What is Google Ad Grant and How to Utilize it Efficiently?

What is the Google Grant?

Google Ad Grant is one of the most effective, yet underappreciated, marketing tools in any nonprofit’s arsenal. Our study shows that more than half of all nonprofit professionals are unaware of it and how it may benefit organizations of all sizes.

In a nutshell, the Google Grant gives NGOs $10,000 each month to spend on Google Search ads. This $10,000 allowance renews every month long as you obey the rules. 

Google Ad Grants for Nonprofits: What You Need to Know

Since its start in 2003, Google Ad Grants has aided organizations in recruitment, and fundraising. They’re a force to be reckoned with, capable of accelerating a nonprofit’s progress toward its objectives.

Sheryl Sandberg, the current CEO of Facebook, founded this program, to allow NGOs to reach new audiences online. 

To take advantage of this opportunity, NGOs must first learn how to apply for the Google Ad Grant, how to administer it, and how to make the most of it. 

Why you Must Apply for Google Ad Grant?

The Google Ad Grant program assist organizations in reaching out to a wider audience to have a greater impact on the world.

When it comes to Google Ad campaigns, non-profits have a variety of objectives, including:

Increase your mission’s visibility. Your vision and mission did not emerge from nowhere, and now is the time to share them with as many people as possible. 

Increasing the number of visitors to your website  You can drive more traffic than ever before with the Google Ad Grant program.

Increasing their donations via the internet In order for people to donate to your cause, they must be aware of it. With Google Grants, you may boost your visibility and get financial backers.

Creating a volunteer community The more your adverts appear on Google, the more people will become aware of your cause. More volunteers will be able to take part in your organization as a result of this.

Eligibility for Google Ad Grant

Nonprofits in more than 50 counties can apply for the Google Grant. Google’s website has a complete list of qualifying geographic locations. We’ll concentrate on eligibility in the United States in this post.

To be eligible, you must:

  • As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization,you must have IRS approval.
  • You can’t work for a hospital, a school, or a government organization.
  • Your website must have an SSL certificate installed. 
  • You must agree to the terms of service for Google for Nonprofits and Google Ads.

Unlike traditional grants, where funds are in limit, every qualifying group gets approval. This is why every nonprofit that needs to reach out to people online should take use of it.

Google Grants are not available to the following organizations:

  • Governmental and non-governmental groups
  • Medical groups and hospitals
  • Schools, daycare facilities, academic institutions, and universities are all examples of educational institutions. 

Benefits of Google Ad Grants

Reach out to your current funders in a more efficient manner

The Google Ad Grant helps to communicate with your current donors in a more efficient manner. While these ads do not substitute emailing your donors, they do improve your internet presence.

You can promote many campaigns at the same time

You’re not limited to one advertising campaign with the Google Ad Grant. You have the option of running many keyword campaigns at the same time. You’ll be able to have more variation in your messaging and compare the ups and downs of different campaigns this way. You can use these analytics to figure out which marketing methods are effective and which are not.

Google Ads is a powerful digital marketing tool

Even if Google Ad Grants didn’t exist, I’d still tell charities to spend money on Google Ads because they reach a targeted, timely audience. Consider the following distinctions between a 

How to Begin Using the Grant?

How can you make the most of the Grant now that you have it? The majority of organizations will not spend the entire $10,000 in monthly ad credits provided by the Grant. Many NGOs achieve their objectives without spending the full sum.

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Here are a few basic steps you may take to increase your adverts:

  • An ideal Google Ad account will contain 3 to 5 campaigns.  Choose your strategies based on the products or services you want to promote. Perhaps you have a campaign for your blog and a campaign for volunteer opportunities.
  • Within each campaign, the ad groups that are presented should be specific and intentional.
  • Each ad group should have at least three ads, one of which should be a Responsive Search Ad. 
  • Each ad should use all the headlines and descriptions available. 
  • Use ad extensions as much as possible.
  • Always begin by conducting keyword research. Your advertising will not appear if no one is searching for a specific term. The Keyword Planner is a fantastic tool that allows you to see how many people are searching for each term and what phrases they’re using. 

Tips to get best out of Google Ad Grant

Google Ads generate clicks, not awareness. If no one clicks on your advertising, they will not appear many times as they do on Facebook. Ads that do not receive clicks are removed from Google’s display and accounts with low CTR gets a penality. 

