In our modern world, digital presence is everything, but with so many different avenues and factors to consider, increasing your online visibility can get expensive. So what can nonprofits do to maximize their digital presence on a minimal budget? Google has the answer.
With Google Ad Grants, nonprofit organizations can get up to $10,000 worth of ads every month to highlight their missions, expand their reach, and bring in more donors, volunteers, and opportunities. Imagine what your organization could do with a high-level ad campaign like this.
Interested? This guide will explain everything you need to know about eligibility, applying for, and optimizing Google Ad Grants for nonprofits.
What is Google Ad Grants?
You’re probably familiar with Google Ads — the advertised web pages that appear at the top of Google search results. Businesses of all kinds use this digital marketing tool to reach their target audiences, expand their online visibility, and increase conversions.
Google Ads works using an automated online bidding system. You select the keywords you want to target, and when a user searches one or more of those keywords, it kicks off an automatic auction to choose which ad will be displayed. If your ad is shown and the user clicks on it, a predetermined amount is taken from your advertising budget.
Google Ad Grants are a way for nonprofits to leverage those top paid spots to showcase their missions and target new audiences. If you qualify, you get an advertising budget of $10,000 per month — completely free. This opportunity can skyrocket your digital reach and provide you with new opportunities both locally and worldwide.
What are the Benefits of Google Ad Grants?
The Google Ad Grants program offers nonprofits numerous benefits with zero downsides. There are no strings attached to the funding, and as long as you qualify and follow the terms of service, you get up to $10,000 in free ad spend per month to promote your organization.
You can use this opportunity to expand your online visibility and reach local, national, and even worldwide audiences to empower your mission. You’ll also gain access to powerful management tools that can help you refine your ad campaigns to maximize conversions.
Unlike traditional grants, the Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits program is not limited to just a few select organizations — as long as you qualify, you can get the funding. Plus, it’s a one-time application. Once you’re approved, you’ll receive $10,000 in ad credits every month for as long as you meet the requirements.
Eligibility and Application Process
Applying for a Google Ad Grant isn’t difficult, but there are eligibility requirements that nonprofits have to meet to qualify. So let’s take a look at the criteria and break down the application process.
- If you’re located in the United States, you must be registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. However, the program is also available to nonprofits in 65+ other countries around the world, each with its specific requirements. You can find a full list of countries and their respective qualifications here. You’ll also need to be verified as a nonprofit by one of Google’s validation partners.
- Your organization cannot be a hospital, school or college, or government institution. However, some philanthropic divisions of educational organizations may still qualify. Faith-based organizations are eligible, but they need to be registered as 501(c)(3) nonprofits. Since religious organizations are usually automatically tax-exempt, many don’t have an official nonprofit status and will need to register for one to qualify.
- You must have a high-quality website hosted on its own domain. “High-quality” can be subjective, but Google offers these specific guidelines:
- Clear, comprehensive descriptions of the organization, mission, and activities
- Unique, updated content and clear calls to action
- Fast loading times, functional links, and secured with HTTPS
- Your website must have an SSL certificate installed, as shown by a lock icon next to your web address in the navigation bar.
- You’ll need to agree to the terms of service for both Google for Nonprofits and Google Ads.
How to Apply for the Google Ad Grant Program?
Once you’ve verified your eligibility, you can move on to the application process, which is detailed below.
Step 1: Before you get started with the application, you’ll need to verify your nonprofit status. If your organization is registered in the United Kingdom, Ireland, or New Zealand, you can get your verification through Percent. Nonprofits in any other country should use TechSoup.
Step 2: Second, you’ll need to make sure you have Google Analytics integrated into your website. This is an invaluable tool that will help you track website visits, conversions, and more so you can optimize your ad campaigns.
Step 3: Next, you’ll have to set up a Google for Nonprofits account to access the Google Ad Grants application. You’ll just need your tax ID number, the nonprofit validation token you received in step one, and your contact information.
Step 4: Once your account is approved, which can take up to two weeks, you can submit your website to the Google Ad Grants program for review. They’ll determine your eligibility (usually within three business days), and if you qualify, they’ll send you details and instructions to set up your Google Ads account. Once this is completed, there will be another review process before you can launch your Google Ads campaign.
Optimizing Ad Grants for Nonprofits
A free $10,000 ad budget can be a game-changer, but a successful ad campaign isn’t just set it and forget it. You’ll need to put in some work to optimize your funds and keep your ad campaigns productive and compliant. These tips will help you make the most of your Google Ad Grant.
Optimize Your Website: Beyond just meeting the qualifications for the program, your website should offer a streamlined user experience with high-quality, relevant content and
Understand Your Target Audience: Don’t waste your ad spend showing ads to users who have no interest in your organization and mission. Keyword research combined with Google Ads’ tools can help you narrow down what your intended audience is searching for and tailor your ads to target specific demographics.
Track Campaign Performance: Google Analytics offers powerful tools to help you track every aspect of your ad campaigns. You can use this data to tweak ads and copy, experiment with different calls to action, set up conversion goals, refine your keywords, and more.
Maintain Compliance: There are some rules that you’ll need to follow to keep your ad funding, so it’s important to make sure that you’re maintaining compliance with Google’s policies. You can see a full list of up-to-date terms and conditions here.
Partner With a Google Ad Grant Management Agency: Running a nonprofit is a never-ending to-do list full of mission-critical tasks. So, for many organizations, it’s worth it to partner with an ad agency that can take on the optimization, management, and launch of Google Ad campaigns. A reputable Google Ad Grant agency can help you maximize your funding and achieve powerful results.
Google Ad Grants can be a lifeline for nonprofits, helping them increase their digital presence and reach their target audiences without spending a fortune on advertising and marketing. As long as you meet the qualifications and maintain compliance, your organization can get up to $10,000 in ad spend every month to help power your mission.
Upgrow can help you take full advantage of this opportunity with comprehensive ad campaign management. From keyword and audience research to ad design and copywriting to ongoing fine-tuning, we’ll make sure every single dollar of your grant is put to good use.