Google Ads Grant Program for Nonprofits

What is the Google Ads Grant for Nonprofits?How To Apply For The Google AdWords GrantCommon Mistakes Made With The Google Ads Grant Program

How To Apply For The Google AdWords Grant

If you have been through grant applications for your nonprofit before, you probably dread the writing and rewriting of mission statements and organization goals. How many different ways can you explain what your organization is, what it does, and what it plans to do in the future? Then you have to go into excruciating detail of what you plan to do with the grant money if approved.

Unlike the majority of grants out there for nonprofits, Google has a relatively  simple application process that gives $10,000 per month in free Google Ads for nonprofits. That money can be used to tell people about your services and mission, recruit more volunteers, solicit donations, get word out about an event, or just about anything else that benefits your nonprofit organization.

Although the application process is fairly straightforward and easier than most grant applications you are likely familiar with, we would like to make sure you don’t make any mistakes along the way. For that reason, we put together this simple guide to applying for the Google Ads Grant.

Step 1. Find out if you are eligible

In the United States, your organization must be a nonprofit with 501(c)(3) status to qualify. There are a few exceptions to the eligibility. Hospitals and medical groups, government agencies, schools, child care centers, and academic institutions are all ineligible for the grant.

For educational institutions, there is a separate and similar program available.

You can verify your nonprofit’s eligibility here.

If everything checks out, you are ready to apply.

Step 2. Register with TechSoup

The next step is to register your nonprofit with TechSoup and receive a validation token from them. TechSoup partners with organizations, such as Google, to bring technology and other resources to nonprofits.

Getting through the TechSoup registration is simple.

  1. Go to the TechSoup registration page.
  2. Select your country and language preference. Then hit Enter.
  3. Select New Member and fill out the form and follow the prompts to register and get validated. It can take a month to be validated and TechSoup may reach out for additional information. Make sure to respond to their requests. The longer it takes to respond, the longer the whole process will be.
  4. After validated, you can login at TechSoup to obtain your validation token. You will need this code for your Google Ads Grant for Nonprofits application.

Step 3. Register for the Google Nonprofit Program

The next step is to sign up for the Google Nonprofit program. This needs to be done before you can apply for the Google Ads grant.

You will need both your validation token and nonprofit tax ID number when you register.

Approval at this stage typically takes about 2-3 business days, and we have yet to see an application that was not approved.

However, you are not done yet.

Step 4. Apply for the Google Ads Grant

After being accepted into the Google Nonprofit program, you can now apply for the Google Ads Grant. The process is a little counter-intuitive, but involves 3 steps.

  • Log in and create a Google Ads account. It is absolutely critical that you skip the billing process. Do not enter in any credit card information, even if you are prompted for it. If you enter in billing information, you will be creating a standard account, not a grant account. At that point, you will need to start over again. Also, make sure you are using the same email address you used when you signed up for the Google Nonprofit Program.
  • Create your first campaign. This is where nonprofits typically need the most help. It can be a little daunting if you have never set one up before. We recommend setting up a campaign based around your nonprofit’s brand for this first campaign. It will likely be the simplest and most basic campaign you will create. You must have at least one campaign set up before you can be approved.
  • Wait for Google to approve your account. It will take up to 30 days at this point for approval.

After you receive your approval from Google, you can start spending up to $329 per day in Ads.

A few other things we recommend at this point:

  • Make sure you are using Google Analytics on your website (or some other form of analytics and tracking). This will allow you to more accurately measure the effectiveness of your Google Ads campaigns.
  • You can only send traffic to the website you applied with. Do not run a campaign pointing at your Facebook page or any other domain your nonprofit might operate. Doing so can get you removed from the Google Ads Grant program.
  • Monitor your account. Your ad performance can change over time for a variety of reasons. You should have 2 ads running in each ad group as a split test at all times. Once you gain enough data, dump the loser and write a new ad. Keep trying to improve your account performance so you can max out your budget. Remember, the $10,000 grant per month is use it or lose it. Unused funds do not get carried over.

Be sure to read our article about common mistakes made with the Google Ad Grant Program.

Need Help?

If your marketing team has never run a Google Ads campaign before it can be a little daunting getting started. If you would like training, consulting, or full management of your campaign, then fill out this brief contact form and we will be in touch to discuss how we can help.

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