Jumpstart Your Non-Profit Objectives with Google Ad Grants

Looking to jumpstart your non-profit objectives and performance? Try Google.


Google provides advertising grants to eligible non-profits for general AdWords usage. The Google Grants program offers eligible 501(3)(c) organizations up to $10,000 per month in free advertising on the Google AdWords network.

What does this mean?
Your organization can jumpstart your initiatives through the AdWords Grant and find more prospective supporters that believe in your mission. The program allows non-profits of any size to grow your support base and promote awareness of your cause to the masses. If you want some inspiration, then here are 10 tips for Google Grant success.

Eligibility Requirements
There are limited restrictions to general non-profit organizations. Since Google provides advertising, the main concern is the grant is used wisely, therefore, a current web site that can leverage the power of an AdWords campaign is important.

  • Hold Current and Valid Charity (501(c)(3)) Status
  • Maintain Functional Website with Organization Details

The following organizations are not eligible:

  • Governmental entities and organizations
  • Hospitals and medical groups
  • Schools, childcare centers, academic institutions and universities (philanthropic arms of educational organizations are eligible).

Of note, for educational institutions, there is a similar program.

The application process is rolling admissions. The first step is register with Google for Non-Profits to create an account and then select the AdWords Grant under the Products page.


AdWords Restrictions
The program does have some restrictions regarding the grant usage. The restrictions prohibit some types of advertising options, however, generally support broad use. The daily limit helps non-profits manage the funds over the entire month and not spend on Day 1 and reduce the awareness and effectiveness over the remainder of the month.

  • $329 daily limit (equals $10,000 per month)
  • $2.00 maximum cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Only run keyword-targeted campaigns
  • Only appear on Google search result pages
  • Only run text ads

Indefinite Usage
Although Google maintains the right to change the program details, all non-profits that meet the requirements have virtually unlimited usage. The main requirements mean the campaign needs to be managed properly, and include:

  • Ads must link to domain approved in the original submission.
  • Ads must reflect mission of your non-profit.
  • Ads cannot send visitors to other websites.
  • Website cannot display Google AdSense or other affiliate advertising links.
  • Monthly management of the account.

Ads advocating for donations are allowed, however, ads for large goods (like cars, boats, property) are not allowed. For example, organizations like Kars 4 Kids could promote awareness of childhood development, but not solicit car donations with the program.

Furthermore, Google outlines some additional qualifications that will ensure your non-profit remains in good standing. Ultimately, these additional items also help your organization understand if the campaign works and is worth your time.

  • Track Conversions – The non-profit selects campaign goals, such as newsletter sign up, volunteer registration, call the organization, etc.
  • Ensure Visitors Act – Google prefers a click-thru-rate (CTR) of 1% or higher.
  • Spend the Grant – Attempt to spend at least $9,900 every two out of six months.
  • Provide Feedback – Complete surveys and agree to share conversion data and how the grant impacted your organization.

These provisions actually help non-profits because the objectives indicate success (and could make your organization eligible for Grantpro and $40,000 per month). If the campaign does not provide additional visitors to your site or if the visitors do not take the desired action, then make some changes. Although Google requires at least monthly account reviews, the more active you manage the campaign, the better results. By actively reviewing the keywords that are attracting visitors and spurring action, the budget can be shifted (and spend) to target these initiatives. All of this helps your organization raise awareness and achieve your goals!

For more information, including how to how to apply and manage an AdWords campaign, then Google provided a Non-Profit Guide. If you are interested in learning more and discussing a detailed strategy, then consider engaging a digital marketing firm (such as All Points Digital).

Joel Whipple on twitterJoel Whipple on linkedin
Joel Whipple
Senior Marketing Strategist at All Points Digital
Joel provides marketing strategy to All Points Digital. He contributes to the social media and content marketing plans that are vital to developing brand awareness and community engagement. His background includes roles in financial services and providing advisory services to micro-entrepreneurs. With a Information Design and Corporate Communications degree and Master's of Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Studies from Bentley University, he leverages multiple disciplines to expand client limits.

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