Google Ad Grants is Google's donation program targeted toward and benefiting, non-profits. It gives free advertising to certain 501(c)(3) organizations. Currently, qualifying organizations can receive up to $10,000 per month in in-kind (free) advertising within Google Ads' search engine.
First, a refresher on Google Ads: it was formally called Google AdWords, and is a pay-per-click advertising platform. It uses a bidding system, where advertisers bid to have their ads shown to relevant audiences – in this case, potential donors – in Google search results. With AdWords, Google will show your ads to users who are actively searching for the keywords that you’ve selected. You can see Google Ads yourself in Google searches; often the topmost results have a little green box next to them on the left, that reads 'Ad'.
With Google Ad Grants, you are the advertiser, basically using 'house money'. You could specify 'charitable giving' as keywords for your geographic area, and your organization would be at the top of the Google search results should someone use those terms in your area – especially if the search term specified the area. The benefits to your non-profit could be significant.
To be eligible for Google Ad Grants, you need to meet the following requirements:
• Have a current and valid charity status, meaning a current 501(c)(3) status)
• Agree to Google Grant’s requirements regarding how you would receive and use donations
• Obtained from the grant (described in summary below).
• Have a website that provides details on your nonprofit
Who is not eligible for Google Ad Grants?
• Governmental organizations
• Medical groups and hospitals
• Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities (although philanthropic arms of some educational organizations are eligible).
Using Google Ad Grants
When you use Google Ad Grants, you will manage your own keywords (search terms); Google does not manage the account for you. Your login, the tools you use for advertising, the things you can do, will be identical to a standard Google Ads account.
In addition, your ads will have a different status than paying advertisers. The following is from Google's requirements for Google Ad Grants:
• Your ads will be entirely text-based (no videos or images).
• They’ll appear only on Google search results pages, in positions below the ads of paying advertisers.
• All campaigns must be keyword-targeted.
• Your maximum cost-per-click (CPC) will be $2.00 USD.
• You’ll receive $10,000 USD of in-kind Google Ads advertising each month.
Believe it or not, the biggest challenge with Google Ad Grants is staying in the program. Part of the requirements are that you use the $10,000 a month. You will need to study and learn how to optimize the keywords you set and the parameters you put on them. You will learn about negative keywords (what terms mean you don't want to be in the result), keyword selection, how to use keyword match types (what search term goes with what), and more. It can seem daunting at first, but OneEach is here to guide you through it.
Other requirements are:
• All the ads in your account must link back to the nonprofit URL that was approved in your application process.
• You must log into your account and use it frequently. Not using your account means it is subject to being paused without notification.
• The content of your ads must reflect your non-profit's mission.
• You can only advertise to sell merchandise as long as 100% of the proceeds are going to support your program.
• The ads you create cannot point to pages that are then used to send visitors to other websites – even websites that are themselves non-profits.
• Your ads cannot offer financial products, such as mortgages or credit cards.
• Your ads also cannot ask for donations of large goods such as cars, boats or property donations.
• Your website cannot display ads from Google AdSense or any other affiliate advertising system (from Yahoo for example, or Bing) while participating in Google Grants.
There are more requirements, that you should look through if you are considering the program, but they are not overly restrictive.
How can OneEach Technologies Help?
Our team is experienced with using the Google Ads platform. We’ll consult with you, work with you, and help your organization take advantage of this powerful digital advertising channel.
That includes guiding your organization through the application process, which starts with joining the Google for Nonprofits program. If your organization is already taking advantage of Google Ad Grants we can help too. We’ll audit and make recommendations to ensure that your account is optimized and stays eligible for the program — keyword optimization, campaign and ad setup, scheduling, and geographic targeting are just some of the things we’ll evaluate.
Contact OneEach today to get started!
Google for Non-Profits Program: https://www.google.com/nonprofits/