofit grow!
Additional Resources for Better Google Ad Grants Management
The Google Ad Grants program is an obvious opportunity for nonprofit organizations looking to take control of their digital marketing and expand their audience effectively. However, getting started and maintaining your account isn’t a simple walk in the park.
Between developing high-performing landing pages and pinpointing the keywords that matter most for your work, there’s a lot of work that goes into effectively managing your account. That’s why we highly recommend that one of your staff members devotes part of their time to managing your campaigns or that you outsource the work to a professional agency.
Ultimately, understanding all the Google Ad Grant rules in addition to best practices is your best bet when it comes to making the most of your account. By spending time reading this guide, you’re off to a fantastic start! If you want to continue your research on Google Ad Grants management and learn how to market your mission effectively, explore these additional resources:
- Google Grants Agency: Picking the Best Partner & 12 Firms. Looking to hire a Google Ad Grants agency? We’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide and our top recommendations!
- Why Are Google Ad Grants Confusing? And How to Simplify Them. The Google Ad Grants program is an incredible opportunity but can wind up confusing. In this guide, you’ll learn about some of the challenges to expect and how you can improve your Google Ad Grants management!
- How to Optimize A Google Grant Account: 8 Mistakes & 9 Tips. If you need help creating high-converting campaigns, check out this guide. We explore some of the top mistakes nonprofits make with Google Ad Grants and how you can make the most of your $10,000.