CaitlinB
May 8, 2019

The Not-for-Profit Guide to Google Ad Grants

The Google Ad Grant gives qualifying not-for-profit’s a monthly budget of up to $10,000 USD to spend on Google Search Ads. Yes, that’s $10,000 a month that you can put towards:

  • promoting your mission
  • attracting members
  • encouraging newsletter sign-ups
  • recruiting volunteers
  • driving donations

The program is open to organisations who join Google for Nonprofts and meet Ad Grant’s eligibility and program policies.

It’s a fantastic initiative that allows nonprofit organisations to increase their online presence and promote their causes with a Google Search Ads budget that may normally be out of reach.

We’d like to see more charities and not-for-profits take advantage of Google’s free advertising. So, we’re breaking down how to apply for and manage a Google Ads Grant account.

Am I eligible for a Google Ad Grant?

To be eligible to participate in Google Nonprofits, your organisation must hold valid charity status and:

  • Be registered as a charitable organisation in one of the countries found here
  • Be verified as a nonprofit organisation by TechSoup or your local TechSoup partner

You are not eligible if you are:

  • A government entity or organisation
  • A hospital or health care organisation
  • A school, academic institution, or university (however, philanthropic arms of educational organisations are eligible)

How do I apply for a Google Ad Grant?

  1. Begin by applying to Google for Nonprofits.
  2. Acknowledge and agree to Google’s required certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use.
  3. Ensure that you have a high-quality website that meets the Ad Grant’s website policy.
  4. Get approved through the Ad Grants pre-qualification process after your organisation is enrolled in Google For Nonprofits.

What does the Ad Grants pre-qualification process involve?

This process provides a step by step guide on how to create your Ad grants account. You will complete the following:

  • A pre-qualification survey that assesses your eligibility
  • The Google Ad Grants training and quiz so that you can meet Google’s quality guidelines
  • Ad Grant Account set up
  • Ad Grant Account submission and pre-qualification review

How do I submit a Google Ads Grant application?

After you have completed the Ad Grants pre-qualification process outlined above, follow these steps:

  1. Create your Ad Grants account
  2. Create a campaign
  3. Create ad groups with keywords
  4. Set up conversion tracking
  5. Submit your account for review
    • Find your account ID by clicking the person icon in the top right corner of your account
    • Your Google Ads account Id is in the number format of xxx-xxx-xxxx
    • Sign into Google for Nonprofits
    • Select the checkbox for Ad Grants enrollment and submit your account ID
    • Your account will be reviewed and you’ll find out if you have been successful by email within 10 business days

Before you submit your account for review, ensure that you have met all setup criteria. The Google Ad Grants training that you previously completed definitely comes in handy here!

What policies and rules apply to my Google Ad account?

There are three main rules that your Google Ads Grant Account needs to follow:

1. Run Mission-Based Campaigns:

The keywords and ad messaging you choose for your campaign must be relevant to your nonprofit. Every ad and keyword needs to reflect your primary mission, programs, and services, while also providing a consistent user experience.

That means the following keywords and queries are not permitted:

  • Single word keywords (excluding your own branded words, medical conditions, and acronyms)
  • Very generic keywords like ‘best video’s, ‘today’s news’, ‘things to do’
  • You can not bid on names of other organisations, places, historical events, or people on their own
  • If you have used any of these terms, they will be marked as having ‘Unclear Relevance’ in your account

Also, make sure that your keywords do not drop below a quality score of 1 or 2! We recommend setting up an automated rule to pause low-quality keywords and prevent account disruption.

2. Maintain a High-Quality Website:

Google will evaluate the amount of time visitors spend on your site. In order to provide the best experience to your visitors, it is essential that your site content relates directly to your ad copy and the keyword that was searched.

Ensure that you own the website and domain that visitors land on when they click your ad. Your website also needs to have a clear description of your organisation, purpose, and activities.

Keep content, events, and information up to date. Also, ensure that navigation and calls to action are intuitive so that visitors have a quality experience and are encouraged to convert.

Your website should also not be commercial, needs a quick load time, limited ads, and be should secured with HTTPS.

3. Actively Manage Your Ad Grant Account:

You need to maintain a minimum 5% click-through rate across your ad grant account to remain eligible. This means actively updating and optimising your account monthly.

Some account management tasks we actively complete include checking and updating:

  • Location targeting
  • Ad extensions
  • Negative search query reports
  • Conversion goals
  • Bid Strategies

Never set and forget on your Google Ad Grants account. Like any Google Ads Account, the quality and success of your campaigns rely upon regular maintenance, review, and optimisation.

Make sure that you abide by Google’s guidelines to avoid disruption to your account and pay attention to your notifications.

How do I Manage a Google Ad Grant Account?

The Google Ads platform can be intimidating, especially for people who do not work in the advertising industry. So here are several insider tips for working with a Google Ad Grants account.

  • All campaigns must be keyword-targeted.
  • Your grant ads will only appear in the Google search result pages, in positions below the ads of paying advertisers.
  • Grant ads do not appear on the Display Network or search partner sites.
  • They are also entirely text-based (you can’t use videos or images).
  • The maximum cost-per-click (CPC) you can bid for is $2.00 USD. However, you can by-pass this restriction by utilising smart bid strategies such as “Maximise Conversions” or “ Target CPA”, as well as Dynamic Search Ad campaigns.

Want to make the most out of your Google Ad Grant account?

Get in touch with our performance team. We can ensure that you are tracking meaningful conversions and fuel your bidding strategies to drive growth!

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