AdWords For Nonprofits: Introduction to Google Ad Grants

Jul 14th 2015

AdWords For Nonprofits: Introduction to Google Ad Grants

For a non-profit, outreach and promotion can be expensive, time-consuming activities. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a platform that allowed you to build awareness for your cause, find volunteers, or drive donations, all for free and with a low headache-threshold?

Oh wait, there is! Google Ad Grants wants to give you a top-tier advertising budget to tell your story.

What is Google Ad Grants?

The Google Ad Grants Program gives charities and non-profits the chance to advertise on Google’s AdWords network at no cost, providing $10,000 per month in advertising at no cost. This is a powerful tool – $10,000 per month is more budget than many large businesses are devoting to online advertising – but (as you probably expected) it comes with a few strings attached.

Who qualifies for Google Ad Grants?

Ok, so how do you get your hands on some of those sweet, sweet Google bucks? To qualify for Google Ad grants, your organization must:

– Hold charity status

– Agree to certifications regarding nondiscrimination and donation receipt and use

– Have a functioning website with substantial content

In addition, the following types of organizations, while nonprofits or charities, are nonetheless excluded from Google Ad grants:

– Government entities and organizations

– Hospitals and Medical Groups

– Schools, childcare centers, universities – Other programs available through Google for Education 

What You Get

When you qualify for Google Ad Grants, you will now have access to a AdWords budget of $10,000 per month (about $329 per day). These funds can be used only on keyword search campaigns with text ads only – No display advertising or product ads and no appearing on search partner pages. Additionally, the limit for cost-per-click is set at $2, so you might need to get creative with your keywords if you want these ads to run for highly competitive terms.

How Do You Apply?

Once you’ve established that your organization is eligible for Google Ad Grants, it’s time to fill out the application form. Everyone loves forms, right?

First you’ll need to apply for Google for Nonprofits. Pro tip: You will need your charity ID. In the US this would be your organization’s IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) or the EIN of the parent organization providing charity status. This application usually goes through in a matter of seconds, but if your application requires a closer look you may need to wait up to two business days.

Once you have been approved for Google for Nonprofits, you can sign up Google Ad Grants. First you will need to set up an AdWords account with some pretty specific configuration guidelines. Luckily Google has a step-by-step guide, so we’ll just let you follow these steps.

With your Google for Nonprofits account, a correctly configured AdWords account, and your AdWords customer ID number, you have everything you need to get your hands on some Google money! Sign up for the Ad Grants here, then kick back and wait for your confirmation. You’ll receive a notification within 5 business days, either that your account has been activated, or with instructions to correct any errors in your account setup.

What Do You Do Next?

So, now you have a top-tier advertising budget for free! To keep that money, you will have to follow some stipulations, log into your account and make changes every 90 days, and write ads that are honest and on-mission. We have plenty of insight into Adwords account setup for non-profits, as well as the day-to-day and month-to-month management that ensure you are constantly reaching your audience… but that’s more than enough material to cover in another blog post!

Keep an eye out for our post on Setting up and Managing a Google Grants Account in the upcoming month!  If you need some guidance the meantime, or want to get started with your own Google Ad Grants account, get in touch with us!

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