Google Ad Grants: A Guide For Nonprofits

Apr 4, 2023 | SEO News Feeds | 0 comments

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Many charities and nonprofits with tight budgets don’t consider digital marketing.

It takes a lot of time and money, and you might consider your efforts “too local” to investigate the possibilities.

But local nonprofits, like local businesses, can benefit greatly from PPC ad campaigns and SEO.

Google offers grants to certain organizations that qualify to take care of the budget concern. It also provides helpful tutorial videos.

What Is Google Ad Grants?

Google Ad Grants is a program in which Google offers qualifying charities and nonprofits a monthly grant budget to run ad campaigns. You can then run ads to help raise awareness, fundraise, and attract volunteers to your organization.

With Google Ad Grants, you can get your message out in the paid ad sections of search engine results without impacting your budget.

This is important because paid ads usually appear first in search results and on Google Maps results.

Running ads can be vital, not just for awareness, but also for fundraising and foot traffic.

How Do I Get A Google Ads Grant?

The Google Ads Grants program has specific eligibility requirements, and it can take a while to get approval.

First, you have to apply to the Google For Nonprofits program and request an account.

Here’s what you should know before getting started:

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  • Your organization must be registered as a charitable organization in one of the eligible countries.
    • You may need to register with one of the online services used by Google, Percent, or TechSoup.
    • If you’re not already registered, you’ll be given an opportunity to register when you begin your application for the program.
  • Your organization is not eligible if it’s a government entity, a hospital or healthcare organization, or a school.
  • Request an account, answer the questions, and wait for your confirmation email.
    • You’ll need to provide information such as the organization’s name, address, nonprofit ID, website, and main email address.
  • Once your organization has been verified, you’ll get an email notification. You can then activate Google Ad Grants through your Google for Nonprofits account.
  • Now the Google Ad Grants team needs to approve your request. Wait for an email.
  • After you receive an invitation to a Google Ad Grants account, you need to fill out an eligibility form (I know, there are so many steps and applications!)
  • There’ll be another wait of a few business days.
  • You will receive an email when your account is ready with an activation prompt.

How Does Google Ad Grants Work?

Google Ad Grants provides you with a grant that you can use specifically for Google Ads.

The grant allows you to present text-based ads on Google search results, although they will appear underneath any other paid ads.

Normally, you need to provide Google with a budget and pay for ad placements. Grants give you a set budget to do that.

This puts your message near the top of search results pages for queries you choose to target.

Each ad campaign you run should have goals. Goals connect to the type of work that you do and encourage a certain type of action from users.

Examples of goals include:

  • Website sales goals, or donations.
  • Sign-up goals, or volunteer recruitment.
  • Visits goals, or visits to your organization or its website.

Now that you’ve applied for an Ad Grants account, you can access Google Ads here.

Go ahead and create a new campaign! The campaign should default to using smart campaigns, which don’t require specific expertise or maintenance.

Select the type of campaign you want to run and go through the steps, filling out information about your organization and goals.

The next step, location targeting, is vital for making the best use of ads. Your ads will be targeted toward audiences in a specific geographic location, so input your service areas.

Now you need to select keyword themes. These are how Google determines which users, performing which searches, to show ads to.

Ensure you target keywords relevant to your organization, your work, and the people you serve. Add as many as you can think of, including synonyms.

It’s time to write your ads!

Google text ads include a headline, a link to your website, and then ad text.

How To Get The Most Out Of Google Ad Grants

In order to make a difference in your goals, you need to make the most of the ad opportunities.

Your ads should be powered by research into your audience and digital marketing fundamentals.

Here are a few points to consider:

  • You must perform keyword research to understand best how your target audiences (be they donors or people searching for help) search for information.
  • Your ad titles and copy should be effective and relate directly to the actions you want users to take.
  • Consider other factors that impact the effectiveness of ads, like the user experience after they click on an ad and land on your website.
  • Test different titles, ad texts, and types of campaigns. Follow along with the results and analyze what works best.


Using Google Ad Grants, you can put your nonprofit in front of new audiences.

With the right campaign and effective ads, you can drive new donations, attract new volunteers, and expand the number of people using your services.

It will take some trial and error and requires an investment of time, but Google Ad Grants can be worth it if you put in the research.

More Resources:

Featured Image: VectorMine/Shutterstock

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