Have enough Content on your website

On your website, each topic should have its own page. If a page on your website includes a few sentences of information, Google does not like it. Well-researched, in-depth pages, tend to perform better with the Google Ad Grant (and Google organic search as well). 

A Clear Call to Action Button

What is the next step you want people to take after they land on a page on your website? Make it clear via large call to action buttons and links.

Have a blog

Your website should also have up-to-date, industry-related blog posts that are between 700 and 1,500 words long and searchable.

Activate Conversion Tracking 

Google, wants organizations to make meaningful conversions. The following are some examples of website interactions worth tracking:

  • Filling up your website’s contact form
  • Subscribing to your newsletter
  • Purchasing a ticket to an event
  • Donating over the internet
  • Adding your name to a petition
  • Obtaining a free educational resource
  • Making a user account

Look over your website and make a list of any actions that users can take that are beneficial to your company. You need to install  Google Tag Manager, Google analytics and Google Search Console  to count key button clicks.


The website should be secure (the URL should begin with “https:” rather than “http:”).

Mobile Friendly 

Because most people use the internet on their phones, make sure your website is mobile friendly.

Content Highlight

Important details should be highlighted: In the footer of your website, include your 501(c)(3) number and EIN.

Finally, you want your website to be consistent with your nonprofit’s identity and provide a pleasant user experience.

Recognize your target market

Excellent targeted advertisements, a good website, and compelling CTA are all fine. But, if your core audience never sees them, they will fall flat. As a result, it’s critical to know your audience so you can tailor your content to their needs and how they search for information.

Keyword research allows you to look into the types of information that people are looking for on the internet. You may personalize your advertising to appear in front of your audience the next time they do a Google search.

Determine which personas your audience prefers. Your ad will be more remembered and powerful if you write it from the eyes of the persona.

Avoid using a large number of keywords

One of the most typical mistakes made by non-profits with their Google Ad Grants accounts is adding thousands of keywords. This isn’t going to work. Use Google’s Broad Match Modifier to ensure that your keywords match a wide range of searches.

Do not use Negative keywords too much. you need to spend this money. You should also check your query data to discover not only what queries are activating your advertising, but also to keep an eye out for irrelevant traffic.  You must use this budget wisely and to the benefit of your business.

Copy that’s clever

While clarity is vital in advertising, so is an advertisement’s intellect.  People talk about creative commercials with their friends all the time, but not so much about plain ads. While brilliant commercials won’t result in more conversions, they will boost your nonprofit’s memorability and influence.

So, which is preferable: cleverness or clarity? The answer is a mix of the two. Copy must be both clear and instructive, as well as catchy and distinctive. 

Avoid using Use Google AdWords Express

Google support employees advice many charities to use Google AdWords Express to manage their Google Ad Grants account. AdWords Express is a pared-down version of Google Ads that claims makes it easier to use, but it lacks key features. Many of the tactics that make Google Advertising perform so effectively aren’t available in AdWords Express.  If AdWords Express doesn’t work, it’s not a time saver. Invest the time to become an expert in Google Ads’ full version.

Limitations to Google Ad Grant Usage

Not Allowed list:

  • You won’t be able to use keywords with a Max CPC of more than $2.00.
  • You cannot use IP address Exclusions
  • You cannot create audiences
  • Your advertisements can only appear on Google.com and you won’t be able able to use Search Partners. You won’t be able to use the Display Network because you can only use text ads on Google.com. 
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  • The money is the most important aspect of Google Grants, and if you don’t use it, you lose it. As a result, some of you may struggle to find a way to spend the $10,000 every month. 
  • Make certain that the PDF content has its own landing page. Google Grant advertising cannot link to material on a PDF, whether it is downloaded or embedded, due to Google policy. 
  • Not allowed:
  • Avoid using Branded words that you don’t own.
  • Avoid using Single-word keywords except for your own branded keywords, some medical conditions and this exception list.
  • Avoid using Overly generic keywords like “free videos”, “e-books”, today’s news”, “easy yoga”, “download”, “games”. “job alert”, names of places, names of historical events/people’.
  • Avoid using Keywords with Quality Score lower than 2.

Account structure requirements:

  • Must have relevant geo-targeting.
  • Must have at least 2 ad groups per campaign, with at least 2 active ads each.
  • Must have at least 2 sitelink extensions in place.
  • Performance – Account must maintain 5% CTR. Miss for two months in a row and your account is suspended.

