Why Nonprofits Should Be Using Google Ad Grants: Part 2

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Why Nonprofits Should Be Using Google Ad Grants: Part 2

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In part 1 of this two part blog series, we talked about what the Google Ad Grants program is and its benefits for nonprofits. In this post, we’ll look at how to apply and maintain the eligibility of your Ad Grants account.

How do I apply for Ad Grants?

First, you have to enroll in the Google for Nonprofits program. Before you begin, make sure your organization’s mission is easily found on your website. Google uses this to determine eligibility. Visit Google for Nonprofits and click the “Get Started” button. Once you’ve gone through the process and been validated by TechSoup (a third party used by Google for this purpose), you’ll then be able to apply for your Ad Grants account. It can take from 2-14 days to get validated. Yes, you have to apply for Ad Grants as well. But it’s not too difficult. Once you’re in, Google also offers a suite of other tools for nonprofits to check out.

How do I maintain eligibility?

Now that you know the process for applying, let’s get into some additional details about what it takes to maintain your eligibility for an ad grants account. The beauty is that while Google pays your costs, you manage all your campaigns. But there are some limitations to be aware of.

  1. All of your ads will be text-based. This means you can’t run display, video, or shopping campaigns.
  2. Your ads and keywords must be mission-based. This means they must be relevant to your nonprofit’s programs and services. You won’t be able to advertise something that doesn’t align with your nonprofit.
  3. Your ads will appear only on Google search results below ads that have been paid for.
  4. You cannot spend more than $329 a day or $10,000 a month on all of the campaigns you have set up. This means you’ll need to adjust your daily spend to reflect this, regardless of how many campaigns you have.
  5. As long as you are using a smart bidding approach, you won’t be limited by the $2.00 manual bid limit.
  6. You’ll need to maintain a proper account structure. This means you need to enable geo-targeting, have at least two active ad groups per campaign, at least two ads per ad group, and at least two unique sitelink ad extensions. Tip: make sure at least one ad per ad group is a responsive search ad.
  7. You cannot use single-word keywords or overly generic keywords. Do your research and come up with unique, long-tail keywords.
  8. The account must maintain a minimum 5% click-through rate each month at the account level. If this requirement isn’t met for two months, your account may be deactivated.
  9. You must have conversion tracking set up. Conversions measure how often users complete important tasks on your website after they click on your ads.
  10. Be proactive in your account management by logging into your account monthly in order to keep it activated.
  11. The ads you create must point people to your website, not other websites.
  12. Your ads cannot offer financial products or take donations in the form of large goods such as cars, etc.
  13. Your website cannot display ads from Google AdSense or other affiliate advertising links while participating in this program.
  14. You must complete an annual program survey.


So there you have it. The do’s and don’ts for Google Ad Grants management. You may look at all this and feel overwhelmed. That’s where we could add value. We’re experienced in applying for, setting up and managing Ad Grants programs. We’d love to talk to you about how we could help you take advantage of these free advertising dollars. Click the button below to get in touch with us and start a conversation.

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Topics: Google Ad Grants