Updated: January 25, 2019
Get the scoop on Google Ad Grants and how you can secure $10,000 per month in free advertising money for your charity or non-profit.
What is Google Ad Grants?
Google Ad Grants is the non-profit version of Google Ads. Lots of people have heard of Google Ads, which is the advertising on Google that shows on the top and the side when you conduct a search. Google Ad Grants is the same thing but for charities and registered non-profits. It allows you to get up to $10,000 per month worth of advertising on Google. This is a sufficient grant that has no end-date which means you can get up to $120,000 per year on an ongoing basis as long as Google has the program. It is an amazing ability to promote your mission on Google search.
Is my non-profit eligible for Google Ad Grants?
To be eligible for Google Ad Grants you have to be registered with an organization called TechSoup Canada, this is the organization that Google uses to validate whether you are a registered charity or non-profit. You also have to be registered as a federal charity, a federal non-profit or provincial non-profit. You have to acknowledge and agree to the Ad Grant application’s required certifications regarding non-discrimination and donation receipt and use. Then the last piece is to have a functioning website with a sufficient level of content. As long as you have a quality website for your organization you can meet these eligibility criteria. Obviously, that is not a huge barrier, so everyone that has a legitimate non-profit or charity should be able to make these requirements and apply.
How do Google Ad Grants work?
Google Ad Grants can be used towards text-based advertising on Google only. These are the ads on the top and side of Google’s search result page. Ads will only appear on Google and not on any other website or search engine.
How it works is the $10K per month is divided equally over the month which is about $329 per day on average. Once you hit your daily limit the ads will turn off. The ads created with Google Ad Grants will usually appear below-paid ads of Google Ads advertisers. You are going to be up against the competition, but it can still cause a significant impact on bringing a substantial amount of traffic to your site that you didn’t have before. We have seen charity partners that have doubled their traffic just because of the Ad Grants program.
The last limitation is the maximum cost-per-click (CPC) of $2.00, although this has been lifted in recent times for accounts that change their bid strategy to Maximize Conversions Bidding. For something really competitive, it can be hard to position your ad very high because of that max.
On top of Google implementing a mandatory account level CTR of 5% each month, the terms and policies have been updated to include such things as the following:
- Single-word keywords are not permitted
- Overly generic keywords are not permitted
- Keywords with a quality score of 1 or 2 are not permitted
- The ad account must have valid conversion tracking
- The ad account must have at least 2 ads per ad group
- The ad account must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign
- The ad account must have at least 2 sitelink ad extensions
- The organization must respond to an annual program survey
Another thing to be aware of is that you have to actively manage your account or you will lose your account. What that means to Google is that you need to have one or more changes to the account at least once every 90 days. This could be something as simple as changing your keywords, deleting an ad, creating a new campaign or ad group. You also have to be signed into your account at least once a month; however, best practice guidelines recommend you should be active in your account closer to twice a week.
It is pretty easy to meet those requirements, but it is important to know because that means you have to have an internal resource that is committed to doing that on a regular basis or contract someone like ourselves to manage the account. It is pretty simple to keep the account as long as you have someone at the wheel keeping on top of things.
What should my non-profit advertise through Google Ad Grants?
A lot of our clients use Google Ad Grants for multiple reasons. Some of the most popular reasons would be promoting events, promoting jobs such as hiring social workers or daycare worker, or getting volunteers for activities, and of course really promoting their core causes and trying to raise donations. Those are the primary topic areas or campaigns that you will be running in your Google Ad Grants account. It can be used for anything as long as it is related to promoting your mission. Here are some more examples of different uses:
- Increasing awareness
- Advertising for causes
- Promoting events
- Finding volunteers
- Raising donations
- Promoting jobs
- Growing your email list
- Selling goods and services
Get started with Google Ad Grants
Bluetrain is well-versed in non-profit marketing and has helped a number of charitable organizations get started with Google Ad Grants. We are able to manage these accounts and ensure your organization gets the best value from this opportunity.
Feel free to contact us if you have questions. We would love to help out.