Google Ad Grants: Beginners Guide

Wouldn’t we all want $10K in free monthly Google Ads credit? Oh, the campaigns we could run… It would be wonderful!

What’s the catch?

Unfortunately, this enticing possibility isn’t attainable for all of us. The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you work for a nonprofit organisation. No? Well, then you can stop reading now. 

It’s a yes!

If, however, your answer is yes, then this article is just for you. Working for a nonprofit can be a lot of fun and extremely rewarding, as you’re probably doing things that are making the world a better place. The teeny tiny downside of working for a nonprofit is usually their small or even non-existent Marketing budget. That means you’re probably using a lot of ‘earned & owned’ media, which is a lot of work and takes time… but what if I told you that there was the option to get started on those paid media campaigns you’ve always been dreaming about? Let’s make it happen. 

Who is eligible for Google Ad Grants? 

  1. Be officially registered as a charitable organisation in any of these almost 70 countries
  2. Be registered with TechSoup or local partner, unless you’re based in the United Kingdom, Ireland, or New Zealand, then you’ll need to be registered with Percent
  3. Have a high quality website that meets all the requirements. This includes things like owning the domain of your website. 
  4. You need to have an SSL certificate installed. This goes hand in hand with the previous point, as it means that your website is secure. 
  5. Ensure you have Google Analytics installed on your website. 
  6. You need to agree to the Google for Nonprofits Additional Terms of Service
  7. You CANNOT be a governmental entity or organization, a hospital or healthcare organization not a school, academic institution, or university (Google for Education offers a separate program for schools)

For more information on any of the above, please check out the eligibility requirements by Google and you can find a step-by-step video here

How do I apply for Google Ad Grants? 

Right, so you have ticked off all of the above and are eligible! That’s great news, and means you can now move on to the next part. If the above gives you a bit of a headache, the next phase is much easier. 

  1. Retrieve your TechSoup or local partner/Percent validation token. It’ll look something like this: "123c492@MyOrgName."
  2. Sign up for a Google Nonprofit account. Ensure that you’re using THE SAME email address that you used for your TechSoup or local partner/Percent registration. 
  3. You’ll then receive an email that your Google nonprofit account has been granted and you can activate your Google Ads Account and other free Google products. 

You’re in! But wait… there's more. 

Being verified and being granted a Google nonprofit account is a great start, but that doesn’t mean we can run Google Ads yet or have the $10K Google Ads Credit in our Google Ads account to spend. Google Ads is a complex product, and you can read more about Google Ads 101 here. Once you have set up your Google Ads account with THE SAME email address as your nonprofit and TechSoup/Percent account, go ahead and follow these instructions: 

  1. Register your Google Ads account with THE SAME email address that you used to create the Google nonprofit account. 
  2. During the setup process, you’ll have the option to choose “Smart Campaigns” (AdWords Express) or “Classic” (Expert Mode). Please make sure you go for the Classic option. 
  3. Set up conversion tracking! Google is all about measuring the success of your campaigns, so they want to ensure that you are set up for success. You already have Google Analytics installed, so the easiest way to get conversion tracking is by doing it through Google Analytics
  4. Set up one Google Search campaign, as this will need to be submitted for review, before you can actively run this or other campaigns. 

Everything has been reviewed and you’re good to go. What to do with the $10K Google Ads Credit? Here are a few limits to keep in mind: 

  1. You can only run Search campaigns with the $10K Google Ads Credit. That means, no Display, YouTube, App, Shopping or other campaigns. You can run these (and pay for them) in a separate standard account of course. This also includes any form of Remarketing. 
  2. Bids are capped at $2, this ensures that charities can’t bid substantially higher than other companies and therefore don’t inflate prices. 
  3. You need to achieve an average CTR of 5% across all of your active campaigns. This ensures proper management of the campaigns. There’s a grace period of 90 days to achieve this. 
  4. You need to set up at least 2 ad groups in your account. 
  5. There’s a $329 USD spend limit per day, which you can’t go over, in order to stay within the $10K monthly Google Ads Credit. 

Deep breath! You made it. Now we would recommend that you go through our other Google Ads articles, to get the most out of your new Google Ads budget! Get started with Google Ads 101.

If the above seems a bit too overwhelming, why not jump on a quick call with us? Schedule it here.

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