Utilising Google Ad Grants for Non-Profits & Charities
Google offers a free program called Google for Non-Profits, which provides eligible non-profits and charities access to products and services by Google that help them solve organisational problems like finding donors and volunteers, fundraising in more ways online, working more efficiently, and getting supporters and engagers to take action.
- Google Workspace for non-profits, as well as non-profit specific discounts for Google Workspace Business Standard, Business Plus and Enterprise editions
- YouTube Non-profit program, which includes built-in fundraising tools like YouTube Giving, interactive videos and video production tools with access to YouTube spaces
- Google Maps Platform, which provides non-profit specific credits and includes tools to track and share an organisations impact with compelling data visualisations
- Google Ad Grants, which provides credit to use for Google Search Ads
The Google Ad Grant provides free Google Ads money for select non-profits. If eligible, non-profits can receive $10,000 USD of in-kind advertising from Google each month, to be used to create successful search campaigns that promote their missions and initiatives. With a Google Ad Grant account, you can create text ads which are displayed on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages. This is useful in attracting donors, promoting events, raising awareness, providing information, or raising funds for campaigns and projects.
To be eligible for a Google Ad Grant, your organisation must:
- Be an eligible non-profit and hold valid charity status within your country
- Not be a hospital, school, university of government organisation
- Agree to the terms of service for Google for non-profits and Google Ads
- Have a high-quality website with content that meets Google’s website policies
The Google Ad Grant Compliance Guide sets out the rules that need to be followed for Ad Grant accounts to remain active and avoid suspension. The main requirements for compliance can be divided into performance, account structure, keywords, and activity.
- Minimum CTR of 5% each month across the account
- Conversion tracking must be set up, with a meaningful conversion recorded monthly
- The account must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign
- The account must have at least 2 ads per ad group
- The account must have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions
- Keywords must have a quality score higher than 2
- Keywords must have at least 2 words (no single-word keywords permitted)
- Keywords that are overly generic are not be permitted (e.g., non-profit)
- You must log into the Ad Grant account at least once a month (at a minimum)
- Changes to the account must be applied at least once every 90 days
Once you’ve established your eligibility, applying for and setting up a Google Ad Grant account as a non-profit or charitable organisation is fairly simple and straightforward:
1. Register your non-profit with TechSoup and get a validation token (TechSoup partners with Google to provide technical support and tools to non-profits at a discounted rate).
2. Register for Google for Non-profits, agree to the non-discrimination statements, insert your validation token and fill out the required contact and organisational information.
3. Once you’ve been accepted as a Google Non-profit, apply for Google Ad Grants. This is a multistep process which involves signing into your Google Non-Profits account, clicking activate under Google Ad Grants, filling out the eligibility form, clicking activate again after completing the assessment and clicking activate one last time to submit your account for review.
4. Once Google reviews your account, they will respond with further instructions within 3 days.
5. Once you have Google’s approval, make sure to set up your grant account correctly.
To help your organisation reach the right audience, make sure to use keywords, word combinations or phrases that are relevant to your organisation’s products or services. Its best practice to ensure keywords are formatted correctly, and you may want to include enough so that your ads reach people who are searching in varying ways. (Tip: Use Google’s keyword planner tool to discover new keywords with a high search volume).
Stimulate your audience to take action by creating good ad copy that references your keywords, highlights your benefit and includes a compelling call to action. It’s good practice to continue testing different variations of ad copy, to see what appeals to your audience.
Managing a Google Ad Grant Account can be incredibly time-consuming with so many requirements for compliance. Setting automated rules is a way to semi-automate your account, which can help ease the pressure of campaign management and is a way to ensure your account isn’t automatically suspended. For example, we recommend setting an automated rule to pause all keywords that have a 5% CTR or less, to avoid further issues.
It’s common for non-profits to want to use broad, catch-all terms like “charity” or “donation” to ensure they meet the monthly spend requirement. While broad match keywords will bring you a lot of impressions and clicks, opt for some exact or phrase match keywords, or long-tail keywords that are more specific. This will allow you to attract more relevant and high-quality traffic to your website and remain competitive.
The user journey doesn’t end once a searcher clicks on your ad, so make sure your landing pages deliver on what your ads promise. Ensure the information and objective of your landing page are aligned with the keyword(s) and ad copy, and that your landing pages load fast, are functional and contain relevant content. Irrelevant landing pages can also make your quality score suffer, which puts you at risk for your ad grant account being suspended.
Once you’ve finished setting up your account, you’ll need to continue making frequent optimisations and regularly tracking results. Not only is optimising your account important when trying to grow your organisation and get more out of your spend, it’s also necessary as Google requires non-profits to make changes to their grant account every 90 days. While it can take a lot of time to make sure your account is as optimised as it can be, there are agencies with experience managing Google Ad Grant accounts that can support you.
The PPC team at Tug are currently running successful Google Ad Grant accounts for our clients. Notably, we helped the Butterfly Foundation achieve the highest audience engagement out of seven not-for-profits taking part in the National Mental Health Commissions #ChatStarter campaign. We have extensive experience setting up Google Ad Grant accounts, and always ensure they remain compliant and continuously optimised.
FAQ – Google Ad Grants for Non- Profits & Charities
The Google Ad Grant provides eligible non-profits and charities with $10,000 USD worth of free advertising money to spend on Google Ads, to support their missions and initiatives.
Yes, the Google Ad Grant is free for eligible non-profits and charities, permitted the account meets Google’s requirements and guidelines for compliance.
Depending on the goals of your non-profit, there are many ways to use your Google Grant. You can use it to encourage donations, attract more website visitors, advocate about issues important to your organisation, recruit volunteers, inform your supporters about important programs, fundraise online or encourage actions from your engagers like making donations.
When you receive an email from Google that your activation has been approved, you can follow the instructions included in the email to access your account and finish setting up. The involved steps include accepting the email invitation to a new Google Ads account, accepting the email invitation to the Google Payments billing profile, signing back into your Google Ads account and following the prompts to accept the Terms and Conditions.
Yes, we love helping non-profits! At Tug, our PPC team has extensive experience setting up Grant accounts for non-profits and charitable organisations.
If you’re a non-profit and would like Tug’s help setting up a Google Ad Grant account, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’d be more than happy to help you out!