What Is The Google Ad Grants Program?
Google’s Ad Grants program is a part of Google For Nonprofits that gives a monthly Google Ads budget of up to $10,000 ($329 per day) to eligible nonprofit organizations for free.
The Google Ad Grants program is designed for nonprofits to help them promote their missions, attract volunteers, drive donations, and share their story with the world.
Why Is Google Ad Grants Important for Nonprofits?
The Google Ad Grants program is free advertising that can directly increase donations, recruit volunteers, and promote events. The program also helps you better target your efforts and get much better results. Plus it also helps you track your nonprofit marketing efforts.
Who Is Eligible for Google Ad Grants?
Here are the criteria to participate in Google’s Ad Grants program:
- Must hold a valid charity status (varies by country)
- Must have a live website with substantial content
- Must sign up for techsoup
- Must sign up for Google For Nonprofits
Who Is Not Eligible?
- Not a governmental entity or organization
- Not a hospital or healthcare organization
- Not a school, academic institution, or university (Google for Education offers a separate program for schools)
Getting Started With Google Ad Grants
New Gmail Address
The first thing you need to get started is a Gmail address that will be the address used to register for Google Nonprofits, Tech Soup, and Google Ads.
The Gmail address you use MUST NOT BE CONNECTED TO AN EXISTING Google Ads account. For this reason, we usually recommend that a brand-new Gmail address be created and used for this specific purpose. Keep a record somewhere of this new address and its password just in case you forget it.
Sign Up for Techsoup
At TechSoup, people around the world find the information they need to make smart decisions about technology at their organizations.
U.S. organizations often first get to know TechSoup’s product donation program, which provides eligible organizations with discounted software, hardware, services, and training.
Through their Global Network, organizations outside the U.S. gain similar access to the solutions they need. TechSoup’s catalog includes more than 375 products from more than100 companies like Microsoft, Adobe, Cisco, Intuit, and Symantec.
Discover useful technology resources on TechSoup’s blog, webinars, forums, newsletter, and articles and how-tos.
Sign Up for Google for Nonprofits
The Google for Nonprofits Program offers eligible organizations access to Google products and tools that can help nonprofits find new donors and volunteers, work more efficiently, and get supporters to take action.
Google will review your application within 6 weeks, but it usually takes much less time.
Sign Up for Google Ads
In order to participate in the Google Ad Grants program, registered nonprofits must have a Google Ads account. Here are the steps to set up Google Ads:
Go to ads.google.com, and click the green “Start Now” button.
Enter your email address (use the new Gmail address you just created) and your website URL.
Google is going to make a major assumption for you here. They often will put you right into Google Ads Express without asking. You do not want Google Ads Express. It lacks some of the control and features that you need to properly run an Ad Grants account. You want to use regular Google Ads so that you can properly manage your account.
If you see Google Ads Express at the top of the page, click the link that says Compare Google Ads Express with Google Ads.
Click Switch To Google Ads.
You’ll then go to the “Your First Campaign” screen where you will select a budget. Set it to $329 per day. You must use U.S. dollars as your currency even if you are based and registered in another country.
In the upper right-hand part of the screen, right above your email address, you’ll see the Google Ads Customer ID. It is a 10-digit number in this format XXX-XXX-XXXX. Write that number down. You will need it later to submit the account to Google For Nonprofits for their approval.
Select a location. Under Networks, uncheck the Display Network option. Select only Search Network since Ad Grants ads are only allowed to be text ads.
Google will suggest some keywords based on your website. Select some of those or enter your own starter keywords. For now, just enter some general keywords that relate to what your organization does. We’ll show you how to target and organize keywords later.
Under Bid, set it to manual bidding for $2 per click.
Under Write Your Ad, go ahead and fill in all the fields. We are just setting up placeholders at this point. This will not go live until we put the real ads and keywords in.
Hit the Save and Continue button.
VERY IMPORTANT! When asked to enter your credit card information, leave this section blank to avoid being inadvertently charged for your ads.
Sign into Google for Nonprofits. Select the checkbox for Ad Grants enrollment, and submit your Google Ads Customer ID. You should only do this after your Google for Nonprofits membership has been approved.
Now you’re all set up and ready to go. Check back here for future posts on strategies for maximizing the return you are getting from Google Ad Grants for your organization.