A High-Level Guide to Google Ad Grants

Google has generously made available a way for non-profits to extend their voice via free search ads through a program called Google Ad Grants. It’s a wonderful way for non-profits to save money while expanding their reach.

What is Google Ad Grants?

Google Ad Grants gives $10,000 each month towards keyword-targeted search campaigns to be used however the non-profit decides. A few ways that the search campaigns could be used include:

  • Creating awareness
  • Securing donations
  • Attracting volunteers

Who is Eligible?

  • Non-profits in the countries listed in the chart below. Click on a particular country (and corresponding language) to be taken to that country’s Google Ad Grants page.
ArgentinaAustraliaAustriaBrazilBelgium (Dutch)Belgium (French)Belgium (German)
BotswanaBulgariaCanada (English)Canada (French)ChileColombiaCroatia
Czech RepublicDenmarkFinlandFranceGermanyHong Kong (English)Hong Kong (Cantonese)
HungaryIndia (English)India (Hindi)IndonesiaIrelandIsraelItaly
JapanKenyaKoreaLuxembourg (German)Luxembourg (French)MexicoMacau
MalaysiaNetherlandsNew ZealandNorwayPhilippines (English)Philippines (Filipino)Poland
RomaniaRussiaSerbiaSingapore (Chinese)Singapore (English)SlovakiaSlovenia
SpainSouth AfricaSwedenSwitzerland (French)Switzerland (German)Switzerland (Italian)Taiwan
ThailandTurkeyUnited KingdomUnited StatesVietnam
  • Your charity must hold a non-profit status. This link clarifies on that details in your particular country. Please note that the following types of organizations are not eligible:
    • Government entities and organizations
    • Hospitals and medical groups
    • Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities (but if any of these have charitable extensions, those would be eligible)

What are the Restrictions?

  • Maximum ad spend is $10,000 per month (or $329/day)
  • Maximum CPC is $2 USD
  • Keywords-based campaigns only (that means no remarketing, display, shopping, etc)
  • Text ads only (no image, DSA, etc.)
  • Ads appear below any paid advertisers for the same keywords
  • Ad extensions are allowed
  • Ads appear only on Google Search pages (not the Display Network)

How Do You Get Started With Google Ad Grants?

After determining if the non-profit is eligible, here are the next steps:

  1. Start the application process by applying for a Google for Nonprofits.
  2. After that, the organization needs to decide which type of Adwords account it would like:
    1. Adwords Express – after providing Google with a few pieces of information such as audience and a little information about your organization, Adwords takes care of the rest. This might be a great option for a non-profit that won’t have anyone to help manage the account.
    2. Adwords – if the organization has someone who can manage every aspect of the account (either internally, with an independent contractor or an agency).

Can a Non-Profit Have a Paid Account and a Google Ad Grants Account?

Yes. In fact, it’s a great idea to have both. Try putting as many keywords as possible into a Google Ad Grants account and let it run for awhile. When you have enough learnings, you can then see which keywords are able to thrive with the max $2 CPC. The keywords that aren’t getting enough traction and need a higher bid can then be transferred to the non-profit’s paid account. You can also then use your paid account for any targeting or ad methods that aren’t permitted in the Grants account.

If you need any help along the way, Google Ad Grants has it’s own Help Center. If a non-profit feels like it’s too much hassle to set up the account (besides all that free advertising money), there are several compelling reasons outlined here. Big props to Google for its generosity to so many worthy causes.

How has your non-profit account or organization benefited from a Google Ad Grants account?  We’d love to learn more about your experience with a comment below.