Different Ideas to use Google Ad Grant 

The Grant is being used by nonprofits in the following ways:

  • Increasing the size of your audience by acquiring new newsletter subscribers. 
  • Recruiting volunteers to help the organization achieve its goals. 
  • Bringing new people to blog articles, videos, and PDF resources to inform and educate the public.
  • Ticketing for events and performances.
  • Inspiring in-person actions such as animal adoption.
  • To raise revenue, promote donation and sponsorship options.

How to Maintain Your Google Ad Grant Eligibility

You’ll want to keep the Google Ad Grant once you’ve received it. You must follow Google’s regulations to keep your funding. Because the Google Ad Grant is renewed on a monthly basis, it’s critical that you keep your eligibility in mind. The tricky part about getting a Google grant is keeping it. So, how do you keep your eligibility intact?

Your account’s ads must all link to the nonprofit URL that was approved during the application process.

Log in to your Google Ads account on a monthly basis to be proactive in your Google Ads management. If a Google Grant-eligible advertiser does not log into their Google Ads account, the account may be paused without notice.

Your nonprofit’s mission must be reflected in the advertisements you promote. You can advertise to sell products as long as the proceeds go entirely to support your program.

Your ads can’t link to pages that are used to direct visitors to other websites.

Financial products, such as mortgages or credit cards, cannot be advertised in your adverts. You also can’t ask for donations in the form of large items like cars, boats, or real estate in your ads. Keywords associated with this behavior are likewise prohibited.

While participating in Google Grants, your website will not be able to display ads from Google AdSense. (or other affiliate advertising links).

Any violation of these guidelines, according to Google, will result in removal from the program. They also reserve the right to add to or change these eligibility requirements at any time.

Other common reasons include:

  • Misrepresenting your company or abusing the ad network
  • Having your nonprofit status revoked
  • Re-verification is required (this is for organizations who signed up for Google for Nonprofits prior to 2016)
  • Violations of Google’s Terms and Conditions on a regular basis

How to Submit an Application for a Google Grant

Before applying for the Google Grant, there are a few tasks that must be performed. Google for Nonprofits is where you may find the app. 

The first step is to create a Google for Nonprofits account if your organization does not already have one. You must submit your website for assessment by the Google Ad Grants team, who will certify whether your website is ready.

Following clearance of the first phase, the second part is creating a basic Google Ads account and submitting it for approval. 

One thing to keep in mind is that conversion tracking must be set up as part of the application process. This implies that you will have one or more “Goals” set up in Google Analytics for valuable activities that people can take on your site. 

You will be offered the option of applying for either a “Smart Campaigns” or a “Classic” Google Ads account when you submit your application. Ensure that you apply for a “Classic” account. 

Compliance with Google Ad Grants

Now it’s time to talk about everyone’s favorite subject: Google Grant compliance. Because the restrictions change from time to time, it’s a good idea to bookmark the Google Ad Grants compliance page to stay on top of any changes. Here are a few of the most important criteria to get you started: 

Approved Domains Usage

Your account must only promote domains that are approved. The domain you applied with (and all sub-domains) were approved when you applied for the Google Grant and gained approval. 

Structure of the Account

  • At least two active ad groups are required for any current campaign in your account.  There must be at least two active ads in each active ad group.
  • At least two active site link extensions are required.
  • Realistic geo-targeting must be used in your campaigns. Don’t promote to the entire country if you just serve one city.


  • Keywords should be relevant to your goal and should not be too broad.
  • At least a 3-point quality score (on a 10-point scale) is required for keywords.
  • Avoid Single Keywords


Your account needs to have a click-through rate of at least 5% overall. This means that at least 5 people out of every 100 people who see your adverts must click.

Conversions must be tracked in your account, and at least one conversion must be recorded each month. Conversion rates of more than 15% every month, are regarded excessive and indicate that the conversions you’re measuring aren’t important. “Viewed the About Page,” for example, is not a significant action and should not be counted as a conversion.

Participating the in the Annual Survey

When the Google Grants program survey is given out via email once a year, organizations must answer.

Do not advertise on the names of competitors’ brands

In the 2017 updates, Google made it illegal to use competitor brand names. Advertising on competitor brand names was never a good idea for charities. Using rival terms to get your ads noticed would simply result in a low click-through rate because your ads will be irrelevant.


