• Kyber Digital Team

Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits

How you can get $10,000 per month of FREE Google Ads as a 501(c)(3)



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Marketing is tricky for nonprofit organizations. Luckily, Google has a grant specifically designed to fund Google Ads for nonprofit organizations.


Google Ads convert an average of 3.75% of those who search using Google Search, and 0.77% on the display network. With up to $10,000 available in Google Ads search spend every month, your nonprofit can drastically improve site traffic and increase conversions.


If you’re a nonprofit and interested in the Google Ad Grant, we’re here to help. Here’s what you need to know about Google Ads grants in 2021.





What Are Google Ad Grants?


Google Ad Grants provide up to $10,000 each month for free Google Ads advertising on Google search result pages to eligible nonprofit organizations.


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This means that as a nonprofit, you can spend up to an equivalent of $10,000 each month on search ads shown on Google.com and you wouldn’t pay a dime extra. And because this is a grant, you don’t have to pay back the amount.






Google Ad Grants work just like Google Ads online advertising. In essence, it is its own portal that keeps Google Ads and Ad grants separate. When you set up your ads to go live, then the ad will be displayed for people searching for nonprofits like yours.


If you’re a qualifying nonprofit, you’ll receive $10,000 per month of Google Ads advertising as long as you maintain active status.




Understanding the Google Grant Advertising Program Eligibility ​


The Google Ad Grants program provides nonprofit organizations with the opportunity to place free advertising on Google.


To qualify, companies must be eligible and complete the application process. Once approved and the invitation is accepted, nonprofits still need to remain eligible to retain funding.



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Google Ads Grants are active as long as you remain a charity. Here are the eligibility criteria:


  • Have a current valid charity status, such as a 501(c)(3) in the U.S.

  • Acknowledge and agree with Google Ads Grants, including how to receive and use donations received from the Grants program.

  • Build a website that both operates and provides detailed information about your nonprofit organization.






Unsuitable organizations for Google Ads Grants:


  • Government entities and organizations.

  • Hospitals and medical groups .

  • Schools, nurseries, academic institutions, and universities, qualified as charities for educational organizations. Please note that Google for Education is a similar program for educational institutions.



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How to Apply for the Google Ads Grants


If you’re eligible you can prepare to apply. Google Ads Grants will need to verify your organization’s eligibility. Your organization must hold valid charity status in your country. Note that you’ll have to use the same login email for your Google for Nonprofits and Ad Grants accounts. Check out the eligibility requirements and watch the step-by-step video here.


Once your organization is verified as eligible, you can apply for the Google Ads Grant.


You then sign in to Google for Nonprofits, click "Active Products" then "Get Started" under Google Ad Grants, and fill out the assessment by clicking the eligibility form link. Click "Activate" to submit your organization for review.


Once approved and you’ve accepted the email invitation to your new Ad Grants account, you can begin setting up your first campaign!


There are two important steps to getting your AdWords campaign up and running with Ad Grants:


  • Signing up with Google for Nonprofits

  • Setting up your AdWords account and campaigns properly


The platform is exactly the same for nonprofits and for-profits. However, the process for setting up your nonprofit campaign takes a bit more than switching your campaign from “Paused” to “Enabled.”


Additional Google Ads may be purchased in a separate account.



How to Maintain Eligibility for the Google Grants Advertising Program

It’s important that you maintain eligibility with the Google Ads Grants program. Note that in addition to remaining an active charity, your ads will also be scrutinized. Here’s how to stay qualified:


  • All ads in your account must link to a non-profit URL approved during your application process.

  • You must Log in to this account every month to actively participate in Google Ads management. If a non-profit advertiser with Google Ads Grants is not logged into their Google Ads account, the account will be suspended without notice.

  • Your advertising must reflect the mission of your nonprofit. As long as 100% of the revenue goes to support your plan, you can promote the product for sale.

  • Ads you create cannot point to pages that are primarily used to attract visitors to other websites.

  • Your ad cannot provide financial products, such as mortgages or credit cards. Your ad cannot also ask for donations in the form of commodities, such as a car, boat, or property donation. Keywords related to this event are also not allowed.

  • Your site cannot display ads from Google AdSense or other affiliate advertising links when participating in Google Grants.


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Google states that any entity in violation of these guidelines may be removed from the program.


They also reserve the right to supplement or modify these eligibility criteria at any time.





Google Grant Program Details & Restrictions ​


Now that we have a detailed understanding of what you need to do, as well as what you can and cannot do, let’s dive into the details of Google Ads marketing for nonprofits.


Google Ads Grants recipients can receive free Google Ads, but they can only show their ads on Google. If you are chosen to receive funding from the Google Ads Grants program, you will create and manage your own Google Ads account, similar to paying advertisers.


This means you will have control over your Google Ads account and Google won’t manage that account for you. However, there are some restrictions.


First, you need to set your daily budget to $329 ($10,000 per month), and your keyword's maximum CPC cannot exceed $2.00. Also, your ads can only show on Google – you can't use search partners, and you can't qualify for the Display Network because you can only show on Google with text ads.


Therefore, with these restrictions, managing a PPC account can be somewhat difficult. The biggest part of Google Grants is money, and you lose money if you don't use it. As a result, some people will struggle to find a way to spend $10,000 per month.


Even with these restrictions, it requires no additional effort or cost to get the grant. And if you get the grant, then you have $10,000 per month of free advertising.




Why Should a Nonprofit Organization Use Google Ad Grants?


With a free budget of $10,000 per month, you will be able to take advantage of its powerful advertising features to provide you with extraordinary opportunities to shape, refine and expand the impact and mission of your nonprofit organization.


​When choosing keywords, be sure to choose relevant terms and match types. You will not only spend money but also want to make sure you stay competitive. When you have only a $2 maximum CPC, it is difficult to compete with keywords that usually cost $6, which means you will have to be creative, use long-tail keywords, and come up with some innovative ideas.


Similarly, you can even choose other keywords that are relevant to your business to help drive more traffic. For example, you don’t always need to ask for monetary donations but you can also advertise for volunteer opportunities.


Make sure you don't have too many restrictions on the type of keyword match. Again, you need to spend this budget and spend it in a way that benefits your organization. Broad match types will give you a lot of impressions and potential clicks. This will also allow you to do more searches.


For example, if you are a nonprofit organization that wants to receive donations through paid search jobs only, you may find that the crowds you receive are looking to your nonprofit organization for help.


Is this bad? No, it may not be exactly the same as your marketing audience, but this is also spreading awareness of the organization. You can still find the keywords you want to use on phrases and exact matches, and use them, but make sure they are the highest CPCs that can handle up to $2 and still be competitive.



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Bottom Line: It's Free Advertising Money for Your Non-Profit


Signing up for Google Ads Grants can seem like a hassle, and you are restricted to $2 maximum CPC so it doesn’t usually get as big a reach compared to paid ads. However, it’s free money!


With a free budget of $10,000 per month, you will be able to take advantage of its powerful advertising features to provide you with extraordinary opportunities to shape, refine and expand the impact and mission of your nonprofit organization.


At the most basic level, you now have a budget to run some good old-fashioned donation ads. Without all the networking features typically involved in traditional donations, these revenues could be substantial.


You can also advertise, find speech opportunities, social media engagement, volunteers, subscribers; the list is almost endless. You can even use your budget to directly promote your nonprofit's products and merchandise, as long as the revenue goes to your organization's business.



Rationale


Google Ad Grants provide up to $10,000 each month for free Google Ads advertising on Google search result pages to eligible nonprofit organizations.


Google Ad Grants work just like Google Ads online advertising. There are some eligibility criteria:


  • Have a current valid charity status, such as a 501(c)(3) in the U.S.

  • Acknowledge and agree with Google Ads Grants, including how to receive and use donations received from the Grants program.

  • Build a website that both operates and provides detailed information about your nonprofit organization


Ads have some restrictions as well, including: not exceeding a daily budget to $329 ($10,000 per month), and your keyword's maximum CPC cannot exceed $2.00.


At the end of the day, this is an amazing program by Google. Click here to learn more.


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