There are specific restrictions for certain sorts of NGOs. Election-related advertising is likewise subject to many limitations and guidelines.

Failure to follow the Google Grant policies can result in your account being suspended… So, abide by the rules!

How can SwiftPropel help you?

At SwiftPropel, our goal is to assist NGOs in maximizing their online reach so that they can focus on making a genuine difference. Our services enable you to get the benefits while avoiding the headaches.

We can help you with the following:

  • Application for a Grant
  • Researching Keywords
  • Creating advertisements
  • Manage your Google Ad Grant account
  • Reporting every month
  • Consultation on Landing Pages

We enroll you in the Google Ad Grants program, answering all your questions and taking into account all your recommendations along the road, so you don’t have to write a grant.

We carry out research to identify which keywords are most appropriate for your nonprofit’s website.

We build engaging ads that increase your CTR, generate conversations, and drive traffic to your landing sites.

We assist you in managing your $10,000 monthly grant to ensure that it is used to its full potential.

We offer you monthly reports that explain the results of your campaigns and how the grant was spent.

With your current landing pages, we give recommendations and advice on how to enhance your campaign’s potential.

How to spend $10,000 wisely?

The great majority of nonprofits do not spend the entire $10,000 grant. In fact, according to a recent poll, the average organization barely spends $800 each month out of its $10,000 budget.

For three reasons, this occurs:

Incompetence in leadership. Of fact, many NGOs lack the skills to administer the Google Grant, and as a result, opportunities are missed. 

There isn’t enough content that can be searched. If you advertise on a term for which you do not have a suitable landing page on your website, your advertisements will not perform effectively. And, Google will reduce the number of people who see them. As a result, your website will receive fewer visitors and you will spend less of your Google Grant money.

Audience with a narrower focus. It only makes sense to market to the residents of the city if your organization services that city. This means that even if you reach every single person in your target group, you’re unlikely to spend the entire $10,000. It’s fine.

Concentrate on the quality of visitors who come to your site as a consequence of the adverts, as well as the conversions that occur as a result of them. What propels your mission ahead is conversions, not spending.

Why you must go for a Google Grants Certified Professional Agency?

One of the most typical complaints we get from NGOs is that their Google Grant account was handled by a traditional marketing agency and ended up being a disaster. 

This is due to the fact that Google Grants are not the same as paid Google Ads. Paid accounts are exempt from the limits and compliance standards that apply to Google Grants accounts. And, the mechanics of how advertising are displayed are different. 

Google has launched a certification scheme to recognize organizations who work with the Google Grants program exclusively or to a substantial extent. Ask an agency if they are Google Grants “Certified Professionals” before dealing with them. If they aren’t (or don’t understand what you’re saying), your account is better off in someone else’s hands.

Running Normal Paid Ads alongwith Google Grant Search Ads

While the Google Grant is a huge help, some charities want more! There are a few reasons why you might want to run a paid Google Ads account alongside your Google Grant account.

Outside of Google Search: You can only use the Google Grant to run text advertising in Google Search results. You can use the Google Display network to put banner ads.  Also to run video advertising on YouTube to target people who aren’t searching for a topic but are visiting other websites.

Retargeting: Retargeting is one of the most powerful capabilities in the Google Ads suite. It allows you to show ads to people who have previously visited a page or certain pages on your website. You could, for example, use the Google Grant to attract visitors to your site, and then use paid advertisements to “retarget” people who looked at your contribution page but did not donate.

Highly competitive keywords: Google Grant advertisements always display underneath any paid advertising on a given term. As a result, competing in high-volume keywords may need the use of a paid account. Keep in mind that many keywords have less competitive variations that may be utilized to target the same audience, which is a wonderful method to leverage the Google Grant.

Final Thoughts: Google Ad Grant

As you can see, if used appropriately, the Google Ad Grant can be a powerful tool for organizations of all kinds. Even so, a large number of organizations in the United States and elsewhere miss out on this chance because they don’t understand what the Grant is for, how to apply, or how to make the most of it.

Keep in mind that tens of thousands of NGOs have obtained and deployed the Google Grant to promote their goals. You’ve got this!

Whether you implement the Grant on your own or take help from companies like us, we hope that this guidance can assist many organizations like yours to prosper